In April 2018 17-year-old Roshni (name changed) was raped by a young man from her village in Sunsari District, southeast Nepal, while her parents were away from home. In that lawless part of Nepal, the family sought justice from village leaders. Their “solution” was that since rapist and victim where both single, they should marry. Moreover, Roshni’s father would have to pay a £2,000 dowry to the rapist’s family.
Roshni and her family were under extreme pressure to accept the decision since rape is so stigmatised in Nepal and Roshni’s prospects of marriage with anyone else had dwindled. Reluctantly, her father sold land to raise this vast sum. But on the day of the planned wedding both the rapist and his father absconded.