Skip to content

Asma Khatun Mira (38), Rajshahi

I tried with my heart and soul to stay with a partner who did not value my hard work, who never respected our relationship and who abandoned our daughter. My daughter used to hide in a corner of the door, when she saw her father beating me. I asked him repeatedly to let my daughter go so she would not see it. I did not want her childhood to become a nightmare. But he did not bother. In fact, he showed our girl how vulnerable and fragile I was. For ten years, I tried to compromise with my own life for his sake. Every day I thought it would be a new day and something would make him change - nothing happened. There were forty people in his house - his whole family used to live together. I had to cook for them and take care of them. If my husband found any mistake, he would beat me like a beast. My parents are very poor; they were unable to do anything. Still, they tried to convince my ex-husband Gazim Uddin to change a bit. Then he wanted money. When his younger brother got married and because the dowry he received was a motorcycle, he become more ferocious. He wanted me to bring a motorcycle from my parents. After ten years of marriage, the humiliation was cursing every moment of my life. My six year-old daughter was becoming abnormal and stopped talking to anyone. One day, he surpassed all limits of violence; I almost died. My daughter kept asking everyone to save me but no one came to my rescue. Then, a known neighbour rescued me and I was admitted into Rajshahi Medical College under the One-Stop-Crisis Centre (OCC). Then I filed a case against my husband. My parents are very poor and could not keep up with the expenses for the case. I had to withdraw the case because I was going through a terrible financial crisis. I still remember on Eid day my daughter asked me for ten taka and I could not give it to her. I cried the whole day because I realized how helpless I was. One day in an OCC monthly meeting I requested to get a sewing machine. I knew sewing work and was hoping to change my fate. They granted my application and gifted me the sewing machine. That one machine is running my daughter’s and my life. Now my daughter is reading in class nine. I am providing her expenses. Every month I earn 3000-4000 taka, which helps me survive with dignity. I want my daughter to become someone that will help vulnerable women. Every person in this society should come up and stand beside women who are victims of domestic violence. Unfortunately, most people remain silent and by giving a dowry in the name of a gift makes other women’s lives miserable.