Rape victims punished, failed by Maldives justice system

The Maldives court on Tuesday sentenced a 15 year-old girl to 100 lashes and eight months’ house arrest, for having pre-marital sex with a man.

At any given time in the Maldives, thousands of female tourists are on the country’s beaches in bikinis, with their male counterparts. Many of them are straight and gay couples, married or unmarried, enjoying sex on rose petal-covered beds in water bungalows. For them, this chain of islands with white beaches and blue shimmering waters is a short escape to heaven.

While they enjoy a piece of paradise on a luxury resort vacation, just a few miles away 300,000 locals face the grim reality of a struggling democracy and increasingly radicalised interpretation of Islam.

Women and girls are bearing the brunt of this. Calling it sheer hypocrisy would be a gross understatement.

The 15 year-old girl  is from Feydhoo island in Shaviyani Atoll, one of the 200 remote islands in the country with less than a thousand inhabitants. She was arrested last year on the island, when police discovered a dead newborn buried in an outdoor shower area in the yard of the house. The investigation uncovered a disturbing yet common reality in the capital and isolated islands of Maldives: sexual abuse.

The girl’s stepfather had been raping her for years. Her mother assisted this gruesome abuse by turning a blind eye and deaf ear to her pain and cries. When the girl became pregnant as a result of rape, they pulled her out of school afraid that the community would find out the family’s dark secret. They waited patiently for nine months, and killed and buried the newborn after delivery.

Soon after the baby’s body was dug up, the parents were arrested and charged with murder and abuse of a minor.

While any authority with professionalism and common sense would be expected to protect a child who has suffered such horrifying abuse and provide help of a psychologist, the Maldives police and prosecutors had a different plan.

On the contrary, the girl was arrested, interrogated and charged with fornication within a few months by the authorities. They claimed that she had confessed to having consensual sex with another man – not the stepfather. The identity of this man, who has not stood up, been found, arrested or charged to this date, remains a mystery.

And yesterday, despite the ongoing debates challenging the legitimacy in pursuing fornication charges against victims of child sexual abuse, the court issued its ruling to flog the girl 100 times. A conviction against her abusive step father, and neglectful mother is still pending.

This case is just the latest in a series of unashamed attempts by the Maldivian Sharia-Common Law based judicial system to punish sexual abuse victims, instead of providing protection and justice.

While, several in and outside the country are taking to the social media to condemn this ruling as morally wrong, cruel, degrading, and a violation of human rights and protection guaranteed to children and victims of sexual abuse under national and international laws, the police who arrested her, the PG office that charged her and the court which sentenced her have not even flinched.

In fact, shortly after reversing its decision to withdraw the fornication charges, the Prosecutor General stated that they have found “no substantial reason to withdraw the charges” and allowed the trial to continue. They repeatedly emphasised the case is “unrelated to the rape”. Furthermore, both the PG and courts repeatedly defended the decision in media, claiming that there is nothing illegal or wrong in this case.

Under Sharia Law, both men and women – adult and children alike – can be punished with 100 lashes and house arrest if they are found guilty of having pre marital sex or adultery. Of course, the tourists are exempted – they are free to have sex, eat pork or drink alcohol as much as they wish, on islands designated as “uninhabited”.

Flogging is the one remaining Islamic Sharia penalties that continues to be practiced in Maldives, despite the century old moratorium on other Shaira penalties such as stoning, capital punishment and cutting off hands. UN Human Right’s Commissioner Navi Pillay and other international organisation’s calls for the moratorium of flogging have been rejected by current and past governments, amid mass protests from conservative factions of society.

As with any other Sharia offence, fornication is only proved with a confession or four witnesses. Notably, ninety percent of those flogged are women, accordig to the 2011 Judicial statistics report. It revealed that out of the 129 sentenced to 100 lashes, 11 were minors – 10 girls and one boy.

However, in 2010, the parliament passed a legislation to prevent corporal punishment  of children in sexual related offences and provide stringent punishments for child abusers, as a response to curb the widespread cases of incest and child molestation in the Maldives: one in seven children is reported to be a victim of sexual abuse. The legislation for the first time paved an easy road for the prosecution of child sexual abuse cases by reducing the Sharia-based burden of proof, which otherwise makes it impossible to prove the sexual offences without a confession or four witnesses.

