I am 23-years-old and my husband is 30. I married when I was 15. I have two children ages 9 and 18 months. I did not want to marry but I agreed because of poverty at home.

During the marriage ceremony, I was told to respect my husband and never to deny him sex. I was told to bear it when I get problems because that is how marriages are. I found life very difficult after marriage. I was a small girl and I did not know anything about marriage. One time, my stomach started getting big and I was having severe headaches. I was so scared; I did not know what was happening. I went to the hospital and that is when the nurse told me I was five months pregnant.… I am not happy in my marriage because my husband goes away without leaving food and takes long to come back home.

My husband also beats me and is a womanizer. I love him so much but he does not love me and that is why he has very many women. I want to leave the marriage but I am waiting for the right time to leave. I am waiting for him to change and if he does not, I will leave him. When my husband comes back from other women and wants sex, I just accept because he is my husband. We do not use condoms because he already infected me with HIV. Marriage is not good for girls.

There is no happiness. I want change for girls and that is why I want my story to be heard by all girls out there thinking of marriage.
-Kalinde J., Chikwawa district.