Jamila is a 24-year old married woman with two daughters. Her husband Bilal works as a cobbler in the city. She spent the first six months of marriage happily with her husband but that changed when her mother-in-law started threatening her with a divorce if she did not bear a male child within a year. She got pregnant soon after but when she asked her husband to take her for a medical check-up, he began to physically abuse her. The abuse became a regular practice when she gave birth to a daughter.
Her brother-in-law was an addict and also used to beat her whenever her husband refused to give him money for drugs. After the birth of her second daughter, they threw her out of the house without her daughters. . Family pressure forced her to go back to her husband to live a “respectable life. However, the situation got worse. Jamila became so frustrated that she tried to self-immolate with petrol but a neighbor saved her in time.
On 20th April 2009, Jamila was badly beaten by her in-laws again. A neighbor came to her rescue and called her mother. She was allowed to leave with her mother but her younger daughter Asma was kept back.
One day, Jamila found out about Bedari’s Crisis Intervention Centre in Chakwal from a neighbour. With Bedari’s help, she filed a case for her daughter’s custody which was resolved in her favour in a day. She says, “I had lost hope but am happy to get my daughter back with support from Bedari”. Jamila is planning on filing another case for maintenance money from her husband with Bedari’s help.