Rape amnesty are not two words commonly seen together. By definition, the crime is one of sexual violence against a helpless victim, so the thought of letting someone go free for committing it is unpalatable for most.
In fact, a sizable portion of civilized society sees it as a crime worthy of capital punishment, if this survey by Debate is to be believed.
As the survey reveals, 73 percent of those surveyed said that yes, the crime should be punishable by death while 27 percent said that no, it should not.
No matter which side of the argument one is on, few would agree that rape amnesty should actually be a thing.
However, the government of Turkey — even as it works to join the European Union — has proposed a law that would provide rape amnesty for sexual abusers under a certain set of criteria.
That criteria, according to the Daily Mail, is that the rapist marries the victim.
Paddy Dinham reports that the proposal, as submitted by the ruling AK Party, “would allow sentencing in cases of sexual abuse committed ‘without force, threat or trick’ before November 16.”
Binali Yildirim, the Turkish Prime Minister, said the law would be for men incarcerated and married to women “under the age of 18 in a religious ceremony” provided it is with the consent of their family.
“There are those who got married under age,” Yildirim explained. “They don’t know the law, then they have kids, the father goes to jail and the children are alone with their mother. If there would be marriages like this from now on, they will in no way be tolerated.”
The rape amnesty proposal would affect approximately 3,000 families, the news site notes.
Critics of the proposal argue that the country is trying to “normalize” underage marriage.
— Fairfax Foreign Desk (@FairfaxForeign) November 19, 2016
Essentially, the phrase “without force, threat, or trick,” as laid out in the specific verbiage, implies that there can be such a thing as consensual sex between an underage victim and an older adult.
This runs in deep conflict with how western civilizations typically see it. For example, America has a phrase for it known as “statutory rape,” and it can carry with it severe punishments.
Each of the 50 states have some latitude concerning “age of consent” with the benchmark typically being set at 16 years of age.
Punishments, using Connecticut as an example, would range from one to 20 years in prison unless the offender is age 21 or older. In that case, the punishment would be 10 to 20 years in prison. Also, an offender who is no more than three years older than the victim can get a year in prison if said victim is 14 or 15.
Turkish government is accused of planning ‘amnesty for rape’ if abusers marry their victimshttps://t.co/WUvvx3rSXG
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) November 18, 2016
Even so, the U.S. has been subject to controversial sentencing in cases of sexual violence, statutory or otherwise, such as a case from October — reported here by NPR — in which a Montana judge faced impeachment for sentencing a man, who raped his 12-year-old daughter, to just 60 days in jail with only 43 days served.
In Turkey’s case, with many of the countries in the European Union looking at rape of any kind as severe in nature, any attempt at a rape amnesty law could be hard to fathom. Do you think what Turkey has proposed amounts to rape amnesty, and what do you think should be the punishment for perpetrators as those described above? Sound off in the comments section below.