A 12-year-old girl in Larkana, Pakistan, was penalized by her parents for refusing to marry an elderly man.
The girl was found chained in a room when the headmistress of her primary school visited the girls' home to inquire about her long absence in class.
The headmistress, Nayab Sarkash Sinhi, said the girl’s teacher was a neighbor and heard her crying late one night, Dawn News reports.
Her parents admitted to the principal they were punishing her for refusing to marry an elderly man. The headmistress reportedly warned the couple against punishing their daughter.
The parents reportedly promised to accept the proposal from Karim Bukhsh Chandio in exchange for a large sum of money.
The story quickly went viral, with many expressing their disgust in the comments section of the Dawn News article:
We must eliminate such crimes from our society and must eradicate poverty and ignorance totally.Such crimes in our society in modern age is slap on the face of our society.We must work round the clock to realize our people their responsibilities.
Why only to detain the mother but not the fellow who wanted to marry the child? Because the mother is poor!
Child marriage is a serious problem occurring worldwide, with one recent example taking place in Zambia. A 17-year-old girl was forced by her parents to marry a stranger after they were offered money for a proposal.
“My parents sat me down and told me I was no longer their responsibility," the 17-year-old told BBC. "They wanted me to move out and start a life of my own."
“Things moved faster than I expected - when a stranger paid a bride price to my parents," she said with tears in her eyes, BBC reports. "I had no say in the matter. I didn’t choose this life and I’m not happy here."