A Tunisian talk show host is under fire for the incredibly controversial comment of telling a pregnant rape victim that she should marry her alleged attacker to "close the case".
When interviewing a young woman named Hajar, she told him that since age 14 she'd been raped by three family members. Now she is eight months pregnant and was forced to drop out of school at 14 due to poverty. Her fate? She now works on the family farm.
The woman was accompanied by her brother Allala at the interview, and she revealed that she was kicked out of her home because, get this, she was RAPED and IMPREGNATED by her own family member.
If the backward nature of this story hasn't floored you yet, the next piece of the puzzle in the story will.
When her father came out to join the the talk show, the host (yes, the host) said the following:
"Whoever did it should marry her to close the case" and "contain the situation".
BAM. The proof of a man not seeing the ludicrousness of the situation and understanding how sick it is that you would ask a victim to 1) marry a family member and 2) marry one that brutally raped you.
How does this man not see the reality of the situation? Does he view her as a piece of cattle? Or, even worse, a piece of trash that he can crumple up in his hand and throw to the wolves?
My heart breaks for this woman even more because the host went on to indicate that she should have reported her suspected abusers and apologize to her father for being pregnant when not married. He cruelly rubbed in her face, "admit you are at fault".
Admit you are at fault. Five words that will haunt this woman's soul for the rest of her life and more than likely seep into her being, making her believe it is her fault for being raped and becoming pregnant. Five words that translate to "why did you let this happen, you stupid whore".
I am at a loss and exhausted from reading this story, and now reporting about it here. The world should know about it though and the atrocities that are occurring when it comes to how women are viewed across the world.
Thankfully, thousands responded in support of the victim on social media. The Tunisian media regulator has also suspended the show for three months upon ruling it had "violated human dignity".
The host responded by saying he believes his quotes were taken out of context but that he continues to believe that her mistake was in staying silent. He stated, "This is the case of many Tunisian girls who have been raped and did not say anything, silence is the core of this case."
Somehow the last sentence sounds much different than what he told the girl on air, no?