“I was sold as a child bride,” tells Aisha

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And the horrible reality is that any group (SIOA), organization (AFDI) or people (me) that publicly offer help to Muslim girls in danger are “racists,” “Islamophobes,” and “bigots.”

‘I was sold as a child bride’, tells Aisha,” News. au, March 21, 2014 (thanks to Kenneth)

Teenager depressed sitting inside a dirty tunnel

Teenager depressed sitting inside a dirty tunnel Source: Supplied

AT 16, I was a happy schoolgirl in South-East Asia, studying and playing cricket with my friends and sisters.

Then one day, a relative came to visit from Australia. She spoke sweetly, gave me cuddles and asked for a photograph of me to take home to her son.

Afterwards I discovered she wanted me to marry him.

“I don’t want to be married,” I cried. “I want to stay here and become a doctor.”

Mum wasn’t keen either. The son was nearly twice my age and had been married before.

But other family members came over to look at me and eventually Mum told me she couldn’t refuse. She was a widow and a diabetic, and not strong enough to stand up to everyone without bringing shame on the family.

I was very frightened.

“Don’t worry. It won’t happen for years,” Mum promised.

I was taken out of school with the promise I could continue my studies in Australia, and sent to learn domestic duties. I was also told to email my fiancé.

Everything happened very quickly after that. My visa was granted and, at 17, I was married and on a plane from South-East Asia to Sydney.

I still have those wedding photographs. In each, I am staring miserably at the floor. I couldn’t look at my husband.

My mother-in-law had told me to only pack presents for my new family. She promised to buy me a new wardrobe of clothes.

Instead, she gave me old hand-me-downs from her daughters — all twice my size — and demanded my jewellery, which she sold, keeping all the money for herself.

Nor did I get to continue my education as promised. Instead I was ordered to clean her house, fetch her meals and then clean the homes of her three daughters. I also had to look after their dog, even though I was very frightened of dogs.

I was given no money, not even to buy the most basic toiletries — I had to rip up old clothes to use.

Aisha* was treated like a slave by her new ‘family’.

Aisha* was treated like a slave by her new ‘family’. Source: Supplied

Worst of all was my husband. He liked to watch porn. He watched it every night.

Afterwards he’d have his way with me and treat me roughly, ordering me out of bed afterwards at 3am to make him tea and toast. Exhausted, I still had to rise early the next morning to make breakfast and clean everyone’s houses.

I’m not afraid of hard work and I tried to be positive. But I didn’t receive a kind word from anyone, only yelling.

When I tried to explain my unhappiness to my husband, he told his family I had

complained about them. It made their behaviour to me even more cruel.

My husband became violent and kicked me. Although I did the cooking, I was only

allowed leftovers and my weight plunged to just 45kg.

The only being in that house who gave me any affection was the dog.

I knew I’d die if I stayed, but then I discovered something: I was pregnant. I was still only a teenager and very frightened, but my husband continued using me roughly and wouldn’t take me for medical check-ups.

No one in the family offered advice or support, and they made me continue cleaning right up to the day I gave birth.

The baby was born prematurely and needed to go into a humidicrib. The nurse told my husband I should stay in hospital with my daughter. A room for me to sleep and rest there would cost $20 a day.

“Are you crazy?” my husband exclaimed, and he told me I could walk the 30 minutes back and forth to the hospital. He wouldn’t even give me bus money.

My mother-in-law forbade me to leave the house until I had served her breakfast and done the cleaning.

Aisha* eventually gave birth to a child.

Aisha* eventually gave birth to a child. Source: Supplied

“But my breasts are leaking milk,” I protested. She told me to stuff old clothes down my bra.

When I brought my baby home, it was worse than ever. Everyone yelled at her for crying, and sometimes we’d spend the night in the hot, dusty garage to escape their anger.

I was very weak and fragile, but my husband’s violence was worse than ever.

If I asked for money for essentials such as nappies, he hit and kicked me. He said I was never allowed to say no to him. One day, when I refused to go shopping because the baby had a fever, he knocked me to the ground and tried to choke me. The family simply stood by and watched until an uncle said, “That’s enough now.”

That day was my birthday. There were no happy returns.

Meanwhile, my mother-in-law went overseas to visit my mum. She presumed I had told Mum what I endured, but I hadn’t — partly because I was rarely allowed to make phone calls, but also because I didn’t want to stress her.

She told Mum: “I expect you know my son kicks Aisha, but she does very bad things. Yes, she has no money, but why does she need money with us to look after her?”

That’s when Mum realised she’d been fooled. “What have you done?” she cried.

“You said you’d be a mother to my daughter.”

Back at home, the violence intensified.

One time, my husband kicked me rightacross the bedroom. When I looked up, I saw

nothing but evil in his eyes. I think I may have died were it not for a relative who had

seen the violence and took me aside.

“Why don’t you call triple 0?” she asked.

“What’s that?” I asked, confused.

“It’s the police,” she explained. “They’ll help you.”

I waited until the house was empty and made the call. The police came and I picked up the baby and was taken to a refuge. I was so frightened, I wept the whole way. I had no idea where I was going, but the workers were very kind. They gave me the first cuddles I’d received since arriving in Australia.

The refuge helped me deal with the courts, learn to drive, get English lessons and handle money. Today, aged 25, I am living in Sydney, studying at college and hoping to have a career.

Sadly, although we’re now separated, my husband won’t allow me to take my daughter and go home [to my mum], but at least we’re alive.

As told to Beverely Hadgraft

Forced marriage is illegal in Australia. If you or anyone you know needs refuge or legal advice, call the Immigrant Women’s Health Service on (02) 9726 4044 or Women’s Health Victoria on (03) 9664 9300. Young people can also contact the National Children’s and Youth Law Centre on (02) 9385 9588.

*Name has been changed for safety reasons.

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  1. In this case the “mother” in law + daughters and “husband” should be forced to pay serious damages to the poor women and summarily be deported from Australia

    Morally “superior”, “Know it all”””Progressives”” that turn a blind eye to this and other types of Demonic barbarism are worse than the savage barbarians themselves… While the hordes of primitive, Islamic “Orcs” can be subdued and put at bay (AWARENESS, immigration reform, strict anti-sharia law policy, etc.), the self-righteous “”Progressives””, are aiding and abetting the Islamic hordes that are feverishly busy invading our shores and eradicating our culture.

    I hope the Aussie’s do a better job than the US in protecting their wonderful country from the dark shadows of Islam

  2. You go girl. Keep telling your story loud and clear.
    This will help other girls that are in the same position that you were in .

  3. Islam is like a crude and narcissistic beast that cares only about its sick, selfish desires. It treats women and children like property, and considers human rights a thing to be overcome. It is evil founded on superstitious ignorance. If we have any self-respect as human beings we should do everything within the law to destroy it. And if they fight us, we shall fight twice as hard, until they are gone …from … the …earth

  4. Hundreds of millions upon millions of Muslim women live Aisha’s life. This is extremely common. These women become so bitter and resentful (nasty) they turn their own abuse against maids and other poor workers they employ.

  5. I can think of several solutions to the problem of the baby’s father, of course none of them are legal nor are they very Christian; but they are solutions none the less.