Former child bride recounts ordeal

Former child bride recounts ordeal

SUBANG JAYA, Malaysia - Former child bride Jenny (not her real name) still remembers the day when her parents made her marry a man eight years her senior.

Only 12 years old then, and born into a family in Kuantan which resents girls, Jenny said her mother never bothered to advise her about marriage.

"The man approached my parents and asked to marry me. He told me about it, and when I got home, my mother said, 'You're going to be married tomorrow'," said the 52-year-old in an interview.

Though initially shocked, Jenny looked forward to leaving her family.

The fourth of seven children, she was forced to quit school at the age of nine in favour of her brothers and made to wash their clothes.

Jenny had seen the prospective groom a few times prior to wedlock, and thought that he would take good care of her, but she was wrong.

For the next eight years of married life, Jenny was repeatedly insulted and beaten by her husband.

"I had to follow whatever he said, and I was not allowed to object. He would never give me money to buy clothes," she said, adding that the birth of their son did not improve things. In fact, he beat her even when she was pregnant with her second son.

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