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Story #3

Anaida is 28 years old and has a 5 year old daughter. During 6 years of marriage she was physically, economically and psychologically abused by her husband and by her parents-in-law, while her husband neglected and ignored her. The abuse extended to child-rearing matter as well as she was not allowed to have a say in her daughter’s upbringing and was constantly told that the little girl is not hers, she belongs to her grandparents. Anaida finally decided to leave the abusive and neglecting household and return to her parents’ house with her daughter.

One day when she was out for a walk with her daughter her husband and mother-in-law attacked her and tried to take her daughter from her using physical force. Anaida was injured in the process but since it wasn’t the first time this had happened she went to the police, but unfortunately her husband’s family had ties with the police and was able to successfully block her case from being examined by the police. Realizing that she is unprotected and that her child may be abducted at any point she moved to a relative’s house in a faraway village. In the meantime she found out about the WSC from another women’s rights center and called for help. The WSC staff immediately turned their attention to this case, the first step of which was admitting Anaida and her daughter to the shelter.

Anaida was in a fragile state, scared that her husband’s family will find out about her location through their ties with the police. Her daughter was also distressed from the recent events and the overall unhealthy atmosphere she lived in, had loss of appetite and mood swings. Their recovery period lasted quite long during which the professionals at the WSC had consultations and trainings with both of them. Their health issues were sorted out as they were referred to medical centers. Moreover, the issue of legal custody of the child was taken to court with the help of the WSC lawyer and resulted in Anaida gaining custody of the child. The WSC arranged for her to receive free hairdressing courses which she graduated, received a certificate and after leaving the shelter started working as a freelance hairdresser.

Currently she is living at her paternal home, caring for her daughter through her own income and with the help of her parents. Nevertheless, her case is still underway in a new legal battle for receiving childcare benefits from the father. For this reason she once again applied to the WSC where her case is currently in the document-gathering phase. She will meet with the WSC lawyer to map out a strategy and if possible go to court with this case.