WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- The parents of a Texas teen who refused a forced marriage have been charged with child abuse.
- In 2017, Abdulah Fahmi Al Hishmawi, 34, and Hamdiyah Sabah Al Hishmawi, 33, arranged a marriage for their then-15-year-old daughter, Maarib Al Hishmawi, to a man who offered to pay the family $20,000.
- The teen suffered abuse from her parents who beat her with broomsticks, choked her and poured hot cooking oil on her, for refusing the marriage.
When Maarib Al Hishmawi, 16, disappeared from her San Antonio, Texas, high school in January, an FBI search was made. She told investigators she was hiding from her abusive parents when she was found mid-March. Authorities said Maarib’s parents physically abused her for rejecting a forced marriage with an adult man. The teen took refuge with an unnamed organization.
According to local news station KSAT-12, the parents were freed Sunday on a bond after the Bexar County sheriff’s office charged them with continuous violence against a family member on Friday.
“This young lady, at various times over that time period was subjected to some pretty bad abuse because she didn’t want to be married to this person,” Sheriff Javier Salazar said in a press conference.
“Several times it was reported to us that this young lady was abused with hot cooking oil being thrown on her body. She was beaten with broomsticks. At least at one point, she was choked almost to the point of unconsciousness. It’s really heartbreaking to hear,” the sheriff continued.
Salazar told the San Antonio Express that the man who offered money to marry Maarib has been identified and it’s possible that he, too, will be charged.
Maarib and her five siblings have been placed in the care of the state’s Child Protective Services. It’s not yet clear if the other children were also abused, police said.
Maarib’s father shouted at media when he was being led away in handcuffs on Friday, saying his daughter must be on drugs and suggested she made up the whole story.
From 2000 to 2010, there were 248,000 children as young as 12 who were forced into marriage, according to Unchained At Last, a nonprofit that helps women and girls in the US to escape forced marriages. Victims of child marriages are mostly girls who are forced to marry adult men.
The Al Hishmawi family immigrated from Iraq two years ago, police said. The FBI investigation is still ongoing.
Source: Huffington Post