With April being Sexual Assault Awareness Month, we call your attention to the case of Amina al-Filali, a 16 year old Moroccan girl who committed suicide last month after being forced to marry a man who raped her.  Due to an arcane patriarchal and misogynistic law, instead of being punished for the crime, a rapist may marry a child victim and receive immunity from criminal charges.  When Amina’s family filed charges against her rapist, they and the court agreed upon this outcome, with her tragic death the result.

Hamida, Amina al-Filali's sister (Getty/AFP)

Sisters of Resistance are outraged at the murderous institutional and interpersonal violence inflicted upon Amina, both legally and culturally, in what she experienced.  As an oppressed person, a young brown woman under neocolonial patriarchy, decisions were made for her, and against her best interests.  As a survivor of rape, she was spoken for, not listened to, and her wishes not taken into account.  We would disagree with anyone who would say that she simply “chose” to kill herself.  Instead, we acknowledge the significant trauma that occurred to her, and the grief she must have felt at not being able to see any way out.  We mourn the loss of a young, vibrant person who ended her own life rather than submit to a lifetime of oppression. 

We join others internationally in calling for the cancellation of Article 475 of the Moroccan penal code, which greatly endangers young survivors by granting rapists legal access to their bodies and lives.  Women’s rights must be considered human rights, and women and other oppressed peoples empowered to determine our own futures.  We remember Amina, and countless others with similar stories, and reaffirm our commitment to creating a world in which suffering like theirs exists no more. #ripAmina