This legislation, as part of the common law practiced alongside Sharia, set the precedent that no child below 13 can consent to sex and that any sexual relations will be deemed as child abuse. The same law also adds in clause 25 that no child between 13 – 17 can consent to sex either ,”unless proven otherwise”.

It must be noted that hundreds of children have been protected under this law, and several child rapists and abusers have been put behind bars for decades since it came into effect. However, in this specific case, the authorities report that the girl confessed to having consensual sexual relations, and that therefore it cannot be treated as a case of abuse.

But what is highly questionable is the failure by the state to provide a motive that can justify pressing charges against an abused victim, especially a child, with utter disregard to the mental trauma she has suffered in an endless cycle of abuse.

In the past, the court had sentenced a man for abusing a 16 year-old girl. However, the same girl was sentenced to 100 lashes and house arrest after being found guilty of confessing to having consensual sex with the same man who was found to have abused her. This conflicting ruling, stands out as clear evidence that fornication charges against minors in sexual abuse cases are being pursued by authorities, simply because its legally possible to do so with a confession, regardless of whether the victim is abused or not.

In the face of growing international pressure over such incidents, the government claimed in media that it would review and “correct” laws that victimise young women and minors who have suffered sexual abuse. However, no information was made public of any such attempts apart from this public condemnation.

Another issue worth noting is also the significantly low rape convictions in cases where the rape victim is an adult. Annual judicial statistics report show that in past three years, zero cases of rape have reached a positive verdict. This year alone, three rape cases have been reported,while 1 in 3 women aged between 15 – 49 are found to be victim of physical or sexual abuse – a statistic that is a reminder of a justice system that is failing women in every way possible.

According to Human Rights Lawyer Mohamed Anil, rape is defined as ‘forced fornication’ in the currently practiced outdated laws. The aforementioned legislation provides special provisions in child abuse cases, however, he explained, rape and sexual assault victims aged 18 or above, are denied justice because of the Sharia’s burden of proof – confession of the rapist or four male witnesses – is required to prove fornication, whether forced or consensual.

A state prosecutor once commented that proving rape is “next to impossible” despite the most prudent investigations, because the only two kinds of admissible evidence is never available. Both lawyers have said that this cannot be changed unless the amended penal code – which includes rape as an offence-  is passed by the parliament, where it had been stuck for more than half a decade.

Alternatively, the parliament could pass the sexual offences bill submitted by MP Mohamed Nasheed. This bill defines actions to be taken against specific types of sexual offences, including rape, spousal rape, prostitution, sexual trafficking, bestiality and incest etc. While submitting the bill, Nasheed echoed the immense need for an updated legislation to deal with the modern day sexual offences to bridge the shortcomings, especially related to proof and evidence and leniency in the current legal structure.

Meanwhile, in recent years reports of infanticide and baby dumping have increased to alarming levels, as women and underage girls – including those who become pregnant as a consequence of rape – are forced to take desperate measures, such as self-induced abortions, infanticide or leaving babies abandoned. Such was the case with the 15 year old girl in question.

With an unforgiving system and laws stating that is a punishable offence to give birth outside of marriage, driven by a thirst to punish the victims rather than protect them, victims find themselves alone, helpless and forced to remain silent.

These are just a small fraction of the many deep-rooted gender issues in the justice system of Maldives, that ripple outward from the branches of justice system into the entire society.

In her recent visit to Maldives, UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers issued a statement in which she commented “all members of the justice system should be sensitised to gender equality and women’s rights to make access to justice a reality for women in the Maldives.”

She also also expressed concern over low representation of women in the judiciary. There are currently no women sitting on the Supreme Court and only eight women sitting in the High Court, the Superior Courts and the Magistrate Courts. It is arguable that the gender issues in the system are arising due to lack of a diverse representation in the court benches and decision-making bodies.

When women and girls are stripped off their dignity and rights for having sex or being raped, it is not an issue that can be simply ignored. Meaningful action is needed by the authorities to remove the gender issues through legal and structural reforms, and prevent the culture of impunity currently enjoyed by sadistic perpetrators such as rapists and child molesters.


115 thoughts on “Rape victims punished, failed by Maldives justice system”

  1. I do not understand why everyone is so adamant in criticizing the Sharia law here! but this is a case of neglect by the parents and the society but if the girl wants to be punished for her own sins on her own terms then just give her the chance!why all the ranting??!!

    you really believe the west had brought justice to women!! check out their pubs and discos where every women is an object of sex craving and slavery and they do all of this for just a few bucks??? west and their globalized thinking ehh??!!

