From the time I married, I suffered cruelty. I had a cruel mother-in-law and six sisters-in-law who were cruel to me as well. They made my life insufferable with pain and injustice. They made my life like a prison. My husband treated me poorly. He would often fight with me and punish me for nothing. Even though he had me as a wife he soon married a second woman. She too treated me with cruelty.
My husband understood my suffering, yet he was nice to his second wife and to the many children she had with him. She would say things against me to him and he would believe her. She put these bad words about me into his ears and he would not defend me.
All of my husband’s family, his mother and sisters, his second wife and her children, had hearts like stone and they would beat me, pull my hair, and burn me with hot water. I wanted to go to my brother’s house and tell my brother about how I am suffering violence, but I didn’t. I continued to live in my house. I said to myself that life is like this.
Even though they treated me like one of the animals, I continued to behave with respect for all of them. I prayed that I wouldn’t be hurt, and continued to do all of their work. I had no rights and no one to care for me.
My life today is very bad still. I live with my husband and his second wife and their children, and work for them as a servant.
I want to know why the violence against women has not ended in Afghanistan. Why is it that I should live with no rights, and be so unhappy?
Editor’s note: This story is from an oral interview with Freeba conducted as part of the March 2013 AWWP Oral Stories Project.