You Are Not a Man. You Are a Child Rapist.

Even if you’re not a parent, the following paragraph must surely make you stop in your tracks and feel disgust.

An eight year old child bride died in Yemen on her wedding night after suffering internal injuries due to sexual trauma. Human rights organizations are calling for the arrest of her husband who was five times her age.

How words like “eight year old child bride” can exist in the same sentence is mind-blowing. How these words can be followed by that same child dying due to “internal injuries due to sexual trauma” is wrong on so many levels.

Yet this is the norm in the Middle Eastern region of Yemen, an area that has long been an abuser of human rights. Taking a child as a sexual partner and wife is a sickening continuation of that abuse.

According to a report by The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA):

…between 2011 and 2020, more than 140 million girls will become child brides. Furthermore, of the 140 million girls who will marry before the age of 18, 50 million will be under the age of 15.

50 million.

Given that many Yemeni men see age nine as the onset of puberty, how many of that 50 million will be like the child that died/was murdered by her husband on her “wedding night”?

There seems to be little protection for the children in Yemen to avoid these tragedies/crimes. Take the plight of little Reem, from Sanaa.

Fourteen-year-old Reem, from Sanaa, was 11 years old when her father married her to her cousin, a man almost 21 years her senior. One day, Reem’s father dressed her in a niqab (the Islamic veil that covers the face, exposing only the eyes), and took her by car to Radda, 150 kilometers southeast of Sanaa, to meet her soon-to-be husband. Against Reem’s will, a quick religious marriage ensued.
Three days after she was married, her husband raped her. Reem attempted suicide by cutting her wrists with a razor. Her husband took her back to her father in Sanaa, and Reem then ran away to her mother (her parents are divorced). Reem’s mother escorted her to court in an attempt to get a divorce. The judge told her, “We don’t divorce little girls.” Reem replied, “But how come you allow little girls to get married?”

How come you allow little girls to get married, indeed…

I admit, I’m no culture expert and I know little of what makes some people think a certain part of their culture is acceptable while others find it abhorrent.

But as a father, and as a simple human being on a planet shared with these “men” that take child brides, there’s only one thing to say:

You are not a man. Real men protect children. You? You are a child rapist, mutilator and murderer.

This needs to stop. Now.

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