Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Rifqa Bary Before her Escape: Beatings, Brutality, Subjugation

Monday, August 17, 2009

Rifqa Bary is an honor student, a cheerleader - a good girl. Like Amina and Sarah Said, she lived two lives: she was a happy productive successful student in school and a tortured, oppressed and brutalized victim at home. Many in her school were shocked to hear that Rifqa, the quintessential good girl, had run away from home; those close to her were not surprised at all.

On several occasions friends of Rifqa would bring her down to the school counselor because of bruises on her legs and her arms, beatings suffered at the hands of her father and brother (sounds like Islam Said). The middle school, in a serious dereliction of duty, did not report these beatings to child welfare services. Beatings were random, violent, unprovoked. Take, for example, when Rifqa and her father Mohammad were driving in the car. He would force her to wear the hijab, which she hated. In her discomfort she would slouch down, embarrassed, and her father would haul off and sock her in the face so that she never forgot to sit up straight in her costume. The beatings were regular and so much a part of the landscape of Rifqa's life, she became inured to them, just like Amina and Sarah and Aqsa and every "honor" victim. the rest


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