Men offer to marry rape victims rather than kill them

Katherine - posted on 06/25/2011 ( 10 moms have responded )

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http://www.athensreport.com/2011/06/men-...


Four sisters were recently raped by alleged pro-government troops in Syria. Normally these women would be senselessly killed by their OWN families in a twisted sense of honor. But for once, something is changing. REAL men are stepping forward.

A group of 15 Syrian men in Khirbet al-Jous — recognizing that these women are “victims of the revolution” — have vowed to protect them by offering to marry these women, who would otherwise be seen as unsuitable for marriage and killed.The field of suitors has been whittled to four.

While I am not sure marrying men they’ve never met is the right answer for these women, it’s certainly a massive step in the right direction.

The Washington Post reports one rebel declared:

We sat and discussed that we want to change this. We don’t want to change just the regime in Syria, but also this kind of stuff. So we will marry them in front of everyone.

The rebels also said:

Rapes and other assaults on women signify an escalation of violence by the government and its allies, which have sought to discredit the opposition movement.

Quite a difference from the government’s forcible virginity checks in neighboring Egypt.

This is what just utterly flabbergasts me as a woman. How can cultures and governments see their wives, daughters, and their mothers as such pawns and collateral damage? It has frustrated me for years, from reports of “honor” acid attacks, women stoned, and women beaten without protection.

So it is a bizarre sense of relief I feel that these women will marry men they have never met, after having been raped by other men, rather than being buried up to their neck and stoned by their own families. It is at least one baby step in the right direction, is it not?

Hopefully this story will start a new revolution for women in Syria. It's such a break through IMO.

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10 Comments

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Sal - posted on 07/29/2011

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it is such a sad situation, and while these men can;t change the whole counrty they alone, they can change the outcome for 1 woman, and one person who isn;t sensily killed is a good, thing, and also if they show the troops who see rape as a weapon it donesn't matter to people anymore maybe it will make it a less effective tool....we can only hope

Jennifer - posted on 07/29/2011

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Most of the women over there have no say in who they marry anyway, so I don't think not meeting them is a problem. I also feel like these men are ahead of the curve for their part of the world, so the girls are probably better off than when they started. It also does not say whether these men already have wives, which may ease the stigma, one normal wife, one pity wife? It is a step forward, and I'd love to shake these mens hands, but it is still so sad......

Gina - posted on 06/25/2011

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Syria is a country that has no women's rights, so I think the fact that men are admitting that it's that the women's fault if they are raped is a great start.Syria and most middle east countries do arranged marriages, so it won't be so bad for them if they marry these men who I think are great to do this,if you're not a virgin bride you are disgraced, and so is your family,so I think well done to the men who will save these girls. As for marrying my rapist, I would rather die, No way in hell can I do that.While I know divorce does happen it is rare, a man there is more likely to have more than one wife since legally he can have up to four,and he's wife can't do a thing about it unless he 'LETS' her. Thank God I live in Australia!

Jenni - posted on 06/25/2011

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Yes it is a step 'forward'... as other's have said a baby step.

I wonder though, do these women even have a choice of who they marry in the first place?

Plus, I would think their liberators would support women's rights a lot more than average Syrian man if they don't believe in them being punished for being raped or see them as unworthy of marriage because of the heiness act commited on them.

In some ways I imagine these men would be more favourable suitors for them then the men they were meant to marry.

Krista - posted on 06/25/2011

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@Caitlin: Yeah, these aren't the rapists. These are guys who are offering to marry these women who were raped by OTHER men.

Katherine - posted on 06/25/2011

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Oh no, they didn't have to marry their rapist. They just had a random marriage to a man that would "save" them.

Caitlin - posted on 06/25/2011

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It's a step in the right direction, and i'm sure if the option was death or marry my rapist, i'd marry my rapist too! It seems kind of brutal, but it is a whole different world over there.

Krista - posted on 06/25/2011

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It does open its own set of problems. However, I am very encouraged by the mindset, which seems to be finally acknowledging that women should not be blamed and shamed when they are raped.

Tara - posted on 06/25/2011

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It is a breakthrough, and although not the ideal end to the twisted practise of killing rape victims, this at least allows them to live their lives for a while longer.
I wonder if divorce is allowed in Syria? Will these men expect normal marital relationships with these women or is this simply a way for them to avoid death and will be able to divorce their new husbands if they wish.
It is a step in the right direction but it comes with its own set of problems.

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