Alicante teen escapes arranged marriage
Student, 17, banned from leaving home without an adult relative and had her mobile phone confiscated
By Samantha Kett PARENTS who tried to force their daughter into marrying a stranger 20 years her senior have been arrested in Alicante, and the teenage victim has been taken into care.
An undercover police operation was needed for the young woman, 17, to give a statement, since her movements were so tightly controlled she was unable to leave the family home without adult supervision.
Born in Alicante to Moroccan parents, the woman was forced to adhere to the family's extremely conservative values, including wearing a hijab or headscarf whenever she left the house, not being allowed to wear 'western' clothes, her mobile phone being inspected constantly and finally confiscated, and banned from having friends or partners.
She was halfway through sixth form when her mother, father and elder brother announced she was going to be sent to Morocco to marry a man aged 37 whom she had never met.
Her parents had stopped her from going to school and would not let her out of the house unless an adult male relative was with her.
After pleading and begging, her family reluctantly permitted her to take her end-ofyear exams, which she passed with flying colours thanks to her conscientious self-study – despite having missed more than half that year's classes.
When her forced wedding in Morocco was confirmed, the student was ordered to speak to her future husband daily by telephone, although she says he 'did all the talking'.
She attempted suicide and was admitted to hospital in a serious condition in March.
The young woman spoke of repeated violence and threats by her brother, 29, when she fought against her fate.
Her parents and brother have been arrested and charged with domestic abuse, but were not expected to be remanded in custody.
The victim told police she did not want to return home 'under any circumstances' and wanted to continue her education, so she has been placed in a children's home for the time being.