Denmark: Honor used to silence sexually abused Muslim girls

Denmark: Honor used to silence sexually abused Muslim girls

Two points regarding this article:
1. This article breaks with the stereotype that Muslim boys don't rape Muslim girls.  The 'honor' concept could encourage those boys to rape non-Muslim girls specifically, but at the same time, it could be used as a weapon and makes raping Muslim girls much easier.
2. The media had no problems mentioning the victim's religion (Muslim girls), but they're quite careful to note that the perpetrators are "immigrant" boys and men.  The only consequence that I see is that they fix the "immigrant = Muslim" concept quite firmly into every reader's mind.


Young immigrant girls are subjected to rape and other sexual assault by immigrant boys and men who threaten them into silence by saying the girls will being shame on their families because they willingly met with the boy or man.

Social mediator Birgitte Karlsson, who runs  a day institution for youth of immigrant background in Høje Taastrup, says that in a period of three months she met about 15 immigrant girls who were raped or otherwise sexually assaulted by immigrant boys.

"Often the girls chatted with the boys on the internet, after which they set to meet.  But the boys in these cases abused the girls and left them with threats that they will tell the girls' parents that the girls themselves agreed to have sex with them.  And in some immigrant families, having sex before marriage is the worst thing a girl can do. Therefore the girls don't dare tell about the attack," says Birgitte Karlsson.

Nurse Kristina Aamand has for three months worked with sexually abused immigrant girls at the Center for Rape Victims at the Danish national hospital in Copenhagen.  Today she has a private consultancy "Ny mødom" (New Hymen), where every month she support one or more immigrant girls who've been sexually assaulted by immigrant boys.  She herself comes from a Muslim family.

"As a Muslim immigrant girl you're raised that if you have sex before marriage, you're punished by Allah.  Sex before marriage is according to Islam the greatest shame.  There are some boys who you this honor-concept against the girls, since the girls will be considered the guilty ones."

According to Kristina Aaman the ban against having sex before marriage, which regular immigrant girls are exposed to, is a bigger integration problem than individual dramatic cases of so-called honor-murder and forced-marriages.  She says that if an immigrant gir can't decide over her own body, she's unlikely to be a dentist.  "Integrated in Denmark, in any case, she's not."

She calls for acute help and counseling for immigrant girls as well as preventive sexual education on personal limits.  Additionally she think that it's necessary to break with honor-concepts and attitudes to sex before marriage in immigrant families.  But, she says, that would come from the youth themselves.

Source: JP (Danish)

See also:
* Denmark: Muslim women hide rape
* Denmark: Women should stop tempting men
* Netherlands: My cousin raped me, what should I do?

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