After the breakdown of an arranged marriage, Naz met someone else who she married. She and her son from the previous marriage moved in with her new husband and his family. Her mother in law never accepted her and was manipulative. She constantly interfered.
Naz had another child – her first child was treated noticeably different. Naz’s family were not happy that she left the marriage they arranged, to marry someone of her choice so she was ostracised and could not turn to them for support.
Alcohol misuse was one of the triggers for her husband when he began to abuse her. He forced Naz to drink with him. He would then rape and assault her while they were both intoxicated. Her eldest son became a professional boxer and left the home.
The abuse escalated. He had complete financial control over her. A qualified nurse, Naz worked very hard and would often work overtime but she had no control of her money. Naz began to use alcohol as a coping mechanism.
One day after he assaulted her, she overdosed. While she was in hospital, he told the police that it was Naz who assaulted him. He convinced their son to corroborate this. Naz didn’t disclose the abuse, but the Adult Safeguarding Team saw her bruises and advised her not to return home. Naz felt like she had no choice.
Naz’s sister tried to speak to him. “I want her dead so I can have the house,” he said. He emptied her bank account. When Naz confronted him, he assaulted her and threw her out of the house. She was hospitalised for a week because of her injuries.
She arrived at The Haven dehydrated, withdrawn and unable to make her own decisions. Staff in refuge supported her emotionally and she said she was happy; “No more mind games. Nothing is disappearing from my room.”
Naz missed her youngest son and referred to herself as a “broken woman.” She had many relapses while in refuge as she struggled with alcohol abuse. She was hospitalised more than once. Professionals liaised to decide how best to support her.
Naz is working and controlling her own money now. She has been able to rent her own flat with the support of an independent domestic violence advisor and a resettlement/outreach support worker.
She is in the process of a divorce which she is finding very stressful. He asked her to sign over access to their son if she insists on divorcing him. He has threatened to take his own life if she leaves him. Naz persists as she feels stronger and believes she has the right support at The Haven.
Naz has received a Decree Nisi and is hoping to move on with her life soon.
Naz’s name has been changed to protect her identity. Images are for illustration purposes only.
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