Although Noura’s life has been spared, she has been sentenced to five years in jail for killing her husband after he raped her.
With 1 in 3 girls in Sudan being forced into marriage before the age of 18 – as Noura was – Plan International is strongly urging the Sudanese government to do more to protect all girls in the country from coming to similar harm in the future.
Support for Noura
Dr Collins Sayang, Acting Country Director for Plan International in Sudan, said:
“Although we welcome the news that Noura’s life has been spared, she must be offered support to help her cope with what has happened to her. Rape is an act of horrific violence that causes severe physical, emotional and psychological harm. Harm that can last a lifetime.
“Child marriage and acts of violence such as rape are driven by discriminatory social norms and unequal power dynamics. It is crucial that we do not ever excuse violence against girls and women – violence which includes child marriage and rape within marriage – and we urge the government to take a leading role in overturning the deeply-rooted attitudes that normalise and perpetuate gender-based violence.”
Protect victims of sexual violence
Plan International is calling on the Sudanese government to review the law that allows girls to be married off before they are 18 – in line with the UNCRC and the African Charter – as well as to review the country’s rape law: marital rape is currently not considered to be a crime but it must be treated as such.
In addition, Plan International is calling on the government and other actors to urgently put in place protective measures for victims of sexual violence, including the provision of safe houses, access to emergency contraception, and psychosocial support.