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Malawi: “I was told never to deny him sex” Kalinde’s story

Kalinde’s story was kindly shared by Human Rights Watch and is an excerpt from their report “I’ve never experienced happiness: Child marriage in Malawi”.

I am 23 years old and my husband is 30. I married when I was 15. I have two children aged 9 and 18 months. I did not want to marry but I agreed because of poverty at home. We had a marriage ceremony where both our parents came together, talked and agreed that we can marry.

During the marriage ceremony, I was told to respect my husband and never to deny him sex. I was told to bear it when I get problems because that is how marriages are. I found life very difficult after marriage. I was a small girl and I did not know anything about marriage.

One time, my stomach started getting big and I was having severe headaches. I was so scared; I did not know what was happening. I went to the hospital and that is when the nurse told me I was 5 months pregnant.

My husband is a builder and I do nothing. I am not happy in my marriage because my husband goes away without leaving food and takes long to come back home. My husband also beats me and is a womanizer.

I love him so much but he does not love me and that is why he has very many women. I want to leave the marriage but I am waiting for the right time to leave. I am waiting for him to change and if he does not, I will leave him.

When my husband comes back from other women and wants sex, I just accept because he is my husband. We do not use condoms because he already infected me with HIV. Marriage is not good for girls.

There is no happiness. I want change for girls and that is why I want my story to be heard by all girls out there thinking of marriage.

The name in this story was changed to protect the girl’s identity.