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Akech B. loved to study and dreamed of becoming a nurse. But when she was 14, her uncle who was raising her, told her she was too old for school. He forced her to leave school and told her that she had to marry a man whom Akech described as old, grayhaired, and married to another woman with whom he had several children. Akech begged her uncle to allow her to continue her education. He refused. “Girls are born so that people can eat. All I want is to get my dowry,” he told her. The man paid 75 cows for Akech, which signified that the marriage had taken place. She tried to resist, but her male cousins beat her severely, accused her of dishonoring her family, and forced her to go to the man’s house. Akech fled and hid with a friend. Her uncle found her and took her to prison, where he told officials that she had run away from her husband and needed to be taught a lesson. They imprisoned her for a night. When her cousins came for her they beat her so badly that she could hardly walk. Then they took herback to her husband.

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