Mary, 14, with her son Michael, then 4 months old. Being a mother was something she had hoped for, says Mary, who conceived at 12 after getting married that same year. ‘After the marriage, we always prayed to have a baby.’ Photo: Sherlyn SeahMary, 14, with her son Michael, then 4 months old. Being a mother was something she had hoped for, says Mary, who conceived at 12 after getting married that same year. ‘After the marriage, we always prayed to have a baby.’ Photo: Sherlyn Seah
Mary, 14, with her son Michael, then 4 months old. Being a mother was something she had hoped for, says Mary, who conceived at 12 after getting married that same year. ‘After the marriage, we always prayed to have a baby.’ Photo: Sherlyn Seah

Married at 12, a mother at 13: a Malaysian child bride’s story

  • Mary is one of hundreds of children from Sarawak’s indigenous communities to have married before reaching adulthood
  • ‘I was surprised. I felt like I was going for a number two, but when I went to the toilet I realised I was ready to give birth,’ she recalls of her time in labour
Topic |   Sex and relationships
Mary, 14, with her son Michael, then 4 months old. Being a mother was something she had hoped for, says Mary, who conceived at 12 after getting married that same year. ‘After the marriage, we always prayed to have a baby.’ Photo: Sherlyn SeahMary, 14, with her son Michael, then 4 months old. Being a mother was something she had hoped for, says Mary, who conceived at 12 after getting married that same year. ‘After the marriage, we always prayed to have a baby.’ Photo: Sherlyn Seah
Mary, 14, with her son Michael, then 4 months old. Being a mother was something she had hoped for, says Mary, who conceived at 12 after getting married that same year. ‘After the marriage, we always prayed to have a baby.’ Photo: Sherlyn Seah
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