National NewsNews

A man agreed to marry a rape survivor

Tereza Jeremiah Chuei

A man vowed to keep his wedding promises after he discovered that his bridegroom was alleged sexually assaulted by the same Sheikh who arranged their marriage.

On Friday, it was reported that a 17-year-old Muslim girl was allegedly raped and forced to marry someone she didn’t know by a Sheikh to cover his alleged abortion

In their statement to the media last week, the Muslim civil society organization raised alarm over the increasing sexual abuse and gender based-violence on Muslim women by the religious leader (Sheik) in the country. 

In an interview with Juba Monitor, the man whose identity remained anonymous said he didn’t know that the girl was under age because her height made her look older.

 “We never had any relationship from the start, but one day the sheikh called me andasked me if I was married?I told him that I wasn’t engage in any marriage,” man said.

“Well, after the sheikh confirm that I wasn’t married, he then informed me about this young lady that he was taking care of, however, he explained that she was interested in marriage since there was no school because of the Covid-19”, he said.

“Then one day, I visited them where we got a chance of having a conversation, to my surprised out of a joke, that is when she told me about her age (17years old),” he added.

He also added that he accepted the offer to marry the girl, Sheikh proposed to him and later got connected to biological parents of the young girl and eventually paid the bride price.

“Then a day came when this young girl feltunwell and her complain shows that the pain wasn’t easy on her, this now made me worried and made me take her to Juba teaching hospital, where she was found with a strong UTI,” he mentioned.

Healso said that after the test results indicated high UTI infection, he asked the wife toexplainif she was aware of what might be the reason.

“I was surprised when she burst into tears and expressed her worries that I would divorce her if she speaks up.I had to assureher that I wouldn’t divorce her no matter how the issue was,” he narrated.

However, afterthe assurance, she revealed the secret about the sheikh who raped her and also forced her to terminate the pregnancy to cover up his crime.

“After her narration, I then decided to take the responsibility and that is when we went back to the hospital where we were given form 8 and reported to the police,” he stressed.

Meanwhile the accused perpetrators were arrested, however, they were later released including the sheikh himself but the case would be transferred to the court and await for court hearing.

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