By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent
ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN (Worthy News)– Every year in Pakistan, an estimated 1,000 girls and young women are kidnapped, forced to convert to Islam and then married to Muslim men, according to Barnabas Aid.
Mostly Christians and Hindus, these victims are usually between the ages of 12 and 25; they are often subjected to sexual assault, rape, domestic abuse and even forced prostitution.
All the abductions follow a familiar pattern: a female is kidnapped, forcefully converted to Islam and then married off to either the kidnapper, or a third party. The families' attempts at recovering their daughters are often hindered by police that are reluctant to lodge the complaint and sharia courts that unquestioningly accept any coerced statement attesting to a forced conversion and marriage.
Should the victim's family successfully file a complaint with the police, their "son-in-law" will often file a counter claim against his new in-laws by accusing them of harassment.
And if the kidnap victim can testify in court, throughout the entire proceedings she will remain in the custody of her abductor, making it problematic for her to speak truthfully about whether she converted and married voluntarily without later facing retaliation from her spouse.