Our Stories: Ayesha Begum
I was married at age twelve, and have already been married twelve years and had four children. I have three daughters and one son between the ages of 10 - 4 years old. It’s been difficult raising them because I haven’t known how to even care for myself all these years. For twelve years I’ve been beaten, emotionally tortured, starved, and criticized nearly every day.
My husband was just sixteen when we married. He became an auto driver and an alcoholic as is so common in our community. My mother-in-law and brother-in-law were convinced that I was the reason that he started drinking. How could a twelve year old be the cause of such a thing? After six months of marriage their emotional abuse turned into physical beatings.
My parents couldn’t contribute to their household financially, and this made them furious. They told me that I was an unfit wife for their son, and that they planned to throw me out and get him married again. I didn’t have any option to go home to my parents because they were too poor to support me. I just had to accept my lot in life. I worked as a maid to earn something for the house, but they would still force me to often go without food.
Finally, I stumbled across a Basthi Meeting where I met some PeaceMakers. This is the moment my life changed. It took about 5-6 counseling sessions before my husband started to make changes, but he finally did! He used to come to counseling sessions drunk, so it took a while to make progress. He has gone through rehab 3 times, and has now overcome his alcohol addiction.
My husband understands that his drinking was killing our family’s future. He used to have violent outbursts, beating me and literally throwing our children around. Our children were terrified to go near him, now they love him so much.
I am so happy! My husband now brings me whatever I ask for, any groceries or snacks or things for the children. I get to make requests.
I have one word of advice for other families facing these things: Go! Get rid of abuse!