Roza is 38 years old and an uneducated housewife. Roza came to the Jiyan Foundation to seek help following a lifelong experience of violence and abuse.
"Every day I endured violence and I couldn’t complain because it was my own father who was abusive. My sisters were in the same situation and everyone told us this was our destiny. Our mother was a poor woman. She was always crying, because she knew her husband saw another woman but she couldn't do anything about it. When I was still a child, one of my cousins raped me. I still hate him for that. No one could understand me and I hid this secret. Six months after that terrible event my father died. It was strange for me because I simply had no feelings for him. I was happy but whenever I saw my mother or sisters I pretended that I was sad.“
Five years ago, Roza got engaged. Two months before the wedding, her fiancé talked her into starting a sexual relationship. She confided in him but he instead accused her of having lost her virginity. He became abusive and told her secret to all his relatives. Every one of them would beat and insult her. She was not allowed to travel or meet with people, and was to obey their demands. Adding insult to injury, other members of the fiancé's family demanded to have sex with her. She had no other choice than to accept it. Sometimes she received money or gifts for it.
After three years, Roza's brother learnt of these events and wanted to kill her. She escaped and stayed with an uncle of hers. After their mother passed away, Roza's brother forgave her and allowed her to move in with him and his family. She tries to help where she can but faces severe restrictions of her personal freedom. They control her coming and going and prevent her to have any social relationship outside the family. Most family members have distanced themselves: "You are not one of us. We will forget about you."
Roza came to the Jiyan Foundation because she suffered from nightmares, amnesia, insomnia, feelings of hopelessness and sadness and uncontrollable crying fits. She further suffered from chronic headaches and generalized pain. During the first therapy sessions, she revealed to be afraid of all men and her family. At times, she has suicidal thoughts and repeats the sentence, "I am so tired of this life."
Our psychologist taught her methods on how to reduce the feelings of sadness and to claim back control over her life. In order to feel more secure, we advised her to change her mobile phone number. As a result, Roza reported reduced stress and pain. She has greater control over her emotions, especially the crying. We have recently included one of her sisters and her brother in the therapy process, which helped to bring the family closer together.