"Nobody knew that I was a domestic violence survivor"

(Hamza Rehman, Karachi.)

As other women in Pakistan, an anonymous faced physical abuse in her marriage. She reveals how living with an abusive partner made her question her own sanity.

My journey to hell and back begin 5 years ago. I loved a person I knew in university, he proposed me and I said yes because I never thought that he would be this brutal to me someday. We got married and I was so happy. Things were so beautiful in the beginning I was living the life I ever wished for. But there was a cruel twist of fate. I didn’t see it coming. We had an argument on groceries which is very common in couples, I was trying to calm him down since he was so angry at something which wasn’t my fault and then he punched me on my face and pushed me back. I was shocked, numbed and dismayed. I never knew he would do this.

Day after he apologized for it, I believed him and things did improve for a while. But then he developed drinking habits, he used to come home drunk and beat me for reason. It was subtle at first, as abuse often is but it worsened by time. I never knew what my mistake was maybe that’s how a man treats a woman. Things went worst and he became harsher with me. Soon I discovered that I was pregnant and he seemed overjoyed with the news. A few months later he came home drunk and punched my stomach and I lost my child.

When his brutality affected my child I decided to give up. I was frightened and distraught, I never wanted my marriage to end on these terms. But I had to take a step for my mental peace. I decided to leave him ignoring people judgmental minds. I wanted to breathe openly so I took divorce.

He threatened me in the beginning but he had to give up. I’m happily living a peaceful life now working in reputable firm. I want to aware other women that domestic violence could be in any shape and size. It is a false perception created by movies that a quiet, introvert person would be the one doing this. It could come in your most unexpected situations, in a happy, confident and a smart guy.
 
It isn’t easy opening up to a bunch of people it took me a lot of time and courage to accept the fact that I’m a domestic violence survivor, the person I married wasn’t worth living with.
People used to blame me because I loved him, I married him and since I married him I shall compromise.

“I never knew that this is happening to you. It never seemed to be this brutal”, said my friend whom I used to call my best friend. But how one would know about me? This society has always taught me to stay quiet and to keep family matters within the family. But how could one spend her entire life with a person who doesn’t even care?

It is an acknowledged fact that many women in Pakistan face domestic violence. This abuse is not even considered as abuse in some areas. Domestic violence is not only abusing someone physically, it could be verbally and psychologically.

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About the Author: Hamza Rehman
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