Child marriages can (and do) lead to ‘sex with minors’ – with or without the minors’ consent.
And, sex with minors is legally acknowledged as rape except when the rapist is married to the rape victim.
So for the child who has been ‘married off’ to the person legally not-raping them but forcing them into sexual activity, the child marriage is truly worse than rape. Because here the rapist has the legal right to sexually assault the minor victim.
I know of two women who escaped such marriages (link) – and when I shared this with an acquaintance (who was worried about western influence on Indian culture) she said, “Oh but these things happen only to the poor and the uneducated.” (a factually unsupported statement)
So such things only happen to other people, who are not like us?
I wanted to tell her that ‘the poor and the uneducated’ are assured that early marriages prevent sexual crimes, and that sexual assaults happen only to ‘the Westernised’ in India, not to those how live in Bharat. 😦
But I am glad to hear this acknowledged.
Link shared by Abhishek Oza
Child marriage “is an evil worse than rape” and should be completely eradicated from society, said a Delhi court while ordering registration of a case against a girl’s parents for getting her married at a tender age.
“There are serious outcomes of child marriage. It is the worst form of domestic violence against the child, not only by the respondents (husband and his family) but also by her own parents.
“Child brides have a diminished chance of completing their education and are at a higher risk of being physically abused, contracting HIV and other diseases, and dying while pregnant or giving birth,” the magistrate observed, adding that luckily this girl was “healthy”.
And here is an effort that can help children stay in school and schooling makes it easier for parents to avoid child marriages.