A 17-year-old girl living in Sweden claims that she was forced to marry a man at the age of 14 in Syria and when she protested against the forced marriage, she received death threats.
The young girl opened up about her experiences as a child bride married against her will in Syria. After moving to the Swedish municipality of Årjäng with her family, she eventually managed to escape and call the police on Christmas Eve in 2015, Swedish broadcaster SVT reports.
“If I had not stopped, I would have had children and if I had children, it would be a chaos for me. If you’re going to live in a prison, it’s better to die,” the 17-year-old said.
According to the police report, she was subjected to abuse including being locked in a room and receiving death threats when she spoke out against the honour culture arranged marriage.
“They threatened me with many things and bad stuff. I do not like to say what the words were,” she said.
Increasing Numbers of Young People Seek Help Against ‘Honour Culture’ Violence https://t.co/HXA1bx2NPW
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 15, 2018
Both the “husband” of the girl, who has been detained by Swedish police, along with her two parents claim that the marriage was voluntary and deny they committed any crime.
She said she did not want to see her parents go to prison but wanted to send a signal to others in Sweden and across the world that child marriage was not acceptable as a practice. “No religion says: Give away your child!” she said.
The young Syrian added that she hoped to one day become a police officer and help others in her situation. “There are many in Sweden and abroad who need help,” she said.
According to a report from May 2017, an estimated 240,000 young people under the age of 25 in Sweden live under oppressive “honour culture” that has led to forced marriages, beatings, and at least one alleged murder.
Child marriage has also been a leading topic in Sweden following the migrant crisis with the Swedish parliament recently voting to ban all recognition of child marriages whether they took place in Sweden or abroad.
The vote came despite members of the ruling government coalition expressing some opposition and wanting to exclude the ban on certain child marriages.