On Monday, a person claiming to be a 27-year-old woman from Saudi Arabia took to Reddit to report her case of emotional abuse by her family, asking users on the social media platform for help.
Just hours after the thread went viral, the Reddit user, who claims she has been "disowned by her mother and locked in her room", deleted her profile.
The woman, who allegedly studied between Jordan and USA, also said that "her brother is threatening to kill her".
"I’m in desperate need to escape the country," the woman wrote in her original post, according to Newsweek.
"Please help me with this and bare in mind that my 'guardian' has the right to revoke my permit to travel, and also my mom has my passport. Please give me your ideas or any facts that might help for a plan to flee out of here," she added.
"The post was written at a time when Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince, Mohammad bin Salman, is touting a shift towards a more moderate version of Islam and expanded rights for women," writes Egyptian feminist Mona Eltahawy
In the original post, the Reddit user claims that she grew up in an abusive home, where her father physically abused her mother.
When she turned 26, she met the love of her life, whom she refers to as "R" in the post. Six months later, he proposed to her, but her father rejected the idea at the time.
Her mother sided with her at first but then began introducing her to other men in an effort to help her get over 'R'.
"After a horrible couple of weeks of meeting with arranged men, I went back and talked to him because I was still in love with him ... My mom found out last night that I was talking to him again and she tried to take my phone from me," she wrote.
"I didn’t let her ... she started hitting me and pulling my hair (she literally ripped off a chunk of hair) and she tried taking my phone by force and I wouldn’t let her, then she started panting and acting like she was having a heart attack," she continued.
That's when she locked her bedroom door.
"I could hear her scream and cry for hours to my middle brother telling them how much she hates me and prays to God that I die tonight and that she disowned me," she wrote.
"I'm still locked up in my room afraid to go out for the second day straight."
Despite the fact that the story's accuracy cannot be verified, young women in Saudi Arabia have previously taken to social media to report cases of abuse.
Reddit users took the post to heart and began offering the woman advice on how to go about the situation. Here's what some had to say...
"There have been a few organizations that protect women in Saudi"
One Reddit user recommended the woman seek help from organizations that help women escape abusive situations.
The user continued the post by advising the woman to do whatever it takes to refrain from publicizing the story as her family "will not want to publicize this due to the reputation factor".
He then advised the woman to reach out to her biological father for help.
"Believe it or not, your biological father might be your best alternative at this point. You can reach out and tell him what kind of things your mother has done and how she forced you to be against him and is now trying to physically hurt you."
He then advised her to flee the country to neighboring UAE, which "has some progressive women protection organizations that can help".
"Your safest bet is to go to the embassies which might have jurisdiction over your situation"
Considering that the alleged Reddit user studied between Jordan and the USA, one user suggested she seek help from the respective embassies to flee the country.
"Because your mom has followed you to these countries she is a primary source of your continuous threat of serious physical harm (as she has been present in Saudi as well as abroad), that will strengthen the possibility of the USA/Jordan having jurisdiction," the Reddit user wrote.
"Please contact me via inbox if you need a safe place to stay"
Another Reddit user offered the 27-year-old a safe place to stay to figure things out.
However, in an updated Reddit comment, the user said the woman had not gotten in touch yet and it may be due to the fact that they may be situated in distant cities in the kingdom, making it more of an obstacle for the woman looking to escape her home.
"My advice would be to lie to your parents for now saying that they were correct and you apologize before opening that door"
"Here are 63 countries Saudis don't need a visa to travel to"
In Saudi Arabia, fleeing one's home, even in reported cases of abuse, is considered a crime
Due to the kingdom's guardianship system, women in Saudi Arabia do not have the right of leaving the country, let alone their home, without permission from their male counterpart, even in reported cases of abuse.
Under the kingdom's guardianship system, women are subject to full dependence on their fathers, brothers, husbands, or sometimes even sons, in nearly all aspects of public life.
Over the past few years, Saudi Arabia has amended a number of laws in an effort to empower women, including a new royal decree allowing women to apply for work permits, medical, and educational services – without male consent.
However, these "so-called milestones" are not enough, as Saudi women's rights activist Ms. Saffaa once told StepFeed.
In 2017 alone, several cases of reported abuse were brought to light, one of which is the case of Amna Al Juaid who pleaded for her life via videos posted to social media.
"I am recording this video today because it might be the last video in my life and also for you to know I am real and I am here," she said in one of the videos.
In another video, recorded in English, the young woman explained she was verbally and physically abused by her own father. She then added that after enduring years of abuse, she finally fled her home when her abusive father tried to force her into marrying a cousin.
Even though the kingdom criminalized domestic abuse in 2013, women who suffer from violence at the hands of their male guardians find it extremely difficult to escape and legally charge their abusers.
That same year, the story of Dina Ali Lasloom, a 24-year-old Saudi woman, also made the rounds online.
Lasloom was stopped in Manila airport while attempting to escape her family and seek asylum in Australia. She was forcibly returned to Riyadh with relatives and has not been heard from since.
In 2016, the kingdom set up a domestic violence reporting center.
However, since women often suffer abuse at the hands of their male guardians, it is difficult for them to escape and legally charge abusive situations.