28 If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, that is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; 29 then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he hath humbled her; he may not put her away all his days.
In today's (American, at least) culture, the idea of having a woman marry her rapist is utterly ridiculous and reprehensible. In addition, this has been mentioned multiple times in connection to the debate over homosexuality, particularly homosexual marriage, and always in a negative light. (That is a tangential discussion and is only marginally relevant to this question.) However, I have heard that this practice actually protected the woman as she would now have someone legally responsible for her.
So, my question is: what's the point? Why institute this law?