“When I was 8 years old, my father died and I was sent to live with my grandfather, who immediately married me off to his cousin. After many years of mistreatment, I finally ran away to live with my aunt. But my aunt’s husband quickly sold me to a complete stranger. I was forced to be with him for three days.
I ran away from my buyer’s house and fled to the nearest police station. When the police summoned my aunt’s husband, he, of course, denied his crime and accused me of having sexual relations with his son.
Instead of my uncle going to jail, I was sent to a juvenile rehabilitation center, where I served an 18-month sentence for adultery. When I was released, I returned to my aunt because I had nowhere else to go. Two weeks later, I found out that my aunt’s husband was planning to marry me off again to a 60-year-old man for money.
I ran away once more—but, this time, I fled to the Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MoWA). The staff at MoWA immediately referred me to Women for Afghan Women (WAW), which runs a Transitional House in my province.
"I would like to tell the world that WAW is the only safe haven for oppressed women and girls like me, who have experienced such cruelty and violence. I am asking you to please extend your support to WAW so that we can have an Afghan society free of any form of violence and where every citizen—male or female—is respected and treated equally."
With the help of WAW’s psychologist and counseling services at the Transitional House, Farah began her journey of healing, felt safe again, and is now able to envision a brighter future for herself.
Today, Farah is 24 years old. She is still living at a WAW shelter, where she has the opportunity to attend school and is learning to sew. She believes that one day she will have the means to live on her own, as a fulfilled and self-sufficient woman.
WAW changes all client names and removes any identifying information, features, and characteristics when relaying their stories in order to protect their and their families’ identities, privacy, and safety.