‘Marrying victim no way out of jail for convicted rapist’

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KUCHING: Offering to marry victims of rape will not prevent convicted rapists from serving their sentences.

In a statement yesterday, the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (KPWKM) stressed that the law is firm in protecting victims, particularly children.

“As the ministry responsible for the protection and welfare of children, KPWKM takes the stance that underage marriages are not encouraged because children should be given the opportunity to reach their full potential.

“Underage marriages could cause physical and mental stress among children involving various aspects such as health, education development and finances,” said the press statement in response to the case of a child rape victim who married her rapist, who is now serving time.

Despite its stance, the ministry said it would respect the wishes of the victim and her family to continue with the marriage in accordance with existing laws.

Under the Islamic Family Law (Federal Territory) Act 1984, marriage for those under the age of 16 is permissible with the approval of the Syariah Court.

In this regard, the ministry is committed to providing the necessary social support such as counselling and regular monitoring of the children and their families.

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