The parents of a 16-year-old Texas high school student have been arrested for allegedly beating and pouring hot oil on her after she refused an arranged marriage. They had agreed to the marriage in exchange for $20,000.
Maarib Al Hishmawi, who had reportedly gone missing on January 30 after leaving Taft High School in Bexar County, was found in mid-March. She was later taken in by a child care organization.
Authorities announced that Al Hishmawi's parents Abdulah Fahmi Al Hishmawi, 34, and Hamdiyah Saha, 33, have been charged with "continuous abuse."
According to KSAT, Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said Friday, "This young lady, at various times over that time period was subjected to some pretty bad abuse because she didn't want to be married to this person.
"Several times it was reported to us that this young lady was abused with hot cooking oil being thrown on her body. She was beaten with broomsticks. At least at one point, she was choked almost to the point of unconsciousness."
Following their arrest, Al Hishmawi and her five siblings, aged between 5 to 15, have been taken under Child Protective Services custody.
According to The Washington Post, some women's advocacy organizations refused to call Al Hishmawi's case an arranged marriage as they described that arranged marriage is an agreement between two people. The 16-year-old's case seemed more of a forced marriage.
A forced marriage is "characterized by coercion, where individuals are forced to marry against their will, under duress and/or without full, free and informed consent from both parties."