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AFGHANISTAN: Widespread child marriage blamed for domestic violence

October 16, 2007 | IRIN new window

ANDAHAR, 16 October 2007 (IRIN) - Fifteen-year-old Razia (not her real name) has been imprisoned in Kandahar Province, southern Afghanistan, for escaping from her husband's house and eloping with another man.

She was only 12 when her father married her to an elderly man for a significant dowry payment. "He [her husband] was very brutal and was treating me violently," Razia said.

"No one was helping me escape my husband's cruelty," the distraught teenager said, adding that her only resort was to elope with a young man whom she thought would give her a new life.

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