UP teen who delivered baby refuses to marry rapist

Miss Alone

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For a girl who dropped out of school after her class V exams as her father could not afford her education expenses, the teenage girl who gave birth to her rapist's child on Thursday after courts refused her the permission to abort is as brave as she is spunky. Battling stigma, uncertainly and confusion that has come with being an unwed mother so young in a UP village, the girl, who turned 14 this month, has refused offers of marriage from the family of her rapist.
In an exclusive interview to TOI, she said she wants life in jail for her violator, not herself as a gift for him. "Look where he has left me. It will be humiliating for me to accept the man as my husband and forgive him everything," she said from her hospital bed. Fortunately for her, she has her grieving father by her side, who said people might want her to take up the proposal of marriage and put an end to the matter, but he stands by his daughter's decision.
The girl reacted after Akeel Khan, who is father of the accused Asif Khan,22, said, "If a DNA test confirms paternity of the child, we will accept both the girl and the baby, but only if she marries my son. If she is unwilling to marry, we will not accept the infant."
The? teenager, staring at her unwanted child,? said, "I want the court to sentence him for life for what he has done to me. His family wants me to marry him now to save him from a jail term. In such a way, all rapists will be freed if they are given an option to marry rape survivors. Even if I marry him, he can abandon me and the baby? later."
She added,? "After my fellow villagers learnt about my pregnancy, my family and I are being insulted, abused and threatened regularly. Though Asif committed the crime, I have been paying a heavy price for it."
The girl's father said that there is no point of compromise in the matter. "The marriage, if at all, is only to save the accused from legal trouble," he said.? ?"I stand with my daughter when she says a rapist should not be allowed to marry his victim. There should be punishment for it."

Both the father and daughter are clear about another thing. They do not want the baby. The girl, who tried to get permission for abortion from the courts and failed, has consistently been saying that bringing up a child born out of rape will never let her trauma and stigma fade. She has told cops and court that such a situation will neither help her nor her child.
So what now? Speaking for his daughter, the man said,"Once the baby is given to someone, we will take care of my daughter for a few years. We will later marry her to someone when she is mentally prepared for it. If she is married to a far-off village, she can move on with her life. She is just 14. She has her whole life ahead of her and I want her to be happy."