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March 31, 2019
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Muhali – Raped and married to her perpetrator to save family face.

On February 14th 2019, the helpline received a call from a lady asking for help with her nephew’s medical bills. The boy was hospitalised suffering from urinary system bleeding with little help from his father.
 
She further told us about her sister’s story, how she got the baby. She said they both were orphaned at an early age and it took a kind-hearted neighbour to raise them.
 
When they both became teenagers she started working as a house maid in the neighbourhood while her sister took care of their home chores, helping their charitable mother. One day, a man who frequented their home and a good friend in the neighbourhood, found her sister alone and raped her, that’s when she got pregnant.
 
The case was reported to family members and the man pleaded guilty but promised to marry her so that they don’t file a case to the police. The families reached consensus (Muhali) and the two got married. The day she left home as a bride she was taken to her husband’s sister where she lived for so long with no contact from her husband. Eventually, her sister in law stopped supporting her altogether, saying that the pregnancy was not her brother’s. She went through a lot of abuse while pregnant in that house until she decided enough was enough – she went back home. A few weeks later she gave birth to a sick boy who has been ailing ever since.
 
The helpline reported the case to the Social Welfare Officer who summoned the man. He was accompanied by his family to the Social Welfare Office – they all denied the pregnancy. The officer ordered a DNA test and later called the helpline to tell that she has escalated the case to court. The case is still on progress in court.
 
A lot of girls have gone through a lot of traumatic experiences at the hands of neighbours and sometimes family. It is time to take action – no more saving face. Call 116 to report incidences of sexual abuse against girls and women in your neighbourhood. It begins with you!
 

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