  2. @ UH Dho
    Lets put the rights and wrongs of this case aside. You just have your own idea of what happened based on flawed and biased news you have read from lots of sources far away from this country. I live in this country and i just happen to know why this case was blown out of all proportions by media just for political scoring. Lemme give you a line.
    Minivan is defacto MDP mouthpiece, and MDP has been calling for abolishion of our judiciary for quite some time now. The reasons they give (most of them) are truthful. There is something seriously very wrong in our judiciary. But they (MDP) needed to convince the world this point, and this particular case was just the line they need to convince the doubters using international media. So this is not about a minor, or a sharia or a rape or a murder. They do not care about any of these things. For them all they need to win the next election is the judiciary to be abolished, at whatever cost.
    (Not sure this analysis will pass the minivan thought police censors)

  3. human being- I live in Maldives. And I don't care what news source you prefer. Sex with a minor is rape. Not punishing the adult because he is a man is wrong.

  4. Maldives has become MAD. Or should I say it was always mad, only that it is becoming more visible by the days passing. These people are such lowly, claiming to be literate but in fact a disgrace on the name of intellect, crime & drug abuse prone society that if you go & see them from nearby, you are going to hate the system like anything. There is no system at place. Only might is right way of living. And Maldivian men are crushing women like as if they want to make women their slaves.

  5. When the psychological assessment report concluded she was a psychologically traumatized girl this verdict should not be reached. This shows how low the judges in this country understand Islamic Sharia and other relevant laws of this country.

  6. Dear Commenters,
    abused child is interviewed by police in god knows what fashion without moral support from anyone and confesses to something - that's not confession, it's mental and possibly physical torture and pressure under which she cracked and said something. Any such 'confession' would not be admissible evidence of anything in any court in the West. It's not evidence. It's not about 'is she a sinner', it's about how rubbish a justice system you're prepared to tolerate. Justice only happens if you find out the truth. If anything a terrified child squeals under pressure counts as 'proven truth', you don't have a justice system, you have an injustice system. I thought Islam took the same view.

  7. NB it is important to add, i assume she 'confessed' something the police told her to say, due to their views of women, sexuality etc. Is not probability on the side of this argument? If Islam is concerned with justice, it has to be concerned with truth, not parrot any old lies.

  8. This is the problem with states instituting outdated, obsolete, stagnant laws and policies like Sharia in Islam, and other practices that goes back to the middle ages in any part of the world. I daresay it is because of this Sharia that allowed the perverted stepfather to rape the girl thinking that he can get away with it, because he feels superior than women, that he can always control them. This mentality is viral in these islands that people tolerate offenses such as this. This ignorant, stagnant religion has always shaped the attitudes of its followers like most ancient religions did, never evolving, reforming, progressing naturally for that matter. Instances like pedophilic Catholic priests, blood thirsty Sunni extremists in Pakistan, homophobic religious authorities. Stagnant religious practice has always been key to the evils in this world.

  9. This monstrous thing is far worse than the one in central europe, (Austria, if im not mistaken) where a father raped her own daughter and jailed her in the basement of their house. Due to the fact that not only is the stepfather/rapist doing the damage here, but also the entire justice system in Maldives are punishing the already damaged victim. This sharia law is probably the only medieval system of law that hasn't evolved or progressed, it remains stagnant. It bred blind hatred to it adherents. And most muslims are very defensive when their fellow muslims are oppressed, like in Burma and Israel, but they become blind and mute when sunni extremists obliterate Shia villages in Pakistan and the Kurdish groups in iraq (who are also muslim- but moderate).

    These religious muslims pray for Gaza, and seek support for the oppressed in Burma, in Facebook and other social media, but when their fellow muslim are the oppressors, like in Pakistan, killing shiite families who are unable to defend themselves, they never mutter a word. They are as monstrous as the evil spirits in their quran.

  10. The sexual abuse/rape/domestic violence statistics in the UK are almost as bad. 28 percent of women here will be beaten by their husbands.

    In autumn 1999 the results of a survey of 2000 young people in scotland and northern ireland was published (zero tolerance- attitudes survey)One in five young men think its OK to force your wife to have sex. One in six said that rape was oK if she'd slept with lots of men. One in ten said rape was OK if a man was so turned on he could not stop. One in six said that they personally might force a woman to have sex with them. One in ten said they would rape if 'nobody would find out'. And whats more, one in three women thought that in certain circumstances is is ok for a man to force a woman to have sex.

