- A 19-year-old Ugandan girl was married off at the age of 10
- Her husband was 40 years old at the time
- She already has three children
A 19-year-old girl in Amudat district in northern Uganda has shared a heartbreaking story of how her parents forced her into marriage at the age of 10 to a 40-year-old man.
Celestine Cheredio narrated her sad experience at a workshop organized by Reach A Hand Uganda (RAHU), a nongovernmental organization fighting child marriages.
Cheredio said on the day of her marriage, her parents feigned illness and asked her to stay at home to care for them instead of going to school.
She then saw a herd of cattle near their compound. Her father asked her to wear her best dress because he wanted her to accompany him to town to buy medicine.
After she changed, he asked her to fetch water from a nearby well first. Cheredio said she was stopped along the way by the man who would be her husband.
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She tried to scream for help to no avail. A woman neighbor even told her to "be strong." The man told her that he had paid 25 cows for her and that she was now his wife.
He took her to his place where a ceremony was held. Later that night he forced himself on her, causing her to bleed severely.
She endured abuse and beatings and was forced to bear three children with barely a year's gap between them.
Her husband is also against family planning. She said: “I also do not like having children this way but I have no choice. My husband threatens to hurt me if I ever use family planning again.”
Child marriages remain prevalent among the Pokot because girls are seen as a source of wealth, a local expert told Daily Monitor.
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