More than twenty years later, She now has a fulfilling job with the Patricia Giles center in Western Australia where she helps in providing women and children with emergency accommodation. This is the story of Roia Atmar.
Married off at the age of fourteen and having no contact with anyone other than her husband’s family, Roia Atmar’s family had no way of knowing that she was abused especially because her husband put up this perfect image of himself.
Although, according to Roia, her husband was initially just controlling, after she had her first child he became more abusive and made it seem like he had the right to because he was the man of the house and provided for her.
She wasn’t allowed to go to school and after five years of marriage, her husband doused her in turpentine and set her on fire. She was admitted into the hospital for an excruciating 3 months.
By that time, some of her family members were living in Australia, and only upon finding her being in the hospital did they realize that she was being abused. They eventually spoke to one of the hospital’s social workers who told them the story that Roia’s husband was telling them about her accidentally catching her scarf on fire while warming herself.
Roia’s family then sent the social worker to speak to her, but every time that he did her husband would stay in the room saying it was required of him to stay because of their religion not allowing for a strange man to be with a woman.
The social worker slowly convinced him to wait outside and realized that he watched from the window instead. Upon realizing the discomfort of Roia, the social worker closed the blinds and asked her if she needed help.
At that time, unaware of her rights, Roia told the social worker that even if she needed help, he couldn’t provide it because if her husband became suspicious he would either kill her or send her children back to Afghanistan by his family. Thankfully, the social worker got the police to explain Roia’s rights to her and told her how restraining orders work.
One day her mother called and said: “I have your kids”. At that moment, Roia realized that she had some hope and that the police could actually help her. She told her mother everything that day and never looked back. Without a second thought, her mother believed her and stood by her as she made it away from him.
Today, Roia is someone she deserves to be and her children are living a peaceful life, all because she was told her rights and her mother supported her.
Explain to your daughters what their rights are. Let them know that if things go wrong, you’ll be there for them. Roia came out alive, most women do not.
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