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  • Writer's pictureBarbados Association of Muslim Ladies BB

Story 5: 16 Days, 16 Stories

TW Warning: These stories contain detailed descriptions of abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence, physical violence and other forms of harassment and discrimination which may be triggering.


Why does marriage have to be the only escape for girls?

From a tender age my parents told me that my life had to be spent preparing for marriage, to care for a husband and raise children. I was told that it was important what people thought of me. I was told that it was important not to bring shame upon myself or my family. I was told it was important to uphold a good reputation of myself in society in order to gain a suitable husband. I was told that marriage is the ultimate end goal and so I thought this was my only purpose.

But, as time went on, I wanted a life for myself. I wanted to pursue my studies. I wanted the freedom to just go out with my friends and live a little. I wanted to learn to be independent. I wanted to achieve something for myself. I wanted them to just trust and believe in me...

But, all the decisions in my life were made for me and I felt controlled. It was all about preparing myself for a good marriage and "what people would think". All the decisions made for me lined up with what society deemed as a good acceptable girl. I had to mindfully make decisions and portray myself in a way that would not bring shame upon my parents or family. I was threatened that if my reputation was not upheld, my life would be filled with misery. I was frustrated living such a controlled life where my parents couldn't even trust me. There was nowhere to turn. To me, marriage seemed like the only escape and so I got married.


If you or someone you know is being abused and needs help, please contact BAML’s Hotline at 284-2613 or 257-5582. WhatsApp Messages are also accepted. This is a free, highly confidential service.

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