This is by far the strangest and most cruel punishment for a rape victim I have ever heard of, but I am glad the Moroccan government has finally realized that. in Rabat, Morocco, the government has announced a plan to change the penal code so that rape victims are not forced to marry their alleged rapist. A paragraph in the penal code states that the offender can go free if they marry their victim and the practice was encouraged by judges to avoid shame to the victim’s family. One incident in particular sparked change when a 16 year old poisoned herself to get out of 7 month abusive marriage to a 23 year old she said raped her. The practice is found across the Middle East in India and Afghanistan to avoid a family’s dishonor by a woman’s loss of virginity out of wedlock. The marrying age is 18, but judges have approved much younger unions. A new article proposed on Monday, gives a 10 year penalty for consensual sex with a minor and doubles the sentence for sex resulting in deflowering or rape. The Justice Ministry argued that the girl was not raped and the sex was consensual. The prime minister also argued that the provision is rarely used and a majority of rape cases are pursued. While the code has been updated in recent memory 2004, a more comprehensive law to combat violence against women has reached a stalemate in Parliament for 8 years.