Although in Mexico, forced marriage is illegal in many communities in the country, child marriage remains a reality.
At least 300 thousand girls between 12 and 17 years old have contracted marriage or began to live in concubinage, in states such as Guerrero, Hidalgo, Chiapas and Oaxaca.
Martha is originally from the Costa Chica de Guerrero, was born in Mixtecapa, a small community in the municipality of San Luis Acatlán and has just 693 inhabitants.
An indigenous community, which like many others, is governed by its uses and customs, one of them, child marriage.
When he was 11 years old, Martha’s father tried to marry her, in exchange for paying off a debt.
Martha Porfirio Portillo, said: “When I was 11 years old, my father had a debt that he could not pay, and he was making me the exchange of that debt.”
On that occasion, fortunately, he did not succeed, because she insisted so much that her father gave up on the idea, however, there was a second attempt and this time, they did.
“Some men, I really do not know who they were, they went for me and they paid for me so that I left and I was forced to go live with this person, I was much, much older than me, I remember that I was just going to turn 15, “said Martha Porfirio Portillo.
According to figures from ‘Save the Children’, more than six thousand women between 12 and 17 years old have married or started living in concubinage, in the last year.
A phenomenon that occurs especially in the states of Guerrero, Hidalgo, Chiapas and Oaxaca, where the rights to education, health and a life free of violence of almost 300 thousand girls, are violated, having forced them to marry with older men, which causes high levels of emotional, physical and sexual violence against them.
And so it was with Martha, who was the victim of mistreatment and physical violence on the part of her concubine until she finally escaped.
But she could not go home either, so she devoted himself to studying and working until he finished his degree in Midwifery.
Now at 24 years old, she works in her community as a midwife, collaborating with the organization ‘I want, I can’, which recently launched the ‘Help them not to reach the altar’ campaign, through which they intend to raise awareness about marriage that currently afflicts millions of girls in Mexico.
Source: Karina Cuevas, Noticieros.Televisa
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