The title of this blog post is not a mistake – a plea to pardon the rape victim. A 21-year old Afghan woman, Gulnaz, was raped several years ago by her cousin’s husband. Because her attacker was married at the time of the rape, Gulnaz was accused and jailed for committing adultery. She did not report the incident to police initially because she was scared of backlash from Afghanistan’s conservative population. When she became pregnant with her rapist’s child, she reported the rape to police. In addition to being convicted of committing adultery, she also committed the offense of failing to report the rape quickly enough to law enforcement officials. Gulnaz is currently raising her daughter in prison. She now faces a choice – either continue to serve her sentence or marry her rapist to legitimize her child. On Sunday, a petition was delivered to the palace with a request that the president immediately power Gulnaz. Whether or not the Afghan president decides to grant clemency, an issue still remains. Cases like Gulnaz’s are unfortunately common in Afghanistan. How do we help rape victims in Afghanistan? How do we attempt to have backwards laws in Afghanistan changed?