Freed from a forced marriage in Pakistan, Rabia Anwar, a young Christian woman, has successfully completed her school education and begun studying for a Bachelor’s degree online.
Now 21, Rabia was kidnapped on March 31, 2016 and held captive by her best friend’s brother. He subsequently forced Rabia to marry him and to accept Islam. Four agonizing years followed in which Rabia worked as a domestic slave for her “husband’s” family. She was also regularly beaten and sexually abused.
Then on June 7, 2020, Rabia managed to escape when her abuser’s family forgot to lock the main gate after a long dinner during Ramadan. With the help of CSI partner Anjum Paul, Rabia was brought to a shelter for girls.
In January 2022, the CSI project manager for Pakistan visited Rabia’s parents at home near the eastern city of Bahawalpur. She discovered that Rabia had reintegrated well into family life and had completed her high-school education, which normally takes two years, in one year with good grades.
Now Rabia has been admitted to college to study online for a Bachelor of Arts. She is also using the skills she has acquired in needlework to earn some extra money by sewing clothes for her neighbors.
Previously Rabia had received the gift of a sewing machine from CSI. Her earnings enabled Rabia to purchase the laptop she needs for her studies.
“I and my family are grateful to CSI for supporting us financially and morally”, says Rabia, who has turned into a self-confident young woman.