    It is not religion that is the problem per se. Civilisation treats women disgustingly, and then religions reflect these attitudes. There are compassionate approaches and interpretations of both Christianity and Islam - eg Catharism or sufism - interestingly these versions of these religions were heavily persecuted - many cathars were thrown to the lions or burnt en mass in France, at the same time the witch hunts were taking place. The council of nicea (a load of powerful men) banned the gospels written by women and chose the ones that suited them for the current version of the Bible.

    A dispatches programme pointed out that out of every 100 rapes, 20 get as far as court, and only 6 men get convicted. Under reporting of rape is huge due to victim blaming and shaming. The british crime survey found that an incredible 34 women are raped in britain every day. Almost half of these are by a partner.
    Our culture has nothing to boast about.

    Industrial civilisation encourages clinically narcissistic attitudes where those in power treat everything around them as an object to be used and thrown away. Women the earth, animals, water, air, other people. Resulting for example in waste land, waste water, nuclear waste, fracking, waste people (the prison system is a growth economy). We must find the courage to challenge this system and instead create systems based on respectful relationship with everthing and everyone around us.

  11. TWICE Tripadvisor has censored details of this abuse of a young girl by her rapist(s) and then by the Maldives Government. Maybe if ALL tourists boycotted this GFP (God-forsaken place), that is hit the country hard in the tourist pocket, then maybe, just maybe, the Government might abandoned the abusive, anti-women, primitive concept of what they call Sharia Law. Until then I will certainly NOT be visiting that hateful country.

  12. I am a moderate Muslim convert who believes that NO religion can or should be taken LITERALLY, especially when its laws were written in the 6th century. Sharia law is vast & covers a heck of a lot more than sexual morality & theft. But its 6h century attitudes towards these 2 areas need to be left in the 6th century. This poor girl needs humane modern 21st century protections & until more Muslims like Ibrahim Mohammed stand up & call the sexual abuse of minors SICK (& the continued imbecilic 6th century legal treatment of sexual abuse victims), the Muslim world will continue to stagnate & be looked down upon by the nonMuslim world. Come on fellow Muslims, not everything in Islam is perfect! Religions HELP us to reach God and should NOT be treated as an end unto themselves! Human Being is a moron!

  13. In the 6th century in England flogging was routine in judicial punishments. Guess what fellow Muslims? The nonMuslim world has progressed since then! It's about time the Muslim world catches up. For nonMuslims, idiots like Human Being are always indignant when nonMuslims point out how poorly treated Muslim women are in Muslim countries b/c for the Arabian peninsula in the 6th century, Sharia law was revolutionary in improving women's lot. So they think that it still is better! LOL! :-))) The nonMuslim world progressed waaayyyyy past the 6th century a long time ago! Women in Muslim countries generally speaking have far fewer rights & have a far lower status than their sisters in the nonMuslim world. Idiots like Human Being need to wake up!

  14. Some Muslim men sound more and more like monsters with an undisciplined appetite for sex and don't care where or who they get it from. This mother probably fears for her own life and had to pretend to be on his side. Her heart is hurting more than anyone of us can ever understand while being quiet and at the same time trying to maintain respect for the family. The so called Law Makers don't even seem to know what Real Justice IS and who really committed a crime.

  15. Am I surprised at all this? Not at all,because don't forget ,in Islam/sharia laws that goes,especially when it come to women. Westerner MUST boycott visiting Maldives for good.It is your money which is funding Islam's barbarity there to certain extent.

  16. moz on Thu. I could have NOT said any better.You are 100% right.When you say ''And most muslims are very defensive when their fellow muslims are oppressed, like in Burma and Israel, but they become mute when Sunni.....They are as monstrous as the evil spirits in their quran " .You are so right, Quran is full of hate towards non believers, Sharia laws discriminate towards muslim women.

  17. I have just written to the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs and to our Australian Broadcasting Corporation asking for the consideration of sanctions and professional media publicity respectively about this outrage and this Maldivian state of affairs. Thank you Avaaz for letting me know.

  18. People who hate Islam over individual cases like these are really in line with neo-nazis and their brainwashed propaganda. I am disgusted by some islamophobic comments. You cannot condemn one large population of more than billion men based on cases like these.

