A Saudi woman who faced severe domestic abuse from her husband has died of a heart attack.

Identified only as Khadija, the woman reportedly died on Sunday but news became public later in the week.

Khadija's story had already been much discussed in the kingdom, as she previously talked to the Saudi Gazette and Okaz about the torment she underwent at the hands of her spouse. 

Just one month and a half into her marriage, Khadija became partially paralyzed. Her husband's violence drove her to jump from her home's third floor balcony, in a desperate attempt to escape.

She had brought her case before the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) and the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, and she'd received promises that her case would be dealt with. Khadija also reported her case to the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution.

Initially, her husband was detained for four days but then was released. He asked Khadija to return home, and although she did not want to, she told the Saudi Gazette one month prior to her death that she had nowhere else to go.

On social media, Saudis have shared their outrage at Khadija's death

Some say that the law failed Khadija

"The law has let Khadija down more than society. She didn't find anyone to help her or to treat her fairly, so she died with disappointment." 

There are calls for swift change

"There should be no place for reasoning on this issue. Give us a clear, well defined law that protects human rights or else we'll end up living in a jungle." 

People want to know why this was allowed to happen?

"Where's the ministry of social affairs, what is its role when it comes to cases like Khadija's? How long will domestic violence that leads to death continue to be seen as normal?" 

She won't be forgotten

Progress is slow, but Saudi Arabia has taken steps to address domestic abuse

The kingdom criminalized domestic violence in 2013 following an organized media campaign. A year ago, the kingdom set up a domestic violence reporting center. In its first three days, the center received 1,890 domestic violence reports.

"The center targets women of all ages and children below the age of 18. The center also targets the elderly and individuals with disabilities. There are 22 social protection teams available in all provinces in the Kingdom," Deputy Minister of Social Affairs for Social and Family Care Abdullah Al-Muaiqil said at the time

Saudi women are required to have a male guardian, normally her husband or father. This man is given the power to make critical decisions on her behalf, making it difficult for women to escape abusive situations. 

"Women regularly face difficulty conducting a range of transactions without a male relative, from renting an apartment to filing legal claims," Human Rights Watch reported last July.

In 2014, a group of female Saudi lawyers opened a law firm in Jeddah to specifically address women's legal issues.  

"This law firm will make a difference in the history of court cases and female disputes in the Kingdom. I am very hopeful and thank everyone who supported me in taking this historical step," Bayan Mahmoud Al Zahran, the founder of the firm said, according to RT

While the kingdom is definitely making progress towards increasing the rights of women and addressing domestic violence, for Khadija, it's already too late.