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Tue. Apr 16th, 2024

In Sri-Lanka, a girl named Shafa (the name given to her for security) was forced to get married at the age of 15. On several occasion, she experienced miscarriage. She was forced to get married against her will.

Shafa told to BBC, “While studying for exams, I fell in love with a boy.” She said, “My parents didn’t like it. They sent me to my Uncle’s place. While I was studying there, a regular visitor told my aunt and uncle that he wanted to marry me.”

Shafa who lived in a remote area in Sri-Lanka refused the proposal. And she was terribly beaten by uncle and aunt for this. They even threatened to kill themselves if she didn’t marriage the “unknown regular visitor”.

She wanted to marry the boy whom she loved. But against her will, her aunt and uncle arranged her marriage with the “unknown regular visitor”.

“I cut my arms as there is no other option. I also took some pills from my uncle’s place. While I was being treated in hospital, they bribed the doctor to take me-together with my saline bottle- to private hospital. A few days later they forced me to marry that man,” she said.

She decided to stay with her husband as there was no escape route for her in order to keep a relationship with her boyfriend.

To add to her emotional pain, she said the so-called husband was regular found making her body parts a drum even when she was loaded.

“He regularly beat me. When I told him that I was pregnant, he picked me up and threw me on the floor.”

He told Shafa that he only brought her for one night, he already had her and then he didn’t need her anymore.

During her treatment in hospital she realized that she had lost her baby due to torture. She immediately went to the hospital, but didn’t react seriously.

Later she got a call from her husband to keep relationship with him but she refused. Despite of that she got telephone calls from strangers who asked her how much she charged for a night. And callers told her that they got her number from her husband.”

Her mother is a hardworking lady who does daily labor work to bring up other five children.

“I sent my daughter to my brother’s home due to one incident. I fear for her safety and her education now. She can’t go to classes. She can’t even travel by bus. Her whole future is uncertain,” her mother lamented.

Ermiza Tegal, a Human Rights lawyer, said every year hundreds of under age girls are forced into marriage in Sri-Lanka. This ratio has increased up to 16%. There is no minimum age limit of the girls. Girls and their mothers have become silent victim for decades.

The rate of the child marriage is increasing rapidly in South Asia particularly Sri-Lanka, Afghanistan, Iran and even some communities in the West.

 

 

 

Correspondent: Syeda Faiza Bukhari

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