How Should The World Respond When An 8-Year Old Bride Is Raped To Death?!


As much as I LOVE learning about different cultures and the normative behaviour within them, yesterday I ended up taking in an article I WISH I could unread called “Yemen: 8 year old girl dies from internal injuries on wedding night”. After reading the title my mind scrambled to make sense of it all, and I asked myself “did they forget the 1, 2, or 3 in front of the 8?” But after seeing the young girl’s picture, I realized that not only was 8 was the right age, but she also actually WAS a bride. But the grim part of the sentence was “internal injuries”, which I initially interpreted as her 40-year old husband physically assaulting her for whatever reason (punches to the chest, knees to the stomach, etc.), but after realizing what was implied, I instantly became SICK. But here’s the crazy thing: Technically her husband broke no Yemeni laws.

Figures state that a quarter of all Yemeni girls marry before the age of 15, and after the country repealed a short-lived law in 2009 that set the minimum age for marriage at 17, it’s clear that there is a deep religious and cultural acceptance of this practice in some of the rural areas of Yemen. So let’s just fast-forward to the issue that we’re ALL wondering: What should the global community’s response be?

The first thing I must state is that the factuality of the story is in question. Yemeni officials are not only denying the young girl, who has only been identified as “Rawan”, has died, but they are also stating that she NEVER married in the first place. The freelance journalist who reported the story claims it’s 100% true based on the words of the girls neighbours. The reality is, this story needs to be confirmed BEFORE we can believe it to be true, but whether or not it’s real, we need to REALIZE that young girls being forced into marriage is happening on a GRAND SCALE. In fact, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) estimates that between 2011 and 2020, roughly 140 million girls will become child brides.

So, once again, what should our collective global response be? Girls all over the globe are being legally enslaved, yet it seems this issue does not receive the attention it should. To be honest, I have no grand ideology on how this practice can be stopped or prevented, but I know spreading knowledge is a CRUCIAL element to eliciting any real change. So regardless of whether “Rawan” is alive, married, or made up, it doesn’t discount the reality that this barbaric practice is more than just a small occurrence.

This Is Your Conscience

When Lincoln Anthony Blades is not writing for his controversial and critically acclaimed blog, he can be found contributing articles for Uptown Magazine. Lincoln wrote the hilarious and insightful book "You're Not A Victim, You're A Volunteer: How To Stop Letting Love Kick Your Ass". He is also a public speaker who has sat on panels all over North America and the Caribbean.


  1. lincolnanthonyblades

    09/10/2013 at 8:18 AM

    Ladies & Gentlemen, what do you think we can do to end this epidemic of child brides?

  2. Narayani

    09/10/2013 at 10:27 AM

    Its a matter of changing the way we feel/think of women. The same way we need to change the way we think of people living in third world countries, different cultures, different sexual affiliations. Its a matter of completely transforming the way we feel about others and ourselves. there is no quick fix. woman have been enslaved since the beginning.

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      09/10/2013 at 2:45 PM

      Good points.

  3. Dydy

    09/10/2013 at 10:32 AM

    Them using their cultural history and religion to back up their reason to repeal a sensible law is pure crap. These are just pedos getting their way legalized.

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      09/10/2013 at 2:45 PM

      I would agree with you there.

  4. NurseJilly

    09/10/2013 at 12:30 PM

    I type this with tears rolling down my face… It is not only sickening that these pedophiles are enslaving these young girls into a life of victimization but the worst part is the parents handing their daughters over. I can't even imagine what is going through the minds of these little girls on their wedding night. Breaks my heart just thinking about it :*(

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      09/10/2013 at 2:47 PM

      I'm glad that I literally cannot fathom how a 40 year old man propositions an 8 year old girl on their "wedding night" but I know my heart breaks at the thought that, instead of being able to live like a normal young woman, she has to endure that.

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