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I was reading in an online forum that Judaism advocates that a rapist marry his victim. This sounds so backward and oppressive, and difficult to reconcile with the compassionate Judaism that I know and love. Is what I read accurate?

The Aish Rabbi Replies:

Highly inaccurate. (Are you surprised?)

Judaism takes a strong position against rape, with the Talmud comparing it to murder. As such, Judaism permits one to kill a rapist who is in pursuit of a woman, in order to save her from attack.

Rape of a married woman is a capital crime. (Deuteronomy 22:25)

Rape of a single woman carries a heavy monetary fine, plus the rapist has to pay reparation for embarrassment, damages and emotional anguish. The rapist also incurs lashes. This is all intended as both a deterrent and a punishment. (Deuteronomy 22:28-29)

As regards to what you read, Judaism gives the woman the option of demanding that the rapist marry her. (We can only speculate why she would so desire, but nevertheless it is her exclusive option.)

Feel free to post this response on that online forum.

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