Domestic abuse is a fact of life for many women in Pakistan; borne in silence because of
complex societal issues. Zarina’s case is an exception; a lesson that women don’t have to take
what amounts to physical and mental torture. The message: don’t suffer in silence.
Zarina’s status as a fourth wife left her open to abuse. An educated woman (she has a Master’s
degree in Urdu and teaches in a primary school in Nankana Sahib), Zarina decided that enough
was enough. She left the house taking her three children with her, thinking her monthly salary
of PKR 5,000 would just be enough for her subsistence needs. What she was not prepared for
was her husband’s next move. He kidnapped their three-year-old daughter, leaving Zarina
distraught and helpless as to how she could get her child back.
Finally, one day on her way back from school, she mustered up the courage to approach the
Center. Zarina felt reassured when the panel lawyer informed her that she had a case for the
recovery of the minor, which was officially registered under Section 491 of the Code of Criminal
Procedure on July 25, 2014.
The court issued a judgment in Zarina’s favor under Section 25 of the Guardians and Ward Act,
1980, reuniting her with her child.
On her way to school every morning she used to see a banner advertising the services of DLACNankana
Sahib. However, she was hesitant to approach them as it was run by an NGO and many
myths, mainly negative, circulated in her
community about NGOs. Her family unfortunately
now presented another problem – especially her
brothers. They prevented her from taking any
action to recover her child. Zarina was slowly
running out of options.