    I completely condemn this man, and all the others who have ever harmed any child in the world, regardless of their religion, culture or race. Dividing people in such way is something Hitler did, and seeing these comments really give me a wake-up call that I'm actually living in a world that is utterly divided and filled with hate.

    Have you got any idea that your insults will not do a favor to anyone?

    This young child needs protection, not only from the corrupt system, but from the corrupt society. In its essence, Islam is one of the most beautiful things that have ever happened on this Earth, and by no coincidence has Renaissance occured in Europe; it was largely, if not completely inspired by the teachings of medieval Islamic scholars who have continued the studies of the Ancient Greeks, therefore broadening the limited knowledge of Europeans who were literally living in dark ages.

    I won't bother and start debates about history here, but all I am saying is that no one should ever condemn a whole nation or a whole billion of people simply because of a few monstrosities that happened in a corrupt society.

    How many rape cases happen in USA? In UK? How many death penalties, drug problems and gang wars occur in the western world? If I started judging every American or Western European based on what the others from their neighborhood have done, I'd end up hating half the globe!

    So, you guys need to re-think your views, because at the moment, the way you're treating this issue is beyond logic and beyond sanity.

    This girl needs help, and I am more than supportive of prosecuting and pushing the president to give protection to the poor girl, but not through a global campaign that has anti-islam propaganda as its main goal, thus using the poor girl as a tool to increase islamophobia even further.

  19. I am deeply sorry for the girl.
    for being born in the society of some barbarians.

    There is similar incident, an young Indian computer teacher who went there to teach got brutally raped.
    The doctors were unable to control her bleeding.
    There is no single word on who the culprits are.

    I am not against any religion, in fact I hate religion for the crimes conduct all over the world in the name of religion.

    Those holy books teach these barbarians

    * It is a sin to feel an orgasm without a woman.

    * It is a sing to waste human sperm

    Ultimately they do not know self satisfaction methods.
    They will rape own daughters, sisters any one vulnerable.

    For humanity sake I sincerely urge those blind followers of religion and holy books.

    They were written when humans are hunting animals, when humans were not much than a animal.

    Please use your brains, make love to only the willing females.
    Do not do not torture females, one day it might destroy whole human race.

    Love and peace.
    A sincere well wisher of mankind.

  20. I pray to subatomic particles to save us from the false religions, particularly the one that was invented in 7th century.

  21. What a sick country this is, im surprised no one has done anything about this. This is a horrible crime to little children, do they not know the value of women and children in this country.

  22. It is amazing that the population does not feel ashamed and even stands up in big mass protests against such atrocities. Do not just blame the national government but also the people who let such matters pass.
    I hope the stepfather gets his deserved punishment

  23. Must stop the abuse of women and girls while our sisters and mothers of tomorrow need to punish the rapists, violent men and Hfidophilim.

  24. You can sign this to stop then punishing her! I hope it works:


  25. Sadism after sex rap humiliate women who are just for enjoy.then punish her because is wick and scare shame to the criminals

  26. this is cruel and has to be stopped. law has to be adjusted right now.
    and: freedom of religion, yes of course. but for each and every one! also for this girl, and ask her, if she wants to get the lashes!
    dont make your believe the believe of other, by violence!
    and please every one, be brave enough to stand up against cruelty unfair treatment!

    good luck, people of the maldives from vienna, austria.

  27. She is a helpless child, you have to protect her and give her love, no punishment.
    Punish the human being, the man, who has done the act with a smaller child.
    He is the real culprit and did this cruel act against her will.
    Change the laws again women for the future, because women are inferiored in their strength and cannot stand upon one's defence.
    I am deeply shocked to read about this poor child, oh my God.....also God is so sad.

  28. This poor child will be extremely traumatised buy the events of her tragic life. She deserves help to heal NOT further harmful punishment for others abuse of her. In the very unlikely event she consented to sex with anyone, there is no doubt the person asking for sex is still abusing a severely traumatised child. She is not responsible for what has happened to her, she is a child and anyone dealing her should bear in mind the severe trauma hanging heavily over her. How very sad that she has been and is continually denied innocent love and tenderness. She should be getting long term appropriate help to begin on the pathway to healing her deep wounds.
    It's barbaric to consider punishing her for others crimes.
    If men are brought up to behave as bullish brutes they will be bullish brutes. If they are brought up knowing their women victims will be punished instead of them, there is no incentive to behave with respect towards any woman. If their religion and courts actually promote and support such behaviour then something is very wrong indeed.
    How would anyone outside this sect be able to admire their justice system then want to promote it as fair and become part of it baffles me completely.
    I would never holiday in the Maldives or spend my money there to support such an unfair uncharitable regime that actively promotes extreme cruelty and violence especially towards both children and women.

