Source: Change

In 2014, when she was just 16-years-old, Sudanese national Noura Hussein's father forced her into marrying her cousin.

Child marriage was the first strike. 

After refusing to do so, Hussein fled her home, seeking refuge at her aunt's home on the outskirts of Sudan's capital city Khartoum. 

In 2017, Hussein's father tricked her into coming back and forced her, once again, to be with the man she initially ran away from.

"I told the man right away that he is not allowed to touch me," Hussein told 7D News.

Her husband attempted to engage in sexual intercourse with her but she refused. So, he raped her with the help of a number of men.

Marital rape was the second strike.

"I was shocked by a number of men breaking into the apartment. I later found out they were my husband's relatives," Hussein told 7D News.

"They asked me why I am rejecting intercourse with my husband, then they violently beaten me, then grabbed and held me for him. He violently raped me, while they watched him," she added.

Following another attempt at marital rape, Hussein stabbed her husband to death. Her father gave her in to the police.

An act of self-defense landed Hussein in prison. 

That was strike three.

She spent over a year in Omdurman's prison, the largest women's correctional facility in Sudan.

In April 2018, she was charged with premeditated murder in Sudan. She may face the death penalty.

Hussein's lawyer appealed the decision "in an attempt to save her life," according to AJ+

Soon after Hussein's story went viral, a petition was filed in an attempt to reverse the court's punishment, that is, the death penalty.

The petition, titled "Don't execute Noura for self-defense against the man who raped her!" garnered over 40,000 signatures. 

A verdict on the court sentence, with regards to the death penalty, will take place on May 10. If overturned, Hussein will receive a prison sentence alongside a financial penalty.

An ongoing campaign #JusticeForNoura has gone viral

"Noura Hussein's case needs to be heard"

"The number of male tweets is almost non-existent"

"Where is the humanity?"

"It's time we see marital rape to be a crime"

Marital rape is not considered a crime in Sudan

There is no law in Sudan that acknowledges marital rape. 

"A married woman must obey her husband. If the husband has paid the dowry and if he provides a suitable home, his wife cannot refuse sexual intercourse," Article 91 of the Sudanese Family Law states, according to Dabanga Sudan.

According to Reuters, when a rape crime is reported, it is often seen as "Zina" - the crime of extramarital sex.

In 2015, a new law was introduced in which rape was redefined as "penetrative sexual act involving physical or psychological force."

"In the past the law was confusing and very problematic. In most cases when a woman complained she had been raped she would be tried for adultery," said Hikma Ahmed, a Sudanese lawyer.

"This amendment is very helpful for rape victims or survivors seeking justice, and it is also helpful for us lawyers who are supporting these women in court."

Will marital rape ever be recognized in the country? Will justice be served for Noura and other victims of such heinous crimes? 

Editor's note: On Thursday, a Sharia court in Sudan officially sentenced Hussein to death by hanging. Her lawyers have 15 days to appeal the court ruling, according to Middle East Eye.