Saturday, April 8, 2017

Italian Police Save Girl From Forced Child Marriage

The below report is appearing in La Stampa, Turin's largest press organ. I have translated it into English.

Rashida, child bride saved from Hell

Would have had to leave school and be married by force with a 25-year-old Egyptian

The story of Rashida is incredible. It seems to be in Pakistan, but it happened in Turin. In the past days a 15-year-old Turin student, Rashida (not her real name), of Egyptian origin, telephoned the child emergency services 114 to report that her parents wanted to give  her in marriage against her will to an adult 25-year-old who she didn't know.

The call was forwarded from the Office of Minors of the anti-crime division of the police at the Questura (police HQs) to the commissioner's office in Milan. The police contacted the girl at the superior school she attended for the first year. They heard (her story) in the presence of the principal. And she told a story out of the Middle Ages. She had been promised in marriage: At her home everything was ready for the marriage ceremony which would take place three days hence, the next Sunday, including the nuptial banquet and the red dress acquired directly from the fiance.

A fiance never seen before and much older. In tears, the girl told  of an attempted  suicide  committed a few days before. She cut the veins of her wrists an extreme attempt to show her dissent. She told her parents that she would do it again if she were obligated to marry against her will.

She also told more. "My mother told me that I would no longer go to school because a wife doesn't need education since the husband has to look after her, and I would be under supervision of the future mother-in-law in Egypt, thus I would no longer be able to rebel.

Given the imminent deadline and the fact that she was always accompanied by her family, the police went into motion in agreement with the tribunal of minors and located, through the Office of Minors of the district, a suitable community to shelter her.

A few days later, the officers of the commissioner went to visit her in the community and said they found her serene even happy. She had returned to school, accompanied by educators in the class where she had found her salvation in her girlfriend and schoolmates. A true friend, who having gained her confidence, had loaned her phone to call 114.

1 comment:

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Good news. (Social workers in the United States circa 1890 had similar problems with 'strict' parents from various European countries.)