Nujood's parents said they were trying to do what was best for their daughter and didn't even receive a dowry, a claim many Yemenis don't believe. The parents say the groom had promised he wouldn't have sex with her until she reached puberty.
The trouble started on the first night, when he demanded that they share a mattress. She resisted, walking out of the room, only to have him follow. Sometimes he beat her into submission. For weeks, she cried all day and dreaded the nights, when he would enter the room, blow out the oil lamp and demand sex.
On a visit to her parents' house back in the capital weeks later, she wept that her husband was doing unmentionable things to her. Her father claimed there was nothing he could do.
"My cousins would have killed me if I dishonored the family by asking for a divorce," he said.
But her mother's sister discretely advised her to go to court.
No provision in Yemeni law provides for enforcement of sexual abuse charges within a marriage.
It occurs to me that donating to Equality Now might be a good way to celebrate the 4th of July and do a bit to improve the recognition of rights for those with little recourse to legal measures.