Today, FOX News reported on a10-year-old Saudi Arabian girl who was forcefully returned by her father to her 80-year-old husband. She had been hiding at her aunt’s home for almost two weeks before she was discovered. The 80-year-old husband was quoted in Arab News, “My marriage is not against Shariah.” We have no idea what went between the young girl and her husband of an arranged marriage, but one can only assume that she is probably scared and fearful of her life. Can you imagine your daughter sent to be married by a man seven times her age? How can this still be allowed?

Child brides are not uncommon in the Middle East, but that doesn’t make it an acceptable practice. The International Center for Research on Women estimates that there are at least 60 Million child brides worldwide. More research shows that 29 percent are beaten and molested by their husbands in Egypt, 26 percent in Jordan.

Last year, Nujood Ali, a 10-year-old girl from Yemen, divorced her husband three times her age after she repeatedly told her parents that the man was beating and raping her. Her unorthodox divorce was granted, but based on the Islamic Shariah Law, her husband was never prosecuted, and instead compensated. A child that young should never have to endure the pain and suffering that Nujood faced. Suha Bashren, a spokesperson from Oxfam shed some light on why families are doing such things to their daughters,

“Many times girls are forced to marry older men, including some who already have at least one wife, Oxfam said. According to tribal customs, the girls are no longer viewed as a financial or moral burden to their parents.

“There is always a fear that the girl will do something to dishonor the family: She will run away with a guy, she will have relations with a boy. So this is always the phobia that the families have.”

With so few girls speaking out the way that Nujood did, there seems doubt that laws will be created and enforced preventing such violations of human rights. Hopefully, the 10 year-old Saudi Arabian girl, and all young girls forced into marriage as children, will be given the opportunity to speak out someday without fear of persecution. These are basic human rights and for anyone to be denied them, especially children, is ridiculous.