  29. In order for anti-muslim sentiment and gross generalization to end, moderate muslims must stand up against the radical elements which are so prevelant in our world today. The perception so blatantly present which shows a disregard for human life and a religious fenaticism that condones acts of violence in the name of Jihad or religious law, must be faught by the defenders of the good within this religion. The problem often appears that governments in many predominantly muslim countries do not support free speech. Those muslims in free speech countries must speak up in support of moderation or be perceived to support what is so often transpiring in the name of the religion they love.

  30. I just knocked of Maldives from my trip list, till the gouvernment corrects this grave and shamefull Law situation.

    No encouragements for this kind of cruelty and non-sense from my part.

    May this young victim receive the psychological support and compensation she deserves for going through so much suffering in her so many days of her young life in the midst of this horrific legal abandonment and condemnation for being a victim.

    Unbeleivalble! Just plain and simply unbeleivable...

  31. Punish the rapist!
    Save the victim and probably all the many other hidden victims of this rapist.

  32. Perhaps the people should whip the President and political elite [100 lashes each] for their total disregard for women and a justice system from the Dark Ages. The best way to get the president and political elite is to cancel you holiday plans to the Maldives. There are many other wonderful places to visit and enjoy. Like save the tiger campaign and other campaigns it is time to focus on humans and rally behind a "save women and victims of rape in Maldives" campaign.

  33. Doesn't matter what she did, where shes from or what religion she is or what religion her prosecutors are. No 15 year old deserves to be flogged.

  34. Us Westerners (or any decent people, muslims included) should take a simple step: let's boycott the Maldives as a tourist destination. I'm forwarding this article to all my family, friends and acquaintances in the US, in France, England and several other Western countries and elsewhere. I know all of them will most definitely agree with me that we have to shun this barbaric place if nothing is done to changes these sadistic laws and medieval punishment. They'll forward it too. Let's please all do the same, let's not read and forget as we so often do...

  35. Religion aside, and Although she is not being flogged for being raped for years, and having her so called parents murder her baby. I doubt after all that she knows what is right or wrong, as her so called parents failed her. Therefore I doubt if she knew what consensual sex was.. Or if it was wrong outside marriage with this cowardly hiding man ( and i say man in a loose sense) as her so called parents have brought her up with the notion it's ok! So with all that in mind, and the fact she told the police what she had done too.
    What on earth is the problem. . .?
    A minor was raped, had her baby murdered by the people she trusted, and is meant to be guided by. We are told she stated she had consensual sex but we know deep down after all she has been through ... is she of sound mind on this point? But due to the law, which failed to protect her she is to be flogged for her sin?
    It's appalling , disgusting tragedy!
    Wake up world and protect these young minors.

  36. To the self-appointed "government and judiciary" of the Maldives. Have you heard about common sense? Rape is rape, rape is not consensual sex, why is she even on trial?
    And by the way, if it was consensual sex, is none of you freaking business.
    I'll make sure everyone knows that child rape victims are tortured by your government and I will make sure no one visit your god awful country.

  37. From Ann Connue –
    “Someone please explain to “human being” that a child who has been sexually abused has undergone extreme mental TRAUMA. It is established that children who are exposed to this kind of abuse do not have normal sexual behavior. She may have been promiscuous because this is what feels comfortable to her. She is a victim, and this punishment is completely out of line.”

    Reply – Gladly! It's just that “comfortable” is not the word I would use to describe it. Please read on...

    From human being –
    “Me thinks most of the readers on this thread has a problem of comprehension. This girl was not prosecuted for RAPE, but for another bout of sex with another person. Don’t tell me 15 year old women don’t crave sex. My science teacher (He was an atheist) told me human were most sexually active this time. So going in circles about this female underage victim and blah blah doesn’t work. Fact speak for themselves. Sure there are others who shall be punished for sex and murder in related to this girl. But this one instance she was sentenced for a crime she committed with her boy-friend.”

