16 Jan 2018

Parents on trial in Stuttgart after forcing their daugther to marry

A young woman has filed a lawsuit against her family that kidnapped, trafficked and married her off against her will. All because she refused to follow a traditional lifestyle.

Daria Sukharchuk
Daria Sukharchuk NewsMavens, Central & Eastern Europe
Parents on trial in Stuttgart after forcing their daugther to marry - NewsMavens
Women walking in Turkey/ Wikimedia Commons

Why this story matters:

women's issues, gender

This story begins in 2011, when a young woman raised in Germany in a family of Turkish immigrants, refused to follow the path her parents had envisioned for her. She chose a Western lifestyle and wanted to have a boyfriend. After a family crisis led to an impasse, she fled and lived in a shelter in Stuttgart. She was 22. 

Yet, her struggle was far from over. A member of the family discovered her whereabouts, kidnapped and drove the woman to Turkey, where she was forced to marry a man against her will. Eventually, she managed to escape to Germany and filed a lawsuit against her parents and uncle, who now face prison sentences.

Having read many stories of domestic abuse and sexual violence, I can only imagine what this woman has been through. Although her story seems to have a happy end, it is clear that the she has suffered repeated abuse and trauma. Doubtless she has also lost trust and close ties to her own family.

Such stories occur worldwide and hence carry an important, universal message -- that widely idealized, traditional families are often not what they seem at first glance. Especially when they favor submissiveness and brutal force over the individual freedom of women.

Details from the story:

  • A young woman was raised in Germany in a Turkish family. She did not share her parents' traditional views on gender roles and wanted to live according to Western values.
  • The conflict escalated in 2011, when she was 22. Her parents did not approve of her lifestyle and her boyfriend. She had to flee home and hide in a shelter in Stuttgart. That same year, she was married to a man in Turkey, in a ceremony that did not even require her presence.
  • Soon after, her uncle tricked her into meeting him, then slipped drugs into her coffee and drove her to Turkey.
  • 1.5 years later, she managed to escape to Germany and file a lawsuit.
  • The woman, now aged 28, lives under police protection, while her parents and uncle are on trial, facing prison sentences.
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