Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

Countering the Assad regime's use of rape as a weapon

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As numbers of Syrian casualties and refugees increase, the heart breaking individual traumas are often obscured or forgotten - personal stories like those of women who have been raped by pro-regime forces, and therefore, face possible death due to the local tradition of honour killing. But in a hopeful story appearing in the press, it is being reported that after four sisters were allegedly raped by Assad supporters, local men have decided to marry them and offer them protection. Culturally, women in countries like Syria that have been raped are often killed to "protect the family's honour", but even if they are spared, are generally regarded as unmarriable. In this case, 15 men all volunteered to marry the sisters, referring to them as "victims of the revolution". The men reportedly explained that the regime is not the only thing that needs to change is Syria, but such traditions as well. These 'rebels' seem to reject both the Baathist dictatorship and extreme Islamist rules and practices, a hopeful sign for Syria in the event that the Assad regime is eventually toppled.

The full story in Hebrew is posted here: http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-4085326,00.html