Last updated 6 months ago
As we commence with the campaigns for the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, let's dive into a story of a young survivor of Child Marriage.
The Helpline received a call with a report about 14-year-old Mary (not her real name) who had just completed her standard 7 exams. Mary wanted desperately to continue with her secondary studies but her parents were forcing her to get married and by the time we got the call only three days were left before she would be married off.
Given the time factor, we had to rush and get Mary out of the situation so he was in. Our CHL-Counsellor contacted both the Local Government and District Social welfare Officer, who accepted the case immediately.
The next day we called the SWO to know where the case stood. He informed us that he had involved the police who investigated and figured out the time the wedding was set to take place and were waiting for that specific time to take action and make the arrests. Later that day, the district SWO with her team of police officers and LGA were able to arrest Mary's parents and the man who was supposed to marry her.
A couple of days later the LGA, Police officers, Mary's parents and the man she was to marry had a meeting and the Police vividly described the consequences of their actions. The man was taken into custody and Mary's parents agreed that the LGA would assume responsibility for Mary and Mary's parents will have to report weekly on Mary's wellbeing.
Mary is one of the many young girls who have gone through this kind of abuse, which is why we must remain vigilant in noticing when a child near us is in need and take action.
The helpline handles approximately 169,154 cases of Violence, Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation (VANE); Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (OCSEA); and Child Maintenance & Custody in a year. About 18.4% of these, are cases of child sexual abuse and exploitation.