A Rape Victim's Sentence: 200 Lashes or 18 Years?

People are scandalized and gasping in horror at the story of the Saudi woman sentenced to 200 lashes in September for being raped.  The government’s explanation is that she was not sentenced for being raped – rather she was sentenced for sitting in a car with an ex-classmate which violated the segregation of the sexes law.  Worse yet, her sentence was increased from 90 lashes to 200 lashes because her lawyer dared to appeal on her behalf and he ended up being stripped of his law license for his defense of her.

As horrible as that may be, arguably, what happens in the United States is worse. In the USA 32,000 pregnancies resulting from rape and in approximately 30 states the rapist can actually sue for parental rights.  That means, for instance, that your 17-year-old daughter could be tied to her rapist for 18 years through the child he forced her to conceive.

Regardless of her trauma, which she will fight to live with for the rest of her life, she may well be denied the right to an abortion, and worse yet she can be denied the right to have any peace of mind while she raises that child.  She isn’t sentenced to 200 lashes here, but given the choice many women would choose 200 lashes over having to have her rapist in her life until that child is of legal age.  It is emotionally raping her again every time she is forced to see her attacker.

And what about the child?  Does anyone think any child should be forced to have visitation with a man who conceived them by rape?  Can we make worse laws to victimize women for being a woman and unable to fight off a rapist without sentencing them to lashings?


Hall, K. (2013, January 26). Worst States For Pregnant Rape Victims (INFOGRAPHIC). The Huffington Post. Retrieved November 10, 2013, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/26/pregnant-rape-abortion_n_2552183.html

Many States Grant Convicted Rapists Custody Rights; Not Missouri and Arkansas, Due to New Laws. (n.d.). KSMU. Retrieved November 10, 2013, from http://ksmu.org/article/many-states-grant-convicted-rapists-custody-rights-not-missouri-and-arkansas-due-new-67205

Rape victim sentenced 200 lashes by Saudi court. (n.d.). Examiner.com. Retrieved November 10, 2013, from http://www.examiner.com/article/victim-sentenced-200-lashes-by-saudi-court?cid=taboola_inbound

Author: Cheryl Creech

What say you, the people?