For Nilab, Forced to Marry at Thirteen

too young to wed

This story is written for my relative Nilab, an unlucky girl who was born to family that already had six daughters at home.

Nilab’s parents didn’t want her and sent her to live with her grandparents and aunts. She grew up like a stepchild in their home. She was intelligent, but she attended school only until fourth grade because her aunts had not studied and they were jealous.

Nilab always felt like an outsider in the house. She wasn’t allowed to speak her mind or make decisions. When she was thirteen, the family married her to a man who was already married and had three children.

At the wedding party, Nilab was happy because she thought this was just like childhood play. Sometimes she watched the neighborhood kids having mock wedding parties for two dolls or for a little boy and girl and after an hour everything returned to normal. She didn’t know what it meant to be someone’s life-partner or what kind of relations she would have with her husband.

When the wedding party ended she was taken to her in-laws’ home and fro m the first day of her marriage, her husband and her in-laws wanted her to become a prostitute. On the second day of her marriage, Nilab’s husband came home with a big man. They stood in the yard, talking. She heard the man’s voice and she was scared. Both men came inside the house. They wanted to rape her.

After some days, Nilab planned her escape from her in-laws’ house. Her grandmother’s home was far away but after many difficulties, Nilab returned to her grandmother. Then, because of bad traditions, her grandparents forced her to return to her in-laws’ home.

How unjust is this situation for a child who didn’t know what difficulties lay ahead on the path of life, who didn’t know how to face the challenges?

For her, it was a game of faith, which brought only disaster.

Let’s stand and struggle against such injustice and advocate for Nilab!

Raise your voice
Not because of her
Not because she is woman
But because she is human

Defend her rights
Not because she suffered
Not because she is violated
Just because she is still a child

Support her just for humanity
Protect her just for kindness
Help her because she is a victim of bad customs
She is a victim of forced marriage

By Rabia

Photo by Stephanie Sinclair


Comments

  1. Dear Rabia,
    I don’t have words to express the feelings your story has filled me with. What a tragic, unthinkable fate for innocent young girls … for a human being! Thank you for writing. I can only say that I promise to pray.
    Sincerely,
    Jeannie

  2. I am with Jeannie. I have no good words. I pray for justice, for the pain and suffering that has been inflicted upon this girl, and countless others, is horrific. I pray that she will know peace and happiness that is wondrous, that will wipe away the pain and cruelty of the past. Thank you for being her voice, for sharing her story with us. Stacy

  3. Kat Fitzpatrick says:

    Dear Rabia,
    My heart sinks when I read this, of such tragedy. But your writing and my reading are the first steps to a change is this world. I will pray also, like Stacy and Jeannie, and I will look for ways that I can make a change in this situation. ~Kat

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