Now that everyone and their dog (or camel, if you live in the Middle East) has a smartphone, the world is more connected than ever through social media and instant messaging. Although it's wonderful to be able to message at the click of an iPhone button, sometimes this small, digitally connected world can turn ugly.
In the UAE, what seemed like a promising, blossoming relationship had a tragic outcome when two young adults began talking via popuar instant messaging service, WhatsApp.
A young man living in the UAE accidentally sent a message to a woman after he texted the wrong number. After sending texts back and forth, the man and woman realised they had many things in common and pursued a tentative cyber relationship, made up of phonecalls, texts and later, a promise of marriage.
Sadly, proving the dangers of this new connected world, the relationship between the two ended after the man brutally raped the woman after they met up for the first time. According to Kuwaiti newspaper "Al Naba'a", the man took the young lady to a secluded area in his car. There, he took advantage of her and raped her.
What's even sadder is that the young woman, embarrased about what had happened to her and the shame it might bring on her family, tried to cover up the incident - she begged the young man to fulfil his promise of marriage so as to "keep up appearances".
Luckily, the young woman's mother realised that something was not right with her daughter - Al Naba'a reported that she noticed that her daughter became steadily more isolated, changed her behaviour and looked ill. When the woman's health did not improve, she was taken to the emergency room - where it became apparent to doctors that she was suffering from a womb and urinary tract infection. After refusing further medical treatment, the distraught young woman confided in a friend about her terrible ordeal - and thankfully, her friend pushed her to report the incident to the Dubai police.
A medical examination showed that the woman had a torn hymen - and the young man responsible for the crime was slapped with rape charges.
Finding out about his charges, the man called the girl's parents in a towering rage, informing them that their daughter was no longer a virgin and that he would marry her if they dropped all charges against him.
The parents did not give in to the man's hysterics, and the rape case has been allocated to the criminal court in Dubai, according to "Al Emarat Al Youm" newspaper.
Hopefully the young girl at the center of this sad case will be vindicated and the rapist will be brought to justice.
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