Most girls dream about about falling in love, getting married in a beautiful dress, and having a family. But for thousands of young Afghan girls, and millions more across Asia and Africa, marriage often comes before they are old enough for such dreams -- and ends in nightmare.
Torpekay, for example, is an Afghan girl from western Herat Province. Although just 17, she has been married for four years.
Torpekay tells RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan that becoming a wife at the tender age of 13, being forced to serve her husband's family, and having virtually no say in her own life have taken a heavy toll on her. So heavy, she says, that she tried to escape -- by taking her own life.
She survived the attempt, and has been recovering at a local hospital. "I was so angry that I wanted to kill myself," she says, asking that her surname not be used. "I didn't have a knife, I didn't have any drug to inject into myself, so I decided to set myself on fire. Using gasoline was the easiest way."
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(RFE/RLs Radio Free Afghanistan contributed to this report)