Nowhere to Hide: Abused Afghan women’s chances of finding refuge are dwindling.
Fatema was married off at the age of seven to a man who may have been her great-grandfather, and she suffered rapes, beatings, and malnutrition until she couldn’t take it any more and attempted suicide.
She recalls the beatings she got through tears, such as the time she was hurled against a wall at the age of ten and “my head crashed against a nail… I almost died.”
Since the Taliban’s return to power in August, the 22-year-old has been living at one of the few battered women’s shelters still open in Afghanistan, but she is afraid she could lose her place at any time.
Fatema will be left with nowhere to go if the shelter shuts. Her own family has lost connection with her, while her in-laws have.