Details of a marriage between a 70 year old man and a 15 year old girl became public information after the man complained to government workers in Saudi Arabia that his child wife he had paid $20,000 for had run away from him. He was pursuing legal recourse to reclaim his abused child bride, which is how this story has come to light, pictured at left.
Reports indicate that he was likely abusing her and she ran away back to her parents house. Some charity groups have become involved after they heard that the young girl was trying to escape as a result of violence. Statistics indicate as many as half as girls may be married underage, it is unclear what percentage are sold for a monetary amount.
“When you consider the very large difference in age, it looks more like this was not a marriage, but like the girl was sold,” reported Dr. Suhaila Zein al-Abedin of the Saudi National Association for Human Rights. “The girl’s parents need to be held responsible for this.”
Yemeni activist NoonArabia said on Twitter: “#ChildMarriage is a violation of human rights http://www.humanrightsdefence.org/child-marriage-as-an-human-rights-issue.html … #RunAwayBride #PTs.”
Egyptian activist Mona Eltahawy said on Twitter: “It’s only when there’s enough public outrage that we can fight #childmarriage. We are not angry enough to help that 15 y/o & others like her.”
Young girls being sold for marriage is an issue in various parts of the world, where some girls are sold as early as 5.