Shahnaz Khari was brought up in a wealthy British Pakistani household where she wanted for thing. Her problems started when, at the age of 12, she was forced to give up school to become cook and housemaid to her brothers in her parents' absence. She never went back to school. For Shahnaz, one nightmare followed ather. At 18 she was forced into an arranged marriage with a man whom she quickly discovered to be a violent and abusive drug addict who stole her money and jewellery to buy drugs. No sooner had she begun to recover from that ordeal than her parents made her marry a teenage boy who turned out to be controlling, sadistic and equally violent. There followed a traumatic pregnancy and stillbirth, violence and abuse from her family and months of imprisonment in her own bedroom before she won her freedom by smuggling a message to the police in her daughter's schoolbag. Persuaded back home and then tricked into going to Pakistan with her family, where she endured yet ather arranged marriage, she managed to escape from the house while everyone was at prayer and fly back to London. Her family persuaded her to make a brief return to Pakistan by saying her mother was seriously ill, but when she arrived she was beaten up, threatened with shooting and drowning, stripped of all her possessions and imprisoned once again, all because she had asked for the freedom to make decisions for herself and her daughter about their lives. Eventually Shahnaz managed to return to the UK with her third husband, build a new life with him and her daughter and study for a career. She is w a social worker specialising in child care. Now Shahnaz (she has used a pen-name to avoid embarrassment for her family) has written her extraordinary, compelling story of survival.
Shahnaz Khari is the youngest daughter of a wealthy Pakistani family with homes in two continents. At 12 she was made to give up school to look after her younger brothers. There followed two arranged marriages, first to a violent drug addict, then to a vicious, controlling sadist. When Shahnaz refused to accept the abuse, she was plunged into violent conflict with her family, who condemned her for bringing disrespect on their name by trying to win her independence. They repeatedly assaulted and humiliated her to make her toe the line. After she left her second husband to get away from the beatings, they imprisoned her in her own bedroom. When they later tricked her into joining them in Pakistan she was beaten, stripped of all her possessions, threatened with shooting and drowning and put under house arrest. It was only through her intelligence and extraordinary courage that Shahnaz was eventually able to win her freedom and her family's respect and start building an independent life in England with her daughter and third husband.