A child bride’s story of hope

Former child bride Aisha* with her daughter. Photo: Colin Crowley/Save the Children
Former child bride Aisha* with her daughter. Photo: Colin Crowley/Save the Children

A child bride, Aisha* was sold to an older man by her own father.

‘At the age of 13, I was forced to marry a man who was much older than me.’

After Aisha fell pregnant, she felt too ill to carry out all the chores her husband expected of her, so he beat her as punishment. She ran away again and again until eventually she was granted a divorce and her freedom.

Damaging effects of child marriage

‘You cannot share a life with someone who you were just forced to marry. When a girl is forced to marry it brings many problems.’

The fact that Aisha can now talk about her ordeal and speak out about the forced marriage of young girls in her country, Somalia, is testament to her courage.

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Now, Aisha is determined to get on with her life. She hopes to learn a skill that will help her earn a living and support her young daughter. She says girls should be allowed to go to school rather than being forced to marry early.

Fighting against forced marriage

Thanks to your donations, we launched a large-scale programme in Somalia last year to challenge harmful traditions including forced child marriage. With your help, we are giving vulnerable young women a greater voice, choice and control over their bodies and futures.

Find out more information on how we’re fighting to protect girls and their freedom.

*Name changed to protect identity.

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