Married into Violence – Zeenat

My life is a tale of constant struggles, but I am determined that no other woman living under same circumstances should suffer. I was 15-years old, when I was married to a man double my age. I was too young to fulfill my responsibilities as a housewife, but every other girl I knew was doing so, and therefore, I too continued. My mother-in-law was very strict, and I had to follow her instructions in performing all household chores.

Soon after I gave birth to a daughter and life continued. My daughter, Sidra, was 14 when my brother proposed that she be married to his wife’s cousin. In our tribe, once a girl is promised, no one can go back on his or her word. Sidra was married, but the groom was not a young man. He was a 60-year-old uncle of my sister-in-law. Sidra had to live with grown up kids of her husband and was subjected to domestic violence quite often.

Since she was married in a different city, we could not check on her very often. Last year, they sent her back along with her eight-year-old son. They have not divorced her, but seeing her condition, I have decided that I will not let her go back. She is mentally not in a state anymore, to look after her son or herself. I am getting her treated at a local hospital.

To pay for her medical expenses, and to support my family, I have opened a small shop in my house. I maintain a regular account of my sales that helps me also analyze what sells well.

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