    Reply – How old is this supposed “boy-friend”? If he is over the age of 18, it is statutory rape regardless of how consensual it supposedly was, because at age 15, she is still a child while he is an adult. Yes, it is normal for 15 year old girls to be curious about sex, even feel a craving for it, but after a girl has been sexually abused, curiosity is replaced by fear, craving is replaced by confusion. Read on...

    As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse myself, it took me close to 20 years of therapy to recover from the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder it caused. Even to this day, I still sometimes do more therapy work, as needed.

    If this girl is anything at all like most survivors, then she's probably been so traumatized from the abuse, not to mention the murder of her newborn baby, that even if she were a full-fledged adult, I seriously doubt the validity of her confessions, because she is not of sound mind in the first place. This girl is in dire need of help and healing. If you absolutely feel she must be sentenced at all, then sentence her to therapy, not flogging!

    Those who pass judgment on her, or agree with her punishment, need to learn more about the dynamics of sexual abuse, especially childhood sexual abuse. Besides, what happened to your compassion, that you would condone such inhumane, barbaric punishments?

    Sexual abuse differs from rape. Both are equally heinous. Both are motivated by a compelling desire for total power over another person. In rape, the perpetrator desires power over another person by using sex as a weapon. In sexual abuse, however, the perpetrator desires power over another person by controlling their sexual behavior. Although force may sometimes be used, this is most effectively achieved through psychological manipulation. Because of their innocence and naivety, children are particularly easy to manipulate, and some perpetrators are driven by the desire to be the first to groom another person's entire sexual identity, to shape it from the very beginning.

    If you grow up hearing men tell you, time and again, how it's all your fault they can't keep their hands off you, hearing men tell you, time and again, “Relax baby, you know you really want this too,” eventually you believe it's true. It's like being brainwashed. After years of being treated like a sex slave for men's lustful pleasures, eventually you believe that's all you are good for and behave accordingly. Sooner or later, you also learn that the more you go along with it, the less it hurts, and you become complacent, compliant.

    Like master puppeteers, abusers know precisely how to pull all your strings to get you to do exactly what they want. Consent by manipulation is not the same as consent of your own free will, but by pulling the right strings, not only can they get you to believe you consented, they can even sometimes get you to believe it was your idea!

    Sympathizing with the abuser, or Stockholm Syndrome (also called Betrayal Bonding), is actually a quite common phenomenon in sexual abuse, both among victims (which would explain why she believes she deserves her punishment), and their mothers too, who are frequently survivors of childhood sexual abuse themselves (which would also explain the inappropriate behavior of her mother). It's also quite common for sexual abuse to be passed down through families for generations. Sons grow up to be abusers themselves, and daughters grow up to marry abusers. My own family was no exception to this trend.

    In addition, many of us also learned to compartmentalize, or dissociate, as a means of coping through the worst of it. This is a common symptom of both Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Stockholm Syndrome. If you can't physically get away from it, and resistance is futile, what else are you gonna do to keep from going completely insane?

    Compartmentalization is the mildest form of dissociation. Dissociation is a psychological defense mechanism in which specific thoughts, emotions, or physical sensations are separated from the rest of the psyche, a perceived detachment of the mind from the emotional state or even from the body. It works like this: a small part of your mind takes all the abuse, while the rest of the mind is quarantined and remembers something different, like a dream. Then, during normal times, the rest of your mind is active, and the abused part is quarantined. Depending on the severity and duration of the abuse, alternate personalities may develop around the abused parts. This is called Dissociative Identity Disorder, the most severe form of dissociation.

    Even after you grow up, you tend to interact with other men like how you did with your abusers, because you don't know any other way of relating to men. You were taught to have no boundaries, and this makes it very easy for other men, especially older men, to take advantage of you. After your abuser's foundation of psychological manipulation has been built, it's easy for any man to start building where he left off, and the manipulation continues.

    It feels like being like a deer staring into the headlights. You know the sex is racing towards you like a car. You know they're just going to use you. But you've lost the ability to flee, or fight, or do anything else besides accept the inevitable. Even in marriage, I felt like another piece of me still died whenever I had sex. Even under the best, most loving of circumstances. Even after thousands of hours of therapy. Eventually I just couldn't do it anymore, and I realized the best way for me to heal was to embrace a life of elective celibacy. This deer decided it's best to avoid the road altogether, and I finally for the first time in my life, began to truly feel at peace.

