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California Girl Claims She Ran Away to Avoid Arranged Marriage in Pakistan

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posted on Mar, 3 2011 @ 04:08 PM
Some of you may have heard of this missing girl. A multi-state search, stretching from California to Illinois was set off when this 13 year old went missing a week ago. Initially, the mother reported she feared someone on FB had something to do with a kidnapping, but as it turns out - a relative was hiding the girl who said she feared she was going to be made to join her step-father in Pakistan and forced into an arranged marriage.

As detectives began to focus on the Bender family, they learned that a relative was hiding Jessie in the nearby town of Apple Valley out of fear that she would be taken to Pakistan.

That relative led detectives to the hotel early Wednesday. Jesse's three siblings were also taken into child protective custody pending the completion of the investigation, Bachman said.

"All of the information that was obtained by investigators will be sent to the district attorney's office for review, I'm sure they'll make some sort of recommendation," Bachman said. (1)


We know that this has been an issue for the West. Children with Western citizenship have been prevented from leaving Middle East countries (without approval from their father) once they are there. One wonders just how much this little girl feared her step-father and being made to go to Pakistan, it was at least enough to convince her uncle to hide her, after she ran away... Presuming this is the whole story.

Investigation into the family is ongoing...

The San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office was reviewing the case for possible criminal charges against members of her family.

Walker said Jessie and her mother were American but that the girl's stepfather was a Pakistani native. It was not immediately clear if the girl's mother and stepfather are married.

"She was afraid to go to Pakistan and she didn't want to go back home because she was scared," Walker said. "We're just glad she's OK." (2)

edit on 3-3-2011 by LadySkadi because: fix quote

posted on Mar, 4 2011 @ 03:10 PM
Mom here, who is now suspected of providing police misleading statements and false information regarding Jessie's disappearance. So far, no arrests made and Family is being investigated. Jessie and her siblings have been removed from the home, for their protection.

posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 01:36 AM
reply to post by LadySkadi

This is truly sad indeed. It seems like young women these days have no say in what they want in life so they are left with very few options to deal with hard times. Parents are responsible for their kids sure but do they really understand their needs these days? I guess we all have our own decisions to make when its our loved ones at stake. $&F

posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 03:07 PM
Cray stuff, but I take it the biological father is out of the picture. And wtf is the mother thinking going along with all this, the girl is way to young to go anywhere or for marriage period, arranged or otherwise, this does sound like some sort of trade/set up for the girl in question. The crazy # some people would do.

posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 03:35 PM
This is a slippery slope. On face value, most of us probably cringe at the thought of an arranged marriage and feel that a child should decide for themselves to whom they should commit their life. And I agree with this. However, we have to be careful with this since it potentially opens the door to all kinds of "child rights".

Does a child have the right to refuse to go to church?
Does a child have the right to refuse to go on a trip? (think homeland visit, not marriage)
Does a child have the right to choose their own faith and at what age? (how many of us would be content with our 8 year old running around the house giving praise to Satan?)

I'm not saying this story isn't wrong on a number of levels, but we should be cautious in our outrage and keep in the mind the ramifications. We wanted to be secure on a we are frisked and stripped. We wanted to feed the hungry in the US and now entitlement programs consume more than we make.

It just seems to me that of late whenever we try and fight for the "right" thing, we lose more of our own rights in the process.

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