Komal Rizvi opened up recently about the domestic abuse and torture she suffered in her previous marriage at Nida Yasir’s Ramazan Special Show and how it had shattered her confidence. She elaborated on how her husband was suffering from mental illness and she had tried to get him to visit a psychiatrist but was unsuccessful in doing so. She recalled that the violence she faced went to extreme lengths that he would refuse to let her eat and didn’t allow her to have her own driver’s license, or visa and many nights she went to bed hungry:
“My husband was suffering from mental illness and tried to encourage him to get some treatment by visiting a psychiatrist but I wasn’t able to. He would beat me and many nights I slept while I was starving. While I lived with him I was penniless and desperate, he didn’t allow me to own a drivers license or a passport.”
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Ultimately, Komal said that she learned to become financially independent by giving tuitions and then she learned how to cook and began selling her food at local stores. This brought back a huge profit with which she began purchasing refrigerators for the house.
“I was penniless while I was in my marriage so I had started giving tuitions to children. Then I learned how to cook by taking online courses and began selling my food at local stores from which I was earning some profit. With that money, I began purchasing fridges for the house and also began collecting money to keep myself secure.”
When talking about how she gathered the courage to escape the marriage, Komal agreed with the fact that in our society parents don’t teach their daughters to recognize signs of abuse and leave their husbands, but in fact encourage them to stay and compromise which leaves them helpless. Komal said that she was very close to her parents and siblings, and although she had not opened up to them about the violence, once they got their suspicions were confirmed that her husband was an abuser they helped her leave.
“I was very close to my parents and my brothers. I’m very lucky that I had a strong backing because I’m well educated and I’ve travelled the world but I also have a family which would stand behind me during the most difficult period of my life. I had not told my parents however about the abuse my husband was inflicting over me. Even one time, he threw a bottle on my face and gave me a black eye, and I still didn’t tell them what had happened. But once they realized that my husband was beating me, they kept pressurizing me to leave him and helped me in escaping my home.”
Komal Rizvi also pointed out that abusive relationships can wreck your self esteem and prevent you from seeking out help from others, since she recalled how terrified she was of leaving her marriage because she was afraid that he might kill her. She then emphasized on the importance of girls being financially independent and having their own skill set, so that in case they do end up in such circumstances, they have something to fall back on so they can leave.
“I remember how terrified I was to leave my marriage. My father flew all the way to Oman to pack up my suitcase and forcefully made me leave, but I remember how I kept crying because I was so scared that my husband would kill me. If there is a lesson I have learnt from this ordeal which I would like to pass on to other girls, its to have their own skill set and remain financially independent. It’s why I always visit vocational centers where I see women learning how to cook, sew etc. I believe that if there is ever a day women find themselves penniless and stuck in abusive marriages, they should have something that is essential to help them escape abusive situations.”
You can watch the complete interview below: