Morocco: the video of a sexual assault in broad day-light has caused uproar in the country

Morocco: the video of a sexual assault in broad day-light has caused uproar in the country

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Under the “hashtag” # Is it that you do not have sisters? The indignation of the country has been viralized after some young people published a video of their sexual attack on a teenager.

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A teenager in school uniform lies in the street, screams and defends herself with all her might. A young man kneels his knee against her chest in broad daylight, lowers his pants and grabs her behind and genitals. The video, which lasts 50 seconds, was filmed by a friend of the aggressor and shows a sexual attack that, according to the Moroccan media, took place at the beginning of January 2018 in the north of the city of Marrakech.

The facts were announced the day before yesterday (28.03.2018), when the aggressor and his friend published the video to humiliate the 16-year-old girl, after she did not give in to her blackmail attempts. The young woman herself has hidden the attack for more than two months and has not even told her family.

 

Reactions divided in social networks

For two days, the video has been viralized in the networks causing outrage. The images have generated the “hashtag” # واش_ماعندكش_ختك (#don’t you have sisters?), A phrase pronounced by the teenager during the attack. The reactions of the users have been divided into two. On the one hand, those who demand tougher penalties against rapists and give advice to women on how to defend themselves. In other words, how to protect against attacks.

On the other, those who blame young women for these events. That is to say, the girls themselves are to blame for putting on makeup, dressing in light clothes and dealing with young people as if they were their husbands. What else if they can not wait? That the boys give them a kiss on the forehead and respect them as if they were their mothers?

 

The State and society do very little

Neither society nor the State undertake enough actions to fight against sexual violence. In this case, the two alleged attackers of the video were arrested. When Mohamed VI pardoned Daniel Galvan Viña in 2013, with a long history of abusing children, the protests in the streets and social networks were so strong that the king had to revoke the pardon and visited the families of the victims . An unprecedented event in the history of the Moroccan monarchy.

Other incidents, such as the suicide of a 17-year-old girl in the summer of 2016 after the release of her rapist for 8 years or a viral video with the sexual assault on a disabled woman last summer led to tougher laws relating to sexual violence. Finally, in mid-February 2018, Parliament, after long debates, approved a new law that provides for jail terms ranging from one month to five years and fines of up to one thousand euros applicable to crimes based on sexual discrimination and involving physical, psychological, sexual or economic damage to women.

 

Power is more important than women’s rights

The new law, which will come into force next September, draws criticism among local and international civil organizations, because it does not protect women enough during ongoing legal proceedings and because it does not clearly define domestic violence and within the couple. Khadija Ryadi, Moroccan activist awarded the UN human rights prize, shares the criticism: “The rapid reaction of the State is trying to calm the anger of public opinion, but in reality, lack political will to find a real solution” , He says.

Ryadi believes that not only the toughest penalties can combat sexual violence. There is also a need for a more educated society and a school that takes its educational role seriously. “And that is precisely what those who are in power since the 80s try to avoid, since they fear a critical, formed and sure public opinion that could put their illegitimate power in danger”, says the activist .

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