My Struggles, Survival & Success at a glance.

Born in Bangladesh but made in UK”

They say, I should not tarnish the community by telling my story of abuse. Abuse which I call torture which happened for no particular reason or reasons apart from the cultural norm and men’s ego and insecurities put to test to prove that he or they are a MAN. What better way to put that to test than to take it out on the wife and children.   

But my justification? – For too long the cultural norm has punished us women and girls even on western soil. Claiming that the husband is superior to the wife. A husband has a right to rape, beat and torture his wife and kids especially daughters. And we are meant to cope with it for the sake of family and community honour. As I have been told “a good woman is woman who can cope with a bad husband”

Well, Enough is Enough! Someone needs to tell it as it is until things change.

The society feel that its a normal cultural practice and it should continue even on British soil, while the authorities tiptoe on it and turn a blind eye. In my case, the authorities often saw it as a ‘’typical Asian situation’ not worth the attention. 

Anyway, I am not set out to tarnish the community or anyone else for that matter.  I have done my bit in different ways to get justice and now moving on.

What hasn’t killed me only made me stronger”

However, the reason I am here is to say to others in a similar situation that “if I can survive, then so can you” 

You do not have to be in a “typical Asian situation” or suffer any other form of barbaric cultural practices. You too can escape from the terrors of domestic or honour based violence, by fighting for the basic rights as a woman – basic right to freedom. “There is always a way”.

At a glance – I was born in a remote village in Bangladesh but privileged to have a British settled father, whom I joined together with my mother and brothers in 1981. I am lucky because my uncle tried to persuade my father to ‘dump’ my mother in Bangladesh because for a first born, I was born a girl and offered his wife and children (sons) for my father to take to the UK. Which according to him, was in the best interest of the extended family. Anyway, we came to the UK eventually and with us, my uncle did persuade my father to take one his sons.

However,  the son never supported him or his family and my uncle’s primitive and barbaric ways of life and big ego got him shot dead in the end, which was another burden from hell for my parents and for myself. 

Anyway, I became a British citizen soon after. As a result, I also became a target for visa seeking relatives and my problems started.

However, I am a survivor! I survived forced marriage – engaged at 9, married when barely a teenager. Drugged and raped every night until I got pregnant by my so called husband, in order to secure his visa prospect to the UK.  It worked, he got the visa to the UK eventually.

Years of grooming from the time I was born like many other girls not just me, had worked.  I was made to believe that my life and heaven lies under the feet of my abusive husband. I thought I was too ugly for the attention of a decent man. In fact, I actually convinced myself that I was too ugly!

They provoked me until my ugly side took turn, then they play victims”

Threats, manipulation, inhuman and degrading treatment was a norm from both the families and the community here in the UK and in Bangladesh. 

My life was in turmoil, from the first husband to the 2nd husband. From being beaten up to a point where I nearly lost my eye for revising from an exam to marital rapes every night which is not regarded as rape in my culture, being kicked down the stairs at 8 months pregnant, nearly had my throat slashed while holding two of my toddlers – trying to protect them, beaten up with a big bamboo pole, regular slaps across the head, ears and the face which had left me with loss of hearing.

Not to mention the mental torture which included putting me through voodoo ritual or black magic practices.

These abuse had me admitted into mental hospital for a while for suicide attempts, until my inner survival instinct kicked in and pandoras box of provocation opened up. Along with this my GP’s kindness pulled me through and of course the attempted contract killing with my children and the village mob attack which labelled me as a British Bandit Queen. But I survived all that! Yes, ladies and gentlemen I survived.

After years of these abuse, my inner bitch sprang into action. I became what is called an outrageous, gobby western woman who the community did not have a clue that I can become. “Now they say I am too hot to be handled, too wild to be tamed”

Education gave me knowledge, knowledge gave me power, Power to be my own Free Queen”

I turned my inner prisoner into a fighter, fear into strength, strength into a weapon, weapon into action and then I LET MYSELF FIGHT, FIGHT AND FIGHT UNTIL THE FIGHT WAS DONE. AND I WON!

I fought all sorts of honour based violence and survived, some but not all as described above. Now divorced and free from these tortures and evil men.

I completed my education late but its better late than never, I used my pen as a sword, took each and every aspect of the wrong doings against me to the court of law. Where the UK judicial system failed me, I took to Bangladesh where I was born, married and the country I hold dual nationality with.

I was the first British woman to win a bigamy and domestic violence case in a Muslim Family Court in Bangladesh. Whereas the Great British justice system ‘laughed’ at my face with an indication of a “typical Asian situation”

However, the abusers and their supporters i.e the law enforcement and the communities failed to realised the shear strength I possess.  Yes, the courage and the strength was beyond my own belief. I never knew I had it in me, until the instinct of survival took over me and the inner ‘warrior’ came out. 

I took on about 200 armed village tribal men on my own to survive the honour based mob attack and indeed survived and won as well as number of other battles over the years and of course – WON!   

A good woman pushed to a limit where she doesn’t give a damn is a very bad situation for the wrong doers. “They provoked me until my ugly side took turn, then they play victims”

“Some birds are not meant to be caged, that’s all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild….” (Stephen King) 

I am just too bright to be caged, I was meant to fly and do better things in life than to be a slave to a man or become a man’s ‘bitch’.

I may never know what love really is as the ‘menkind’ I came across never allowed me to experience this.  But I smile and salute my struggles of the past as it presents a far better, confident and independent ME.  I am my own Free Queen.

 

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Quotes 

“Some birds are not meant to be caged, that’s all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild….” (Stephen King) 

What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger. That quote is attributed to the German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche