Najia is a 23 year old client of Hagar in Afghanistan. She loved school as a child and was eager to learn all that she could. Najia’s education came to a halt when she turned 14 and was forced to marry a stranger.
Physical threats and pressure from her family left her with little choice but to join his large and powerful family. Her husband himself didn’t have a job. For the next nearly ten years, Najia endured regular beatings as she struggled to provide an income for herself and eventually, their three children.
Najia was devastated when her only son was sexually assaulted by a neighbor. It was a turning point for her when her pleas for justice fell on deaf ears. She decided to leave and seek help, but her father found her at a shelter and brought her back home. Najia was then locked in a room and subjected to verbal and physical abuse by several men.
After being warned by an aunt that her life was in danger, she escaped and was referred to Hagar by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs. She feared it would be the same as the “jail-like” shelter she had been to before. She soon realised Hagar was very different.
“I am so thankful to Hagar and its good services. They have given me a second chance in life. I can now start to have dreams again and wishes of my own knowing that my family cannot take these away from me.”