Stories about physical abuse

#KhadijaTheFighter: Democracy may have won yesterday but justice continues to lose

Khadija Siddiqi’s case and her bravery amidst all the chaos has continued to serve as a lesson for women to hold their heads up high and fight against injustice. A year later, her case is still going strong with the accused bringing forth the most absurd arguments out of desperation to win the case. Clearly, the only thing working in his favour is the power his father holds in the legal fraternity. Siddiqi, a law student at a local college, was stabbed 23 times in broad daylight on May 3, 2016 by 21-year-old Shah Hussain, the son of an influential lawyer, when she had ...

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What is so ‘filthy’ and ‘unnatural’ about reproductive sex, Pakistan?

A close friend of mine recently had an STI (sexually transmitted infection) scare. Despite being in excruciating pain, she was scared to ask her husband how she got the infection. After a few days of discomfort and suffering, she consulted a doctor who put her mind to rest by confirming that she had a yeast infection because of diabetes. But during this whole episode, I was surprised to find out how ignorant she was about sexual health. First, she was adamant that she couldn’t get an STI from her husband because he was absolutely fine, which is irrelevant and factually incorrect because some STIs ...

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An orphan no more

“I’m not hungry today…” I remember I said to myself just as I opened the lid of the still-warm pot resting on top of the stove. The dirty dishes, filled with leftover pieces of roti, took their place on the right side of the stove and the empty water bottles on the other side had once again told me that my family had eaten without me. The cooking pot seldom had anything left for me to eat. Usually, though, it was half-filled with diluted curry. Every evening, I was handed two gigantic, but empty bottles by my aunt, while she prepared the delicious-smelling ...

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It’s about time we talk about suicide

A few months ago, I received a frantic phone call from a friend. He told me his 11-year-old son tried to hang himself. This was not the first time; he had made similar attempts in the past, and also had a history of harming himself. Luckily, the parents had intervened just in time and saved him before it was too late. The father consulted me over the phone – he was broken, and was desperately in search of an answer. He wanted to devise a plan of action that could save his child from further attempts. After many possible interventions, we drafted ...

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I was never his wife, I was only his slave

“I maybe from a  third world country but I have a heart like you do, emotions like you have, and dreams to pursue. On my first Eid as a married girl, I wanted to dress up and celebrate my new beginning instead of being in a hospital bed recovering from the effects of abuse.” I got married in March 2014 in Chicago with dreams of starting a new life and a future built out on love and trust in my new home. My parents were so assured that they were giving me into the hands of an educated guy; someone who ...

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Her husband beat her and other women told her it’s probably her fault

A very recent Facebook discussion on a closed group brought light to an important issue: domestic abuse. The victim, *Humaira said she was distressed about the fact that her husband was not spending time with her so she voiced her concerns. Her husband reacted with anger; he shouted at her and grasped her tightly around the neck.    She then asked them, “Should I leave him?” Whilst there were certain sane voices that urged the woman to leave the hostile environment and remove herself from a dangerous situation, even if it were for a temporary period of time, there were many others ...

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Maryam knew she was born poor and meant to be treated harshly

Three months ago, an 11-year-old Maryam sat in my friend’s drawing room, weeping incessantly. My friend and I asked her if there was anything we could do for her, we inquired if she wanted to talk to her mother. All we got in return were confused, big black eyes staring right back at us. Maryam curled herself into a tiny ball and continued sobbing. I felt immensely grieved because the little girl had made a long arduous journey from her village to this new house alone. My friend’s mother had asked a former driver to look for a female domestic helper; one ...

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Would you put your parents in such nursing homes?

Young people are prone to say all kinds of nonsensical things. I remember a ridiculous incident fairly well when I was a teenager myself. It was raining, there was a lot of car trouble and two of our relatives and my own family piled into one car to attend a chaleeswaan (40th day after a funeral). I was hungry, tired and disliked those relatives with whom we had to share our car with for the two-hour ride. “Why do we do these chaleeswans?” I had grumbled. “Please don’t do it for me when I die.” My parents chuckled, “Aise naheen kehte beta!” (Don’t say such things!”) I grumbled even more, “I ...

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As a Kashmiri, I ask, will my scars ever heal?

When people talk about the effects of conflict on the psyche of the youth in Kashmir, I automatically recall my experiences in a conflict-ridden Kashmir as well. With every passing murder of innocent youths in the area – such as the recent killing of Khalid Muzaffar in the North-Kashmir area of Tral, or the earlier case of the Pathribal and Machil fake encounter –  I wonder how I could have been in their place or could have ended up taking arms against the perpetrators to avenge the pain inflicted upon us. So here I am, writing my story, a story which nearly every Kashmiri can relate to. I ...

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Move over, women; it’s time for men to rightfully use the victim card

Feminism has been rooted in history ever since the unceasing debate about gender discrimination began, which goes back a long way. However, our media has often glorified women as the only victims of social injustices, while men, who are also victims of domestic violence, sex trade, abuse, and other unjust practices, are side-lined from the spotlight. They are primarily held responsible for almost all the issues associated with women’s rights crisis. I, for one, believe that this is yet another social stigma that exists in our society. In fact, our media has played a liable role in promoting feminism to an extent that ...

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