Breaking free after unhappy period

Anisha Bano with her handicraft during the open day at the Makoi Women’s Vocational Centre yesterday. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

ANISHA Afreen Bano claims she was in an abusive relationship for four years, and at one stage she was beaten up so badly, her injuries almost cost her life.

Yesterday, the 24-year-old was smiling and happy, overwhelmed by the strides she has made since moving to Nasinu from Labasa. The Fiji Times caught up with her at the Makoi Women’s Vocational Training Centre open day, where she shared her dreams of starting her own tailoring business.

The centre which opened in 2015 is managed by the Fiji Muslim League, and it was set up to help victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse, rejection and other problems.

“Domestic violence landed me in hospital for more than two weeks at Labasa Hospital where I nearly lost my life,” she claimed.”

“I still never gave up hope and prayed to the Almighty to save me for the sake of my daughters.

“In the five years of my marriage I was never happy. Ms Bano thanked the centre for giving hope to women like her.

“After I graduate, I will try to look for other assistance to start my own tailoring business and help my daughters get a good education because I don’t want them to go through what I went through.

“Being a divorced woman has the stigma of shame but I want to thank my parents for accepting me and my children into our family home with open arms. My parents were the only people that stood by me during tough times.”

Ms Bano said she hoped her story would motivate other young mothers and women who were afraid to share the pain or suffering endured in abusive relationships.

“At one point in life I was afraid to speak out but then after years of abuse I knew I had to do something for the sake of my daughters, for the sake of their future.”

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