Elham Madhi, a young Yemani girl whose age is being reported as 12 or 13, bled to death after being raped by a husband nearly twice her age.
Before the child died from her injuries, she told her mother that her new husband has tied her down and raped her. He had tried to convince a medical clinic to give Madhi tranquilizers to keep her from fighting her off; when that failed, he bought performance enhancing drugs and raped her with the help of physical restraints.
The rape perpetrated on her prepubescent body, far from ready for aggressive sex with a grown man, caused the tearing of her vaginal canal. After the assault, Madhi was taken by her husband to a doctor, who warned him that she could not have sex for at least 10 days. When an autopsy was conducted after her death from internal bleeding, further tearing around the vagina and rectum suggested that the girl was raped again by her husband.
Just last year, a 12-year-old girl in Yemen died after three days of excruciating labor, and a 10-year-old girl managed to obtain a divorce after been married off, raped, and beaten at the young age of 8. These high-profile cases have called attention to the problem, but so far, little has been done to stop it. A law has been proposed in Yemen to set a minimum marriage age to combat the prevalence of children forced into marriage, but conservative religious opposition has kept the bill from moving forward. In the meantime, children of elementary school age continued to be forced into marriages and violated on a regular basis.