A 13-year-old Yemeni child bride who bled to death shortly after marriage was tied down and forced to have sex by her husband, according to interviews with the child's mother, police and medical reports.
SHUEBA, Yemen — A 13-year-old Yemeni child bride who bled to death shortly after marriage was tied down and forced to have sex by her husband, according to interviews with the child’s mother, police and medical reports.
The girl’s mother, Nijma Ahmed, 50, said that before her daughter lost consciousness, she said her husband had tied her up and forced himself on her. “She looked like she was butchered,” she said of her daughter.
Elham Assi, 13, bled to death hours after she spoke to her mother and days after she was married to a 23-year-old man. She died April 2 in Shueba. Her husband, Abed al-Hikmi, is in police custody.
The practice of marrying young girls is widespread in Yemen, where one-quarter of all females marry before age 15, according to a 2009 report by the country’s Ministry of Social Affairs. Traditional families prefer young brides because they are seen as more obedient and can have more children.
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The issue of Yemen’s child brides received widespread attention three years ago, when an 8-year-old girl went to court and demanded a judge dissolve her marriage to a man in his 30s. She won a divorce.