Monday, 9 June 2008

Dad permits 13 year old to marry?!

While Australia has Bill Henson taking photographs of naked teenagers, we now have a police officer from the Northern Territory who sanctioned the marriage of his 13 year old daughter to a 19 year old male. The reasons the father went ahead and basically said ok to the marriage that it was within tribal law. He allowed his daughter to sleep with the man in his own house, who then became pregnant. The pregnancy wasn't viable and the fetus died, and when surgery followed it was discovered that the 13 year old had 3 sexually transmitted diseases.

No 13 year old is capable of making decisions about marrying and raising a child, still a child herself. Tribal laws are still practised to some degree in communities and the law can and does refer to these at times through the judicial system. Calls have been made for the police officer in question to be fired over allowing this to take place. While supposedly upholding the law he approved the sexual abuse of his young daughter and permitted it to take place in his own home.
Chief Justice of the Northern Territory, Brian Martin sentenced the 19 year old male to two years jail, to be suspended after 6 months saying , the child "freely entered" into the traditional marriage and became pregnant in September 2006.

How in the hell is a 13 year old capable or mature enough to "freely enter" such an arrangement? Sexual abuse and sexually transmitted diseases are rife in aboriginal communities with the government attempting to stamp out the rising statistics. This can not happen while parents condone their children to be used this way.

Sexual abuse is not confined to aboriginal people or their communities in Australia.


jams o donnell said...

I can't see how she could have entered freely into the marriage.

CherryPie said...

No that seems totally wrong to me, what could her father have been thinking of!

Nunyaa said...

He says it was Tribal Law that allowed him to do that, well those tribal laws aside, no law that says he has to follow it.