My child marriage story
by Hortência Tomás, 19 years old.
When I was a child, I was forced to get married.
I did not know my parents, and I lived with my grandmother who did not work. I helped her with the house chores.
One day, my uncle came to visit us and forced me to get married. The man I was going to be married to was a friend of my uncle who had money. My uncle just wanted his money.
I was only 15 years old and I went to live with a man who was 43 years old. He told me not to go to school. But I wanted to continue studying and learning, so I continue to go to school without him knowing, but he found out I had gone to school and he beat me.
In 2016, I became pregnant. I called my husband to tell him I was pregnant, and he told me to have an abortion. I said no, and then decided it was time to run away from home.
I managed to escape, and to this day I have not heard of him, and I do not know his whereabouts. I survive doing small business to support my daughter.
One day I was advised by a friend to visit the organization LEMUSICA (Levante-se Mulher e Siga o seu Caminho) and to participate in the girls' club. I am now in the club and my daughter is being supported by LEMUSICA.
Many thanks to LEMUSICA for the support.
About child marriages in Mozambique
Child marriages affect almost half of girls under 18 years of age in Mozambique (according to the 2011 Demographic and Health Surveys). Mozambique has the world’s 11th highest rate of child marriage.
When married, the girl is expected to renounce her childhood and often school to assume her role as wife and mother, fulfilling all the duties of a woman including having sex and procreating. It is from this perspective that child marriage is seen as violence or a way of legitimizing child sexual abuse.
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