Man, 70, Marries 15-Year Old After Family Sells Her

    January 8, 2013
    Amanda Crum

A 70-year old man who says a 15-year old girl’s family jilted him has married the teen in Saudi Arabia.

The man claims the girl’s parents sold her to him for $20,000 but that she ran back to them after the sale was complete. In order to solve the problem, he simply married her. Now, human rights workers are offering the girl as much help as they can give in preparation for a court dispute should she seek a divorce. They believe the girl was scared and left after a dispute with the man.

In today’s society, it’s difficult for some to believe that arranged marriages and the sale of children still exist; but in some countries, it is either tradition or a last resort some families turn to when they desperately need money. But in recent years, human rights activists have made it their mission to help young girls and women who have been essentially traded away, and say this particular case sounds more like one of a forced sale of a human being rather than a traditional arranged marriage.

“When you consider the very large difference in age, it looks more like this was not a marriage, but like the girl was sold,” Dr. Suhaila Zein al-Abedin said. “The girl’s parents need to be held responsible for this.”

The man, on the other hand, claims the girl is much older than her parents say she is.

“She is not 15 as everybody claims,” he said. “She’s 25 years old and she’s mature enough to make her own decisions… I was fooled by the girl’s family.”

Regardless of his claims, the girl’s story has garnered the support of thousands who have taken to twitter to voice their opinion on the matter.