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Child Brides

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“Child marriages inflict great harm upon the well-being of women and girls, depriving them of their childhood and education, and at the same time placing them at risk for abuse, disease, and in some instances, death.”
( Ronchetti) Picture this, you’re at the kitchen table and you’re eating with your family and your dad stands up and says your being sold off to a 60 year old man, so your family can pay the bills. Imagine the feeling of anger and horror. You become married to your 60 year old husband. You will never be a teenager again because you are entitled the “wife” now. He orders you to rub his feet but you refuse. Then he smacks you as hard as he can on your head. Now you’re terrified and trembling. You’re alone in this big house filled with a person who’s only intentions is to hurt you. Millions of young girls from the Middle East and Asia from ages 6 and up are taken or forced to leave their house to be put into the house of a strange man. America is working extremely hard to set up organizations to help runaway brides. These organizations set up a safe shelter for the young girls. For example, young girls are being sexually, physically, and emotionally abused and this is beyond unfortunate. Child brides are forced into abusive relationships, enslavement, and sold off like trash.
This is wrong to treat women like this.


Girls are beaten by their older husbands as a punishment. Some reason are not doing what they were told and this could have been prevented if their fathers hadn’t sold them off. Young girls are being cruelty abused by their husbands. According to Time Magazine, a young child bride, who was married off to a Taliban fighter, tried to escape but she was returned home where “ her husband , father-in-law, and brother-in-law with approval of the local mullah (Muslim clergyman)- sliced off her nose and both her ears” (Nordland and Ruben). Girls are being whipped, cut, chained, and beaten to death all by their older husbands. Furthermore, these abrupt attacks can happen in public and the bystanders will go about their day. “Instead, the police officers who found the girls fleeing on a bus sent them back to their home village to be brutally flogged for running away from their husbands. The two girls' fate is nothing unusual in Afghanistan, where marriage of girls under 16 and public flogging—though both illegal—remain widespread”(Yager) These two girls were flogged (publicly whipped) and their agony was videotaped and released by the Afghanistan Independent Rights Commission. People who stand around and watch these gruesome outbursts, show a joy in their pain. How sick can this world get? Other girls stated that they are “routinely beaten, fed rat poison by their husbands, and forced to become suicide bombers” (Yager). If a husband beats or kills his wife , he will just replace her with a new one. Girls ages 8-14 are the most vulnerable states for abuse. Believe me it gets worse. These girls don’t just get beaten for nothing they are pushed in enslavement.


The child brides are being forced to enslavement by their husbands and their husbands families. Child brides are forced to clean, cook, take care of their children and many other needs around the house.“ Child brides also suffer psychologically after being taken from their families, friends, and school, and forced to serve their much older husbands”( Nordland and Rubin). Sometimes when we think of the term “slavery” we think of cooking, working in fields, etc but it could also mean “ slavery was rape, involving violent non-consensual conjugal arrangements”(Sapoznik). Child brides can also be forced into sex-slavery, which is another word for rape. The girls suffer with physical labor as well as sexual labor. Girls are being forced into sex slavery with 60 to 70 year old men and sometimes, if the girl has reached puberty she could become pregnant. Physical labor is vital because someone needs to work and gain money. Unfourtunly these poor countries are loaded with debt.


In most Foreign countries, debt is very common especially with the economy these days. Poor families with younger daughters will actually pay off their debt by selling the girls to men. “ Poverty is usually a factor, either because marrying off a daughter means one less mouth to feed. In some cases, fathers give their daughters away to settle debts” (Nordland and Rubin), Some men depending on the girls looks and talents will pay 50,000 dollars for the girl. These girls are being sold off and shipped off like packages. “Men pay anywhere from RMB20,000 to RMB40,000 (US$2900 to $5800) – or even more – to a broker for a trafficked woman to be their wife, depending on the woman’s looks and age. They even have a wedding ceremony in their village. However, if this happens without the consent of the woman, it is clearly a trafficking case,” (Gaung). Debt is a big problem in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and that is where forced marriages are at the highest. It’s heartbreaking to think that girls my age are being sold of to pay off owed money.


“Victims of forced marriages often experience physical violence, rape, abduction, torture, false imprisonment and enslavement, sexual abuse, mental and emotional abuse, and at times, murder.” (“Forced Marriages”). It might not be the prime time story of the news but it is out there and it’s accumulating. 8 year old girls are marrying 70 year old men. Girls all over the world are being imprisoned and kept in cells in harsh conditions with little food, while some girls in America are complaining about how they didn’t get the right color Juicy bag. I don’t think you could ever escape the haunting memory of being forced into enslavement, being abused daily, and being sold off to pay debt. Appreciate what you have because some girls have to deal torture day in and day out.



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Daydreambeliever57 said...
Aug. 16, 2011 at 5:49 pm
This is really powerful. it's so sad that this happens, and especially to girls that young. What's even sadder is how little people our age know about this.
 
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