An eight year-old girl, Nojoud Muhammed Nasser, walked into a court and for the first time in Yemen history, a daughter charged her father with forcing her to marry a 30 year-old man. “My father beat me and told me that I must marry this man, and if I did not, I would be raped and no law and no sheikh in this country would help me. I refused but I couldn’t stop the marriage. I asked and begged my mother, father and aunt to help me to get divorced. The answered we can do nothing. If you want, you can go to court by yourself. So this is what I have done.” She said the man she married beat her, sexually abused her and prevented her from escaping. “He was too tough with with me, and whenever I asked him for mercy, he beat me and slapped me and then used me. I just want to have a respectful life and divorce him.” Yemen law prevents the girl from instituting prosecution of her father and husband, but a judge ordered both of them to be arrested.
The girl will be placed with Dar Al-Rahama, a non-government agency, which works with children. If she can get an education, this young lady would become an outstanding lawyer who could work to protect Yemen girls from such abuse.