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Jordan-Sexual Assault

Jordan's parliament voted to repeal the country's 'marry the rapist' clause


The lower house of Jordan's parliament on Tuesday repealed a provision that allowed a rapist to escape punishment if he married his victim.

The scrapping of the provision dubbed "308" sent cheers throughout the spectators' gallery, particularly among activists who campaigned against the "marry the rapist" clause for years.

The small Arab nation demonstrates pro-Western political leanings, but many areas of Jordan remain socially conservative, with entrenched notions of "family honor."

In Jordan, as well as in other parts of the world, there is a widely-held belief that having a rape victim in the family brings shame upon the family. The option of marriage, however, expunges the perceived shame.

Provision "308" isn't entirely scrapped until the decision is approved by parliament's appointed upper house, or Senate, and by King Abdullah II. If it does receive the appropriate approval, Jordan would join a host of other countries, including, Tunisia, Morocco, and Egypt, which have already conceded their "marry the rapist" clauses in recent years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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