THE HIDDEN TRUTHS OF ARRRANGED MARRIAGES Melia Belofski “About 15 million girls under the age of 18 are married each year.” Arranged marriages are not always in the best interest of the individual or couple. Sometimes parents will sell off their daughters because of poverty or money.
In other cases, women and underaged children are forced into arranged marriages. Many people say that arranged marriages are better, but there is an ugly truth hidden within sometimes. So many underaged girls are married of each year, their childhoods stolen from them. They can be emotionally and physically abused. So many innocent children are married off to people 2 or 3 times older, a stranger they have never met before. Love should not be forced upon someone, it should occur in time. No one under the age of 18 should be able to consent to marriage.
In most palaces 18 is when you are considered an adult by law. Many times, in situations where the marriage is arranged, under aged girls are forced into relationships against their wills, or may even be trafficked or become sex slaves. Therefore, arranged marriages to under-aged children (under the age of 18) should be considered abuse and outlawed. Many girls and women are forced to “love” the men they have to marry. Some types of abuse that occur in arranged marriages are rape, torture, enslavement, sexual abuse, mental and emotional abuse and so much more.
One example is ” a 13-year-old bride was assaulted with a tree branch over an argument.”( man jailed for sex with underaged promised wife) They usually do not have a choice but to stay in the relationship, because they do not want to dishonor their family. They will even stay in abusive relationships so their family does not disown them or try to kill them. The abused and battered women or underaged girl has limited options. If she runs away, the man or family might kill her if she is found, or they might torture her. In many cases the young women or underaged brides gets abused from many people in the family. One example is that “a girl’s in laws kept her in a basement for 6 months after her arranged marriage, ripping out her fingernails, breaking her fingers a torturing her with hot irons to try to force her into prostitution”(Afghan child brides in laws sentenced for torture).
In any relationship that the girl is underaged by the law, is not eligible to give consent to sexual activity. That is considered rape depending on the age of consent in that country. Adult and teen brains work differently, “Studies show that the part of teens brain that makes decisions is not fully grown until about the age of 25″(understanding the teen brain). In other words, most of the arranged marriages, these girls cannot make rationalized mature decisions. Therefore, how are they able to make a mature decision or know what is right if their brains are not mature themselves.
Even if the underaged girl consents to sex, it is still rape. In the eyes of the law, you are a child until 18 even if you are married before then. An example of this is that ” a 13-year-old girl had consensual sex with her 32-year-old husband.
He got jail time because she is not of the age of consent, so it is considered rape”(man jailed for sex with underaged promised wife). In each culture the arranged marriages can be similar or different. For example, in some places the arranged couple does not meet until the wedding day. In others, they meet and date for a while and get to know one another. Usually in a traditional arranged marriage the parents will pick out a person for their son or daughter to merry.
The parents will sometimes respect their children’s choice. Some of the main things the family’s look for in the arranged marriage set up is wealth, reputation, status, genetics and more. “height and race are the most important factor in some arranged marriages”.(27 Shocking Arranged Marriages Statistics). In forced arranged marriages, the parent’s son or daughter do not have a say in anything. A rare thing that happens is if a son or daughter refuses to marry their parents’ choice, they can or will be beaten or killed. In some cultures, divorce is not an option.
The family members are all usually very involved in the lives of their child even after marriage. In other cultures, divorce is an option. Sometimes the families are too involved and start problems that can lead to fighting, abuse, and divorce. When that happens, it puts a lot of pressure for the couple.
The abuse can lead to rape, forced pregnancy, murder, beatings, sex trafficking and becoming a slave. When arranged marriages occur, sometimes you get underaged girls marrying older men. Even though it is legal for them to get married with the permission of the family, they cannot have any sexual contact. Unfortunately, the spouse of the underaged bride does not always comply with the law and therefore the child has been raped and sexually assaulted.
So many problems can occur when underaged girls are forced to start family at a young age. Most die during child birth if not then they can have severe damage to their under developed bodies, if they live through the pregnancy. Every year thousands of cases about human trafficking is discovered. “Before the age of 18, 36 percent of women around the world were forced to marry according to the UNICEF”(child marriage facts). Sometimes arranged marriages are just a cover for people to come into the country, sell drugs or other things. Girls have no say in the marriage, they are property in some people’s eyes. These girls are looked at as objects, they can be traded for money, payments and other things. Marriage brokers get paid lots of money to arrange marriages.
Everyone except the girl gets what they want. In some cases, when a woman becomes a widow, she becomes the property of a relative regardless if she wants to or not. Women are not treated as people but more like dogs in some arranged marriages. Many times, you here about women and girls being forced to marry men.
That is considered trafficking if they have no say. “Forced marriage violates human rights”(forced marriage is an abuse). Sex trafficking is a horrific thing, many times it has a lot to do with underaged girls. They were arranged to marry a man or were used to pay off a debt, or for money. Trafficking is illegal and is unfortunately a very common thing. When a woman or underaged girl is being trafficked, they get trimitic experiences. Some of the experiences that can occur are rape, being beat, emotional abuse and more.
