Abuse and Honor Killings
Yesterday we helped a young 16-year-old girl, Mariam*, who’s in severe danger. She was on the way from Iran with her uncle and aunt and their son (her parents are back in Iran) when she was raped by a guy in Turkey. She became pregnant and her aunt and uncle were furious and beat her so bad the baby died, something very common for Afghan women to experience at least once in their life. They began threatening to kill her and her parents have disowned her saying she’s brought great shame to the family. She has been here in Moriah camp for about a month and every day the beatings and threats of an honor killing grow worse. Daily she is beaten, and assaulted by her uncle. Those in neighboring tents say they often hear her scream and cry out. We heard about this young girl through two Iranian pastors who were briefly ministering here. We met up with this young girl in the camp today and she had a bloody lip from being hit last night. This sweet girl was shaking and had so much fear in her eyes.
The major dilemma is that her story is common here in Moriah camp and even though there is a safe zone for women and girls like her in the camp it is currently packed. This means that no one could help her until next week but the young girl was far too afraid to return to her tent and the reaity that she could be killed any day was overwhelming. We stood for hours with a translator on the phone and workers of the camp trying to convince them to help her today and asking the Lord what we ought to do.
Naturally, because these workers hear these stories daily it's challenging to be compassionate, not only this but there are thousands of women in similar situations waiting to get into the safe zone. The three of us, myself, my German friend and a young woman from a Mennonite ministry we partner with, felt strongly that today this young girl was the “one”. Just as Jesus left the 99 to find the one we believe that in the face of overwhelming need the best you can do is stop and help and love the one God’s put in front of you. After hours of talking it became clear that organizations in the camp would do nothing for her until next week. The young girl said she would not go back home though so we began discussing taking her into our flat. The issue with this is that it’s illegal as she is a minor, we could be charged with kidnapping, her family could find our flat and put many more of us in danger and it could cause issues for the NGO’s here.
After trying everything, many meetings and phone calls we prayed and several of us felt clearly to take her to a local Christian center despite the risks. We drove her to the local Christian center in town and sure enough, this act caught the attention of the NGOs and aid workers here. God used it to show them this girl really needed help today. We were able to pass her off to an aid worker and they spent the whole day with police creating a report so they can legally remove her from her tent and aunt and uncle.
Late that night we received a text that she made it into the safe zone! This is all thanks to a Mennonite group we have been working alongside here and one amazing woman we passed this teenager along to! I feel overwhelmed, celebrating all God did today to save this girl’s life and to show her that He sees her, He protects her.
* names changed