Sudanese Child Bride Faces Death Penalty for Killing Her Rapist Husband

Here at Care2, we’re big believers in the notion that kids should just be allowed to be kids — and that’s one of many reasons we oppose child marriage.

One third of girls in developing nations are married before they turn 18, though child marriage is also found in industrial countries like the U.S.These storiestoo often end in tragedy, as in the case of Noura Hussein, aSudanese girl who was forcibly married at just 16.

Hussein’s aspiration as a teen wasn’t to get married. She intended to become a teacher. Instead, her family contracted with another family to marry her off.

Husseinreportedly responded byrunning away, and her family lured her back several years later, promising that to drop the subject of marriageand allow her to safely return home. Instead, she found herself ambushed with marriage and forced to move into her new husband’s home.

WhenHussein made it clear that she didn’t want to consummate the marriage, her husband called on several male family members to hold her down while he raped her. And when he triedto do so again the next day, she fatally stabbed him. Hussein fled, seeking refuge in her family home,but her father turned her over to law enforcement.

In Sudan, it’s legal to marry as young as ten, with permission from the judiciary and a parent. Marital rape or forced marriagewere not recognized as crimes in her case –despite the fact that marital rape has actually been codified into the law. Consequently, Hussein couldn’t use the human rights violations committed against her in her defense, and the court determined she was guilty.

It’s not judges who determine sentences in this case, though. In Sudan, the family member of the victim can decide whether a convicted murderer should be sentenced to death or ordered to pay a fine. The relatives of Hussein’shusband chose death,celebrating in the courtroom as the sentence was handed out. With just 15 days to appeal, her legal team is facing an uphill struggle.

Human Rights Watch notes that Hussein’s case is not unique in a nation with systemic human rights violations, including sexual violence. And women don’t just face physical and sexual assault; the country also has strict laws about “indecency” that can lead to public flogging or harassment forwomen who dressor behave in ways authorities don’t like.

The United Nations condemned the sentence and the death penalty in general, but the United States — which likes to position itself as a moral leader, despite having a president whobrags about grabbing women by the genitals– declined to take a firm stance.

Hussein’s decision to fight back reflects what her legal teamdescribesas a determined, spirited personality. Instead of having an opportunity to grow into an educator who instills self-reliance into the next generation of girls, Hussein is facing hanging. Meanwhile, other young girls are finding themselves in very similar situations, forced into unwanted weddings by their families, andsubject to sexual and physical abuse from their spouses.

Take Action!

Join fellow Care2 activistsandcall for clemency for Noura Husseinby signing this petition.

Creating a Care2 petition is easy. If you have an issue you care deeply about, why not start your own petition? Here aresome guidelines to help you get startedand soon the Care2 community will be signing up to support you.

Photo Credit: USAID in Africa/Flickr

59 comments

Marie W
Marie Wabout a month ago

Thank you for posting.

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Cindy S
Cindy Smith6 months ago

I mean good she killed him. poor girl

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Cindy S
Cindy Smith6 months ago

kill him

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Sabrina D
Past Member 6 months ago

I signed the petition. Thank you so much for posting it; I hope that there will be justice for Noura.

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Sabrina D
Past Member 6 months ago

How I wish I could kill HIM...

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RONALD Walker
RONALD Walker6 months ago

In today's world, it's hard to believe this is going on! Yet in many countries in Africa, no one cares and people just live with it. Time to move on into the 21st Century! Women are not sex slaves anymore and women can do more than just have babies. Asking for any help from mini brain trump is a waste of time! Mini brain trump only thinks of one's self!!!

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Cindy S
Cindy Smith6 months ago

kill the rapists instead!

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Janis K
Janis K6 months ago

You signed on May 14, 2018

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DAVID fleming
Past Member 6 months ago

Makes my blood boil when children are bused like this

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ANA MARIJA R
ANA MARIJA R6 months ago

Signed/shared with hope.

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