Teen Fighting Arranged Marriage Wins Protective Custody
May. 05, 1994
MILWAUKEE (AP) _ A teen-ager who says she could be killed if she is forced into an arranged marriage in the Middle East was put in protective custody by a judge.
The 17-year-old girl told a social worker that she was raped by a relative at 14 and that she fears if she marries in Jerusalem as her Palestinian parents wish, she will be murdered when it is discovered she is not a virgin.
Circuit Court Judge Michael Malmstadt ordered this week that the girl remain in foster care at a secret location for at least a year.
The girl's parents, who don't speak English, didn't appear in court for a hearing Tuesday, so Malmstadt ruled they lost custody by default.
The girl and a cousin ran away from home Aug. 23. The girls, who grew up in the United States, told authorities their parents were trying to put them on a plane for Jerusalem, where they would be married.
The cousin, who has since turned 18 and moved out of state, told police her father struck and choked her and that she feared she would be killed for running away and ''breaking with the cultures and traditions of her family.''