15-year-old girl forced to marry 32-year-old man: The life of Bangladeshi child brides can be full of violence and abuse
Weddings are supposed to be one of the most memorable moments in a woman's lifetime. But for 15-year-old Nasoin Akhter it was nothing but loneliness.
MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Akhter was coerced into marriage with a 32-year-old man. In her wedding photographs, Akhter couldn't look any more bereft and scared as she was getting ready for the ceremony in Manikganj, near the capital Dhaka.
Unfortunately, the poor girl is only one among many victims of child marriages in Bangladesh, as the country also maintains the highest rates of child marriages in the world. Cultural tradition and poverty are the foremost reasons for child marriages.
The age differences between spouses pose a major risk factor for violence and sexual abuse. In these types of marriages, larger dowries are not required for young girls and women's earnings are insignificant, compared to their spouses'.
It was reported that a young, female Bangladeshi suffered dreadful burns after she was forced to swallow acid, because her father could not pay her dowry.
Ripa Rani Pandit was left with permanent facial scars, internal injuries and a lifetime of trauma during an eight-month cycle of abuse. According to her family, she was attacked by her in-laws, because her parents could not afford the dowry -which was previously agreed upon.
Her family claimed that the 23-year-old was subjected to constant abuse ever since the pair married last December.
As of today, there have been more than 3,000 acid attacks in the country. Acid Survivors Foundation in Bangladesh explain that almost all of the attacks have been targeted towards women or girls, and many of the victims are under 18. The chief reason for the violence is dowries, refusal of love proposals or land disputes, among other reasons.
Copyright 2018 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
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