Rape on it’s own is a sick, sick practice but what these Turkish men are doing to escape prosecution for the crime is doubly despicable.
Over 3,000 offenders guilty of rape or sexual abuse in Turkey have avoided prison, simply by marrying their victims.
Mustafa Demirdağ, the head of Turkey’s Supreme Court of Appeals addressed a parliamentary commission on sexual violence and reported that some of these marriages involved girls as young as 5.
To further highlight the absurdity of the practice, Demirdağ described an incident where a girl was raped by three men. After one of the men married her, the sentences for all three rapists were lifted.
He voiced his stance against the practice thus;
“That type of marriage is not acceptable, it is cruel to force someone to marry a person she does not want [to marry] and force her to spend the rest of her life with him.”
It is amazing that anyone needs to be told that subjecting the abused to a life with the abuser makes no sense but Turkey has come under scrutiny in recent years for providing inadequate protection against gender-based violence.
One 2011 Human Rights Watch report revealed the extent of domestic abuse across the country, stating that 42% of women over the age of 15 in Turkey had experienced physical or sexual violence at the hands of a husband or partner. Last year alone, media reports suggest 300 women were killed by men in 2014.
This practice also shows that Turkey does not consider marital rape as a real thing and they are not alone. S
ingapore, Yemen and India, do not consider marital rape a crime, and across the world there are 46 countries that do not provide any legal protection against domestic violence.
Hopefully as more and more people get wind of this practice, the international community will get involved to right this great injustice.