‘Marry-your-rapist’ bill slammed in Turkey
Outrage has met a controversial bill in Turkey that seeks to give amnesty to men who raped girls below 18 if they marry their victim.
The legislation, which has been dubbed the “marry-your-rapist” bill, seeks to give suspended sentences to men with child sex offenses should they marry their victim, The Guardian reported yesterday, Jan. 23. The bill might set an age-difference limit of 10 to 15 years between the aggressor and his victim.
Turkey’s ruling party, the conservative Justice and Development party (AKP), is behind the bill, which may be introduced to Parliament at the end of January. The party claims that it will address the country’s child marriage problem; according to the United Nations, child marriage is at 15% in Turkey.
Protests against the legislation have been held around the country this month. The opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) warns that it will give way to child marriage, statutory rape and child abuse, The Independent reported yesterday.
The bill will remove evidence of violence against girls and women, noted Fidan Ataselim, secretary-general of activist group We Will Stop Femicide.
In 2016, women in Turkey also pushed back against a similar bill. The defeated bill would have released men in prison guilty of assaulting a minor if they married their victim and the act was done without “force or threat.” Niña V. Guno /ra
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