"The color white does not cover rape"
A young woman struggles to get off the ground, her body covered in dark blue and red bruises.
She has been raped.
As she moves around in pain, white gauze pads are placed on bruised parts of her body, until her whole body is covered in white tissue.
The white gauze resembles a wedding dress. If she marries her rapist, the crime charges will be dropped. This is the law rape victims in Lebanon have to live with.
ABAAD, a MENA based non-profit organization, has released its latest video campaign in an effort to raise awareness about rape laws in the country.
Article 522 of the Lebanese penal code exonerates the rapist if he or she marries the victim. The video calls for abolishing this law once and for all.
The campaigners made an appearance at the House of Parliament Wednesday morning, in an effort to encourage lawmakers to abolish the law.
Lebanese MP Ghassan Moukheiber said the parliament has been working to put forward an amendment to the article. But, ABAAD rejects any modification to Article 522, demanding the law be abolished altogether.
Article 522 does not only cover cases of rape. It applies to cases of sex with a minor, molestation of children, sexual harassment of children, exploitation of someone in a less powerful position and kidnapping of women or girls.
Whatever the case, the law dismisses all charges if marriage takes place. And no, it doesn't matter if the victim is a minor.
In Lebanon, more than 13 percent of girls get married before they’re 18. Civil laws do not govern marriage, meaning a couple can only wed under religious laws. This allows child marriage to remain legal.
Lebanese NGO KAFA has long been fighting to change this reality.