Afghan Teen’s Powerful Rap Video Helped Her Escape Forced Marriage

Sonita Alizadeh was 10 years old the first time her parents considered selling her into marriage. Fortunately, that didn’t happen. But just six years later, her older brother needed $7,000 to help pay for a dowry that would cover his own wedding expenses.  In order to cover the cost, her parents wanted to sell Sonita for $9,000 to an older man she’d never met.

When her mother told her, Sonita was devastated.  “I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t speak,” she told the New York Times. “My heart broke. It was too hard to imagine marrying someone I didn’t know. What would it feel like to be touched?”

Excerpt from Hanna Orenstein’s article in Seventeen- Read more


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I am a retired psychologist now writing freelance . I have published Commonsense Wisdom for Everyday Life, Young Man of the Cloth, The Pastor's Inferno, Navigating Life: Commonsense Reflections for the Voyage, Release Your Stress and Reclaim Your Life, and Make the Best of Your Teen Years. I wrote a newspaper column in Batavia, NY for fourteen years. My articles are now available in my free newsletter, Sliding Otter News. Subscribe free at

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