Mauritania: Rape Survivors at Risk

The criminalization of sexual relations outside marriage in Mauritania puts rape survivors at risk. The law deters them from filing complaints because they could themselves face prosecution. Human Rights Watch found that investigative procedures do not ensure privacy or confidentiality, rarely offer the possibility to interact with female officials, and can turn into an investigation of the rape survivor’s moral character. Many survivors have limited access, if any, to legal aid, or medical, mental health, and social support.