SLAVES OF THE WEST; TORTURE AND RAPE HELL OF WOMEN TRAPPED IN UK Torture and Rape Hell of Women Trapped in UK Pakistani Wives Lured to Life of Misery and Abuse

Article excerpt

Byline: Annie Brown

THOUSANDS of Pakistani women come to the UK to marry and find a better life ... but end up trapped in a living hell.

They arrive on spousal visas and find themselves locked in a cycle of abuse, imprisoned and tortured by husbands and extended families.

They are lied to and cheated but can't go home for fear they will disgrace their families.

Now Dr Nusrat Raza has published a book in Pakistan to show parents the dangers their daughters face. She worked for more than a decade with Scottish organisation Hemat Gryffe Women's Aid, who have helped some of the abused wives.

Using genuine cases, Dr Raza hopes Visa For Hell, published in English and Urdu, will open parents' eyes and encourage them to help their daughters.

She said: "Working with these women, I could not comprehend that parents didn't want to know their suffering, in-laws didn't acknowledge they were human and public bodies ignored their existence. These women were excess baggage to everyone. They are victims of legitimate trafficking."

'I that to Each of the 10 cases she highlighted ended with the women's escape, but none could return home. Dr Raza said: "They are scared for the rest of their lives, but it is easier to live with their scars under a safe roof."

Her are some of their stories. Names have been changed to protect identities.

Sacrificed for honour Shamsa was 25, living in Pakistan and divorced from a man who had beaten and tortured her.

Another marriage was arranged to a family friend, Sardhar, who was in his fifties and living in Scotland.

With two young daughters, she felt compelled to agree after her family warned her that staying single would bring disgrace on them and ruin her brother and sister's chance to marry.

Sardhar appeared kind when she arrived in Glasgow but that changed quickly. Soon Shamsa had to clean his daughter's house as well as become his sexual plaything.

She said: "In bed, he started to ask me to do things to him which I never imagined I would have to do. I am too ashamed to say what they were. I took an hourlong bath afterwards." Kept virtually a prisoner, she was beaten one day because she had been chatting too long at the school gates as she picked up her children.

Shamsa said: "He grabbed my hair and beat me with a belt. He threw me on the floor and tried to strangle me.

"The children were crying at the door. They had seen everything."

Every night after he raped her, she took her long bath. But one night when she got out of the bath earlier than usual, she discovered him naked in her daughters' room.

He had been abusing them on a regular basis. Shamsa said: "I wanted to kill him and call my parents and tell them what a price we were paying for their honour.

"But I knew they would say it was because I wasn't keeping my husband satisfied." But she had to do something, so she wrote a note, begging for help, for her daughter to give to her teacher.

When she went to pick up the children, social workers took her and her daughters to a shelter.

She said: "I rode in the social worker's car with my children safe in my arms. I did not give a damn about our culture or honour because it did nothing but hurt me and my innocent children. …