I got married seven years ago with a person I didn’t know. It was my family decision, so I agreed. We have four children. In the first years of our relation, I was very happy and we had very enjoyable life.

After some time my husband behavior changed. He left his job and found new friends who were addicted to drugs. Soon he also started to use drugs. He was usually spending his days and nights away from home and was unaware of our problem and needs. Whenever he whenever he came home, he beat and insulted me for no reason.

Several times I tried to help him and convince him to leave his addicted friends and change his behavior which was effecting our life and children. Unfortunately he never listened to me.

We were hungry for days, we didn’t have anything at home, and sometimes neighbors were bringing us their leftover food. I was depressed and worried about our future: who and how long would help us? For how long I would have to tolerate this miserable situation?

I decided to discuss this issues with my husband’s family. When they heard about it, they just listened, they not only did not believed me but they blamed me for what was going on in my home.

I went to the elders of my own family to get help and advice. They tried their best to talk to my husband and force him to stop using drugs. But nothing worked, he didn’t changed, he continued meeting his addicting friends to buy drugs, he continued to beat me and my children, he continued to grab my money and our other belonging to sell it for drugs. Day by day our situation was getting worse. Finally he warned me that he is leaving me and getting married to another woman. This was the end of tolerance and hope, I asked him for divorce. As I asked him to divorce me, he started beating me even more and violently. Not only my soul but my body was too hurt and I was in a deep pain. I was crying day and night.

Finally one early morning when he was still asleep, I left home and went to Human Rights Commission and asked for help and protection. The HRC referred me to HAWCA WPC.

Procedure:

Her case was registered and all the necessary information were given to her by HAWCA defense lawyer.

She was sent to forensic to confirm her injury type (as she was beaten) and then the examination result was also added in her case file.  Arrest warrant was issued for her husband by district 13 police station. For the moment her husband has left their residential area and has moved to an unknown location.

The victim lived in HAWCA WPC and participated in all educational and skill training courses. She has learnt how to be strong and confident to protect her children and live a life free of violence and discrimination.

Currently she has decided to stay with her mother. The reason she decided so is that there are high chances that her husband would come to visit her and government authorities can arrest him.

We have assured her that our defense lawyer will defend the case and also if she faces any kind of risk or threat, we are here to provide all needed support and protection.

HAWCA is the Afghanistan partner organisation for an ambitious project to develop a comprehensive, adaptable package of care to improve the mental health of survivors of violence against women, modern slavery, and civil conflict in India, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan.

In collaboration with academic partners in the UK (University College London (UCL), King’s College London, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), and organisational partners in Sri Lanka and India, HAWCA is helping to develop a package of care to support the mental health of women and children experiencing violence in Afghanistan. This involves mapping existing mental health services across five provinces, talking to service providers and representational groups, and working with users, their families, policy actors and faith groups to identify needs and potential solutions.

This project has the potential to bring about real changes for women and children affected by different forms of violence including violence against women, modern slavery and civil conflict. Violence against women affects 42% of women in South Asia, and modern slavery (defined as forced marriage, forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation) affects 40 million people worldwide, with the greatest burden in Asia. Conflict in Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, amidst discriminatory gender norms, has exposed a majority of women to abuse, trauma and poor mental health. An individual who has experienced these forms of violence is more likely to experience mental illness, particularly depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suicidal thinking.

Our aim with the project is to reduce the prevalence and severity of these mental health conditions. This might be through finding local strategies for delivering appropriate psychological therapies, and a range of non-clinical responses includes crisis counselling, shelter, legal and financial negotiation, social work, and community support networks.

The award is part of a £40m investment by NIHR into world class research through its Global Health Research (GHR) Programme, focusing on research with measurable benefits to patients and the public in low and middle-income countries (LMICs).

This research was commissioned by the National Institute of Health Research using Official Development Assistance (ODA) funding.
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR): improving the health and wealth of the nation through research.
Established by the Department of Health and Social Care, the NIHR:

  •  funds high quality research to improve health
  •  trains and supports health researchers
  •  provides world-class research facilities
  •  works with the life sciences industry and charities to benefit all
  •  involves patients and the public at every step

For further information, visit the NIHR website www.nihr.ac.uk

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