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A marry-your-rapist law , marry-the-rapist law , or rape-marriage law is a rule of rape law in a jurisdiction under which a man who commits rape , sexual assault , statutory rape , abduction or other similar act is exonerated if he marries his female victim , or in some jurisdictions at least offers to marry her. The "marry-your-rapist" law is a legal way for the accused to avoid prosecution or punishment. Although the terms for this phenomenon were only coined in the s,      [ non-primary source needed ] the practice has existed in a number of legal systems in history, and continues to exist in some societies today in various forms. Since the late 20th century, the remaining laws of this type have been increasingly challenged and repealed in a number of countries. The law has been justified as recognition of the cultural value placed upon female virginity at marriage, in which "despoiled girls and women are a source of shame for their families, innocent of wrongdoing though they may be. Advocates for rape-marriage laws argue that they shield the victim and her family from the shame of rape. In a study conducted in Taiwan in August , 35 rape survivors were interviewed to analyze the trauma that was undergone by these women, as well as any sexual shame or anxiety they may have felt as a result of their assault.
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Many people in society do not understand the extent of trauma endured by rape and sexual assault victims. If you do not have visible physical injuries from the assault, friends and family may think you are okay. These are some suggestions you may want to consider to get the practical and emotional support you may need. Depending on what you think is best in your situation, you may do any or all of the following:.