In India, poverty is widespread. In fact, over a fifth of people live below the national poverty line.
For women and girls in particular, a lack of economic opportunities can trap them in abusive relationships and a lifetime of poverty.
Sadly, violence against women and girls is not just an issue in India, but an ongoing problem all over the world.
A marriage of abuse: Meet Aneesa
When we met 23-year-old Aneesa*, she was divorced, living with her parents and desperately seeking help after living in an abusive marriage.
Born in Raichur (Karnataka) in south-west India, Aneesa never went to secondary school. She was denied the right to an education.
She was then married off at the age of 18 to a close relative. But or the four years Aneesa was married, she was subjected to sexual and physical abuse by her husband.
Her husband was an alcoholic and used to beat her.
What’s more, Aneesa suffered six miscarriages because each time her baby had severe genetic disorders since she and her husband were so closely related. Aneesa’s in-laws then blamed her for not having a child.
Given the ongoing abuse, Aneesa often thought of leaving her marital family. However, her parents asked her to stay in the marriage.
As a result of the abuse, Aneesa became suicidal but thankfully never took her life. Eventually, after four long years of torture and abuse, Aneesa finally got a divorce.
Islamic Relief: Helping women build a future
Alhamdulillah, this is where Islamic Relief was able to help.
As part of our work offering skills development, we provide women in need with critical training in specific skills, to enable them to earn a living and be financially independent.
Masha’Allah, thanks to this programme, Aneesa was able to study tailoring.
A young, bright student, she attended every training session. She even built such great bonds with the staff at the centre that after completing the training, she now still visits the centre.
We’re delighted that after such hardship, Aneesa can look forward to better times ahead insha’Allah.
By providing Aneesa with the opportunity to gain such critical skills, Aneesa can build a better future for herself. Insha’Allah the road ahead will be one of financial independence and success, free from abuse.
Thank you for helping women in need like Aneesa. Your ongoing support is helping us to save and transform lives.
Help even more women like Aneesa by donating towards our livelihoods programmes. Donate today and help save lives.
*Name and images have been changed to protect the individual’s identity