I am Ayesha, a new mother living in Canada by myself. I am a domestic abuse survivor and this is my story.
I was arranged by my family to marry a man twice my age, left my loved ones in Pakistan to live with him and his parents in Calgary.
That is when the abuse started. The very first time my husband hit me, I ran to my mother in law thinking she would make him stop. Instead, she told me to be patient because he was emotionally distressed due to his brother’s death. I felt sorry for him and took the abuse in hopes that he will get better. Until one day, after an intense argument, he wrapped me in a blanket (to leave no evidence) and beat me unconscious. That’s the day I realized that his emotional distress was nothing but an excuse.
One day, during his usual rage episode, he hit me on my face and neck. Badly bruised and scared for my life, I ran to our neighbours for help. They sheltered me for a few days and contacted Nisa Homes. A police officer escorted me to my room to collect my belongings. I was then taken to a local women’s shelter and took next morning’s flight to Toronto.
As the plane touched down at Toronto Airport, I felt safe after a long time. As I moved in to Nisa Homes I found out that I was pregnant.
With mixed emotions, I contacted my parents in Pakistan to deliver the news that they are about to become grandparents. To my horror and surprise, they immediately told me to get an abortion, and come back to Pakistan so I can get remarried. They wanted nothing to do with their unborn grandchild. I was crushed and I knew it was wrong to get an abortion. I couldn’t do that and my family in Pakistan abandoned me.
With immense support and guidance of Nisa Homes team and countless indications from Allah, I decided not to abort the baby despite constant pressure from my family. This was the toughest and the best decision I ever made.
During my pregnancy, the Nisa Homes and NZF team was able to get me welfare payments and housing solely through donations.
When my daughter, Sumayah, came into this world, I knew I could never love someone more than I loved her.
My dream is to help other victims of domestic abuse and make this world a safe place for my Sumayah.
I thank you all who support Nisa Homes. Without Nisa Homes I don’t know where I would be today.
Thank you for saving my Sumayah.