The effects that trafficking can have on someone is extremely horrific. Post trimitic stress disorder also known as PTSD, unable to have kids, and even killing them. Human trafficking is a worldwide problem. In other words, so many girls are married off and forced to traffic, they have no choice or voice to help them. Slavery in arranged marriages is fairly common, and still continues today. Fear is one of the biggest reasons as to why the women do not fight back. They are beaten, degraded, and tortured.
They are worked to do sexual favors, labor, child care and much more. Sometimes in slavery, the women or girls are forced into prostitution also known as the sex slave business. They are forced to sleep with men, raped and beaten when they do not comply to the orders they are given. They are sometimes shot up with drugs so no one can hear their cries and screams. Also, they can be sold or rented out to people.
They can contract sexually transmitted disease that will make them sick or even die. Women are raped against their will. They can even become forcefully pregnant and held captive against their will. They also are threatened with forced abortion.
For example, “a young woman was terrorized with threats about abortion. The man claimed he would use a wire, starvation, and being eaten alive by pigs”( EBSCOhost.com). In the same article the women describers the horrible things he did to her. ” The man raped her, he knew she was having a miscarriage because she was in excruciating pain and was bleeding”(EBSChost.com).
These women are raped and used as sex objects. The woman from the article also explained how it was “shattering beyond belief, that she could not protect the life she was carrying”(EBSChost.com). Many women go through similar ordeals. The emotional and physical damage created is truly heart wrenching. Being a sex slave, you have no rights to the person who owns you. They only want to use them for their own purposes regardless if the girl or woman wants to or not. These men use rape, beating and many other forms of abuse to keep these girls and women from disobeying them.
Slaves of forced and arranged marriages can be manipulated and treated horribly. When these girls are raped, beaten, and put down, it kills their self-esteem. If any of these girls make it, more than likely they will have post trimitic stress disorder also known as PTSD. Anything can trigger an episode of post trimitic stress disorder. for example smells, sounds, peoples, noises, appearances and more.
They can even have trouble with moving on or having a dating life. Sometimes they will even commit suicide because they believe it is better than reliving those memories each day. The things that happen to them are things they carry with them for the rest of their lives. Sometimes the girls who survived being a slave get help from a confidential group. So many girls and women become sex slaves, it can be so gruesome for so many of them. For some sex slaves, they become pregnant and keep the baby. Others get abortions because they cannot live with that baby. That it is a constant reminder of their past that they desperately want to forget.
In conclusion arranged marriages are abusive, and should only be for people 18 an older. Arranged marriages should not be for anyone under the age of 18. Underaged girls and women are forced to marry men that can beat, abuse, rape, torture and torture them. sometimes women and girls get trafficked or are forced to become sex slaves. They can be beaten or abused every day. family members sell off their own family to get money. They have to live with the knowledge of this happening to them and others each and every day. Therefore, arranged marriages should be outlawed all over the world.
References 27 Shocking Arranged Marriages Statistics – BrandonGaille.com. (2017, May 22). Retrieved from https://brandongaille.
com/25-shocking-arranged-marriages-statistics/ Retrieved from https://www.statisticbrain.com/arranged-marriage-statistics/ Arranged marriage rejection led to hate campaign: EBSCOhost. (2016, May 10). Retrieved from http://web.b.ebscohost.com/ehost/command/detail?vid=20&sid=0eb3a18a-e492-4790-bdd0-566a6e8a9b92%40sessionmgr103&bdata=JkF1dGhUeXBlPWlwLGN1c3R1aWQmY3VzdGlkPXM4NDU1ODYxJnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#db=n5h&AN=9TJ3FHS0000000001E0027D922-ELM49799900SFFH MUNSHI, S.
(2017, March). ‘ARRANGED’ MARRIAGE, EDUCATION, AND DOWRY: A CONTRACT-THEORETIC PERSPECTIVE: EBSCOhost. Retrieved from http://web.b.ebscohost.com/ehost/command/detail?vid=13&sid=0eb3a18a-e492-4790-bdd0-566a6e8a9b92%40sessionmgr103&bdata=JkF1dGhUeXBlPWlwLGN1c3R1aWQmY3VzdGlkPXM4NDU1ODYxJnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#AN=122399917&db=bth Scutt, J. A.
(2014). HUMAN RIGHTS, “ARRANGED” MARRIAGES AND FAMILY LAW: SHOULD CULTURE OVERRIDE …: EBSCOhost.
Retrieved from http://web.a.ebscohost.com/ehost/command/detail?vid=7&sid=9ae48324-c4a7-452f-b94a-ac2782b3bc99%40sessionmgr4006&bdata=JkF1dGhUeXBlPWlwLGN1c3R1aWQmY3VzdGlkPXM4NDU1ODYxJnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#AN=101308774&db=a9h Understanding the Teen Brain – Health Encyclopedia – University of Rochester Medical Center. (n.d.).
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