Category : Naya Blog
Image Courtesy: SOS Children’s Villages
By Mackiche Mackiche (@mackiche_victor )
A forced marriage is a marriage that is performed under duress and without the full and informed consent or free will of both parties, in this case the final decisions are usually made by the parents.
In most of our communities in Kenya some parents still believe that they are the ones who know who is best for their children when it comes to marriage.
Forgetting all that these forced marriages come with, sexual abuse. Rape and sexual abuse is common in these marriages because women right to consent is likely to be ignored. In fact, evidence suggests that over 45% all rape is committed in marriages and these incidents are likely not to come the attention of the relevant authorities than those committed by strangers.
Husbands in these cases do not know that any situation in which an individual is forced to participate in unwanted, unsafe or degrading sexual activity is sexual abuse.
In addition, these women whose partners abuse them physically and sexually are thought to be at a higher risk of experiencing multiple and escalating assaults. Research also indicates that women who are raped by their husbands or partners are likely to suffer severe psychological effects because of the prolonged level of fear they are likely to experience.
Government should formulate strong policies against forced marriages and even domestic violence against women to avoid such cases.
Parents should also never force their children to get married to someone they don’t want simply because these men are able raise some amounts in name of dowry. This gives these men power to use and walk all over their children.
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