A UAE-based woman recently filed a lawsuit against her husband of four years and asked for a divorce, accusing him of horrifically abusing her during their marriage.
The woman and her husband met online while she was applying for a job at his company in the UAE. They married just three days after they first met and the abuse victim then flew from her home country to Ajman to move in with her husband.
In her court case, the woman alleged that her husband was violent towards her right from the beginning of their marriage. She also stated that he only married her in order to use her skills and erpertise to grow his company.
The man horrifically abused and starved his wife
According to Emarat Al Youm, the woman worked with her husband for four years but never received a salary.
After years of abuse, the husband decided to kick his wife out of his house and terminate her contract at his company. Alone in Ajman, the woman roamed the streets for four days and was left starving.
Desperate, she went to her husband's office, begging him for money to buy food. However, he refused and violently beat her, breaking several of her fingers. The woman was then hospitalized and later reported the incident to Ajman Police.
The man has since been arrested
After leaving the hospital, the woman was referred to Himaya, a local organization that aims to protect women and children's rights.
Officials at Himaya tried to arrange counseling sessions for the husband, but he refused to attend. That's when authorities issued an arrest warrant against him and referred him to public prosecution.
The victim also filed for divorce and her case is still awaiting trial. She will not be able to return home before the divorce is finalized.
As Himaya do not have a shelter for abused women in Ajman, they're trying to help find the victim a place to stay while she waits for justice to prevail in her case.
In addition, the organization's officials are now calling on authorities to help build a women's shelter in the emirate.
As in other Arab countries, domestic violence against women is prevalent in the UAE
Even though the issue is also widespread in the UAE, hundreds of domestic violence cases often go unreported in the country due to social norms and stigmas.
In a moving blog post about her own experience with such abuse, UAE-based artist Fathima Mohiuddin broke the barrier of silence, writing:
"Domestic abuse. Domestic violence. Domestic bullying. One person having such a profoundly heavy effect on another person that it changes them forever, is something that we need to talk about."
In her post, Mohiuddin wrote about being subjected to abuse herself and stressed the need for women across the region not to remain silent about it.
"Make some space for the people that hurt in silence behind closed doors. Leave a seat for them to come to sit in when they're strong and ready. Or better yet, go sit next to them and make a case for domestic abuse. Lift the stigma, lift the rock, light the shadow. What we don't talk about, doesn't matter," she ended her post.