HOMA, Ethiopia (WOMENSENEWS)--Misrach Salgado, 28, had one toddler and was pregnant with her second child when something happened that would send a shudder through her tiny village of Homa and change her own life forever.
Her husband helped a friend abduct a young woman who the friend wanted to marry. As soon as the woman was brought into the friend's home, she hung herself. Stunned, and hoping to hide what had happened, the men threw the woman's body over a cliff near the village.
But herders found the body, uncovering the crime. The 270 households of Homa, some 235 miles southwest of Addis Ababa, the capital city, were horrified. Salgado's husband, along with his friend and one other who had helped, was sentenced to life in prison.
Talking about it today, nine years later, Salgado's face hardens and her eyes stare into the distance. She recounts the hardships that followed, including isolation in the village and hungry nights as she struggled to find a way forward. Eventually, she began to buy butter in the local market and travel to a larger nearby town to resell it, keeping whatever profit she could for herself. But she couldn't afford to buy much more than about 4 to 5 kilograms of butter a week, so she only made a profit of between $2.50 and $3.50 weekly.