The Story of Sana

Every evening, 18 year old Sana would shake with fear and despair as her husband would beat her, lock her in a room without food or water and in moments of drunken frenzy, would even electrocute her.
Sana is a fragile, young girl from the slums of Karachi, with an acne riddled face, framed by a white head scarf. Thick curly hair, pulled back in a bun, peek from beneath the scarf that she keeps pulling forward nervously.
Sana is the eldest of 10 brothers and sisters that she helped raise with her mother. As an 18-year-old who had lived in submission with her family all of her life, Sana did not foresee the unfortunate circumstances that lay ahead of her.
Sana wanted to marry a man of her own choice, but against her will, her father forced her into marrying a man who was nvenry seven years her senior and could payoff Sana’s father. This is when Sana’s worst nigh, mare of relentless torture began. Helpless and overcome by despair, Sana swallowed poison in a failed suicide attempt. Looking at her evident misery, her maternal grandfather rescued her and gave her shelter. Since there was an ongoing family feud between her father and her grandfather, Sana’s father made a case against her grandfather and called on Sana to testify against him in court. Sana’s conscience eating her insides, she was unable to testify against her grandfather, who had cared for her. She broke down and told the judge the truth about her father, her grandfather, her husband and the ongoing abuse. The judge sent her father and husband to jail and Sana to the Panah Shelter Home.
Sans lodged at the Panah Shelter Home for almost ten months. She was haunted by memories of torture and the guilt of sending her father to jail and leaving her mother and her siblings to feed and provide for themselves. She yearned for her mother and her family, though she had long accepted the bitter truth that she could not return to the same home she had left behind. Sana was counseled on a regular basis, and eventually regained the mental and physical strength to reclaim her life. She took the initiative to request if she could start working somewhere. The Panah Shelter authorities found Sana a job where she is now set to start her own life, gain financial independence and put the unfortunate past events behind her.
Her life is not over — on the contrary, it has just begun.

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