    I'm not saying all this is what's going on with this girl, only a qualified psychologist can make that determination. But given what I've personally experienced, combined with the testimonies of other survivors in my therapy groups, I would not be at all surprised. Although psychology is gridlocked in a debate over some aspects, one thing is very clear in all the research, childhood sexual abuse profoundly impacts how the growing mind develops. So have some compassion, put the whips and chains away, and get this girl, and all the other girls like her some real help!

  38. this is stupid and this is children abuse she is a kids what in hell give any court the right to to hit her this is children abuse in our country the courts does not hit children for a 15 year old girl to have sex is wrong but what in hell gives this court right to hit her at all house arrest is okay but she is still a kid. yes so punishment this girl that step father has abuse what the hell is wrong with you people. God will punish you for this and I will pray that he does. this is wrong very very wrong. someone need to put a stop to this.

    A 15-YEAR OLD GIRL IS TOO YOUNG TO GIVE CONSENT — that is the case in most CIVILIZED countries. What an abominable law! Shariah law should be outlawed–it is uncivilized, repugnant, and downright EVIL!

  39. I was going to stay a few days in Male / Maldives whilst in Sri Lanka next week. Certainly not now. I will be letting everyboby I come across know how this country treats it's youth and female population.
    And they seek approval from the western world for thier barbaric rituals.
    Who can think of other animals/insects that destroy their young....spiders?
    Anybody add to the list (aside from Maldive judges)???

  40. Dear Human Being, (I assume you are being ironical in choosing your moniker) whatever your primitive and backward views on sexual relations surely no one deserves to be be flogged 100 hundred times no matter what their crime and least of all a 13-year old child. Whether or not this poor girl is being punished for having "consensual sex outside marriage" or simply for having being the victim of rape is immaterial for the civilised, I repeat, civilised world will look on with horror and revulsion should this sentence actually be carried out. Any system of law be it called sharia or whatever or any religion that condones and upholds such barbaric treatment of human beings is to be thoroughly despised.

  41. Human being as you call yourself are simply put not 1 with your beliefs in right & wrong, whether the girl grew up under this stone age law designed by so called men is immaterial.
    fact , she was underage, fact she was raped over a long period.
    FACT number of recorded convictions for the last 3 years in your land, zero.
    do you honestly expect anyone to believe that these girls admitted freely they had any form of consensual sex other than being forced into admitting that by your MALE RUN courts & police
    SHAME on you & any other creature defending this BS.
    FACT sharia law was designed by lowlife men who use stone age mentality to force others to there ways.

  42. OMG!What a shame for a country like Maldives!!It claims itself to be paradise. Poor girl!Poor girl to belong to a family like this. May be the mum didnt had a word but if i was her i would rather die than seeing my own child being treated like this. Shame!!!

  43. Would the Maldivian mullahs so imposed this barberic sentence from equally barberic law system impose the flogging if their daughter was raped?

  44. Hello!

    As a Dutch journalist I read this article and all comments with ashtonishmnent. The international attention for this absurdly cruel legal practises causes extra negative feelings about the Islam and its Shari'a. For most Dutch 'the Maldives' sounds like Paradise on Earth. This case is doing no good to that beautiful image. Hell on Earth for girls and women, I 'd say.

  45. I really tried hard to read all comments , but got frustrated on the half. Couldn't read the rest. What is wrong with You people? The girl is a 14 year old child. Does it matters did she agreed to have sex with other man? Did she had any chance to fight her stepfather? Does she deserve to be punished for whatever reason any more?
    I have a daughter about her age. If someone would rape her, I would break his legs and arms, and would set him on fire with 2 gallons of gasoline , and watch.
    Her stepfather should take care of her instead of abusing her. So Islam or no Islam, here all failed in protecting a young child.Period.

  46. Sharia is a barbaric system of law that hurts those least able to defend themselves: women and children. To any civilized country in today's world, it's a relic from the stone age. Many Muslim countries still rely on this atrocity but they have not been alone. Look at Leviticus in the Old Testament to see how the Jews treated any who stepped out of line. Not pretty, but at least that was two or three thousand years ago. Most countries have come a long way since then, but not all, sadly. Some still rule with rocks, in their hands and heads.

  47. This is outrageous, this girl is a child.

    Under what law or moral concious is a minor ever to be punished for this and based on a religion which has persecuted women for centuries.

    Boycot the Maldives and pass this story onto your friends and family, as by going their as a tourist you will be condoning this appalling human rights abuse of women and children by men in the name of a religion which is written by them to serve them!


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