"My name is Rukhsana. I was the first girl in my village who attended school up to 5th standard and I wanted to be a lawyer.
But one day while playing cricket my brother engaged in fight with a rich boy in our village and in fury, he smacked the boy with bat and the boy died. My brother could have been sentenced to death or sent to jail for life imprisonment. Both the families (mine and the murdered boy’s) ‘resolved’ the matter by giving me and my younger sister in marriage to the two boys from the murdered boy’s family. Although this is a very common tradition (known as Swara) in our village in which women are given as compensation for crimes committed by their men folk but I protested. My parents forcefully made me sign the marriage documents to protect their son from punishment. And thats how at the age of 11 and a half I got married off to a 20 year old boy. I had to move to another city.
On the first night of my wedding, I was forced to spend the night with my father-in-law, by my mother-in-law who proclaimed that it was a custom in the city. My husband is mentally challenged, he is incapable of marital relations and his mother became my master in that house. I could understand that I was brought to take care of my mentally challenged husband but my mother-in-law wanted a good-looking grandson as well and wanted me to conceive it with my father-in-law, who himself was good looking. I was beaten, locked inside a room with my father in law many times. I would always cry and beg him not to abuse me and he never had sex with me.
I had to do all the household chores and my mother is law used to beat me black and blue even for slightest negligence. She also threatened me that they would put my brother in jail, if I disobeyed them or tried to protest in any manner.
After enduring violence for two years I finally ran away with a little help from my father in law."