Many in the world were horrified to hear of an 8 year old Yemeni bride named Rawan who died on her wedding night. The poor little baby’s body was abused to the point of internal bleeding that caused her death. That was too much for most of us to imagine as we look around at our own daughters this age, or nieces or students. People tend to shy away from what is considered customs by some countries and not criticize them but people were outraged to hear of little Rawan. There are other examples of child brides and laws surrounding the practice in some countries like the recent law proposed in Iraq to allow girls as young as 8 to seek a divorce. So if you are married off at 5, you would have to wait until you are 8 to seek a divorce?
When I look at the abuses that girls in our own communities sometimes even younger than 8, I don’t see this much outrage. These child marriage laws in other countries are smoke and mirrors for child sexual abuse. The poor dears are left without protection from even their own mothers. But here at home in the good old US of A, little black girls are not protected either. No, we are not marrying them off at 8 years old, but some of them are being impregnated anyway. There is no law to hide behind, these girls are prey for degenerates, child molesters and rapists. Some times it is by a family member, sometimes by a mother’s new shack up honey or even stranger. Thankfully child rape is a crime, so we can still be shocked when a young girl is impregnated. It makes the news but her identity is protected due to her minor age. Well, what about the psychological and emotional effects of rape to a girl who is nine, ten or eleven years older than her own child? We can read story after story after story where a child experiences this tragedy and trauma. Girls this young are still playing with dolls but unfortunately they are forced to skip several years of development. They are robbed of their innocence on so many levels. Many because they are not properly supervised or protected are inevitably raped at the first opportunity a subhuman creature gets. Ironically sometimes the fathers are friends of the girls who were just experimenting, but an eight, nine, ten, eleven or twelve year old who is supervised properly will not usually have to worry about becoming pregnant.
I remember in 1979, a 10 year old gave birth to twins. She was the neighbor of some of my class mates. The entire country heard about the twin births and it kind of put Indianapolis on the map. I understood the father was 12 but I did not know the child personally and her identity was protected so I will not mention her name here. But she is only ten years older than her babies. That is not right! Although children experimenting resulted in pregnancy, most of the times these pregnancies were the result of rape.
So are we any better than countries that allow child marriage or child sexual abuse under the guise of some law? In some instances the practice is outlawed, but those in rural areas will defy the laws and marry off their young daughter to men 2, 3 and 4 times their age. The younger they are, the more likelihood the girl will be a virgin. This was not uncommon in the rural south with black families as I know of one child bride in my own family. One less mouth to feed can play a big part in girls being married off so soon.
In regards to the unmarried, of course this happens to girls of all races and no one has the market on abuse, but it does seem that much of those child pregnancies are occurring in the black community. Truth be told, there was a time when no one looked twice at a girl as young as 11 was pregnant. As a matter of fact, some were married. So some of our communities found child marriage acceptable and therefore in line with similarly practicing cultures or religions around the globe.
I found these stories on archived copies of Jet Magazine. In the 1950s Jet Magazine did not shield child identities and showed their faces and gave their names. Consider the following three news clips of the day. Heartbreaking stories of these poor girls, just heartbreaking. As disgusting as child marriage is regardless of the culture, we have no room to talk as a Nation when our young girls are still suffering child sexual abuse. One case is one too many.
Della Mae Barnes 11 year old Un Wed Mother Jet – M arch 18, 1954 p.19
Eleven Year Old Wife Gives Birth. Jet Magazine Feb 20, 1958 p. 17
Eleven Year Old Mom Teen Father Denies Him – Jet Magazine Nov 29, 1962 p. 20-27.
This listing is very disturbing, one of the worst is the disabled child pimped out by her mother and she was condemned to death by Iranian law.