Yasmin is an 18 year old girl in general secondary education, who called our partner rehabilitation centre Sezim for emotional aid through the helpline funded by your donations.

One night Yasmin was on her way home when she was offered a lift by a ‘family friend’. She had met him on several occasions but never actually had any direct dialogue with this ‘family friend’. As she got into the vehicle, she saw that there were two other men present - automatically she felt something stir. Something was wrong.

Yasmin tried to get out of the vehicle.

But she was forcibly restrained in the car and taken to the house of the family friend. There awaited his family, and an authoritative figure who performed the marriage ritual “nikka”.

Yasmin’s relatives were later informed about her marriage.

On the first night of this forced marriage, what is usually a night of mixed electric emotions for a new bride, was a night of criminality. On this night the perpetrator forced Yasmin to have sexual intercourse with him. That night Yasmin, an 18 year old student, lost much more than her right to choose.

The following morning, Yasmin’s family came to his house to take her home. However, learning that Yasmin was no longer a virgin, she was advised and persuaded to stay with her husband.

This is shocking on many levels. It is evident that the abduction was carefully planned as the abductors family had already made preparations for the “nikka” before her arrival or even knowledge. Furthermore, it is disheartening to learn that Yasmin’s family waited until the morning to collect her, despite being in the home of a stranger. Yasmin was forced into a marriage and raped. This is a time when a young girl needs support, but it is clear that the psychological effects of this atrocity are underestimated.

Yasmin nevertheless refused to stay, and only after the threat of a suicide was she finally taken home. At home, her safe haven became only an emotional proverbial battlefield. She was relentlessly reminded of the shame she bestowed upon the family and that she will never have a respectful marriage. Suffering from depression and with no support, she developed phobias preventing her from leaving the house.

The trust Yasmin once thought she had lost, even in her loved ones, is now gradually being restored through the help of our psychological counselors at Sezim.

This is delivered and maintained through your continued support and donations.

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