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Bibi Aisha: A Survivor's Road to Recovery

Updated on March 3, 2015

The Face of Survival

World Press Photo of Bibi Aisha Photographer ~ Jodi Bieber
World Press Photo of Bibi Aisha Photographer ~ Jodi Bieber | Source

A Fortunate Young Woman

Bibi Aisha's personal story of horrific abuse appeared in the international news in December of 2009. Promised to a Taliban fighter, she was forced to marry a man who constantly abused her in every possible way. She escaped her husband's abuse, but was captured by police and then returned to her shamed husband who retaliated, making her pay the ultimate price by cutting off her nose and ears, and leaving her to die. Luckily, Aisha was rescued by international aid workers and members of the US military.

Violence and Abuse Awareness

A purple ribbon to promote awareness of Interpersonal Violence and Abuse Prevention.
A purple ribbon to promote awareness of Interpersonal Violence and Abuse Prevention. | Source

An International Symbol of Survival

Since then, I have followed Bibi's remarkable journey of survival and triumph over her victimization.

To me, Bibi symbolizes the international fight against abuse of women and children. She is a reminder of the dangers that women face within abusive relationships, and she resignates the strength, hope and beauty that all women seek.

On a very personal note, I understand Bibi Aisha.

I know what it's like to live in constant fear and hopelessness. As a target of a domestic crime, I am very lucky not to have been physically maimed, as in Bibi Aisha's case, and most of all, I'm still alive.

When I look a Bibi, I see myself.

Not a victim, but a survivor.

CNN Documentary

Break the Cycle

Sexual assault is defined as intentional sexual behavior, characterized by the use of force, physical threat or abuse of authority; or when the victim does not or cannot consent. Because of the jarring statistics released in 2011 it’s an act that the
Sexual assault is defined as intentional sexual behavior, characterized by the use of force, physical threat or abuse of authority; or when the victim does not or cannot consent. Because of the jarring statistics released in 2011 it’s an act that the | Source

Do You Know Someone Who Has Been or is a Victim of Domestic Violence?

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Words of Advice From a Survivor

The first step in the road to recovery is to break the chain that binds you.

I know it is hard, frightening, confusing, all of those emotions and more, but if you want to live, you must find a way to survive.

I remember the words of the judge who sentenced my perpetrator ... before he handed down a sentence, he looked my abuser into his eyes and said very firmly:

"I have no doubt in my mind that you were the one who controlled this woman for the past twelve years, and she has finally found a way to escape you."

The vidication that I felt was overwhelming. No one knew more than me just how powerful those healing words were to me.

Leave. Escape. Call the police ... whatever it takes.

Not so easy?

I guess you could say that, but then one day, while looking down at your grave, you might wish that you could take back such weak and defeated thoughts.

Believe me, in the end it is worth the fight.

Once everything is said and done, you will find a new person, much stronger and full of wisdom, a rekindling of beauty and spirituality, and above all, a more powerful essence. You will see the world with different eyes, that old vail of burdens lifted, and you will shine, forgetting that dark shadow you hid behind.

Power and Control Wheel

Abuse: power & control wheel
Abuse: power & control wheel | Source

The Statistics

Clinicians estimate that at least 7-8 % of Americans may develop symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder within their lifetime.

Though we know that in Vietnam, and in more recent years, in Afghanistan and Iraq, soldiers have returned with a high rate of PTSD, but did you know there is a silent number not often mentioned, and the numbers even more staggering than our soldiers?

Unfortunately, the silent number in question is a tally amongst women and children, victims of domestic battery from emotional, mental, physical, and sexual abuse. While this section of the article focuses mainly on abused women and children who suffer from PTSD, it is not uncommon for men to report incidents of abuse, especially emotional and mental abuse by their partners, and may indeed develop signs of PTSD. As with Women and children, male victims should take the 'power of control' wheel seriously when focusing on a break the chain that binds the cycle solution.

If you or someone you might know is suffering from symptoms of PTSD, seek a professional therapist who specializes in exposure to domestic violence and/or sexual abuse.

Symptoms of PTSD in Abuse Victims

Dreams
Insomnia
Memory Loss
Flashbacks
Avoidance
Depression
Terror or Panic Attacks
Isolation/Lonliness
Mood Swings
Hypervigilance
Anxiety/Fear
Substance Abuse
Mistrust
Night Sweats
Sexual Dysfuntion
Secrecy
Stress Headaches
Self Persecution Guilt/Shame

Did You Find This Hub Interesting?

5 out of 5 stars from 1 rating of "Bibi Aisha: A Survivor's Road to Recovery"

YOU Will Survive!

© 2013 ziyena

Comments

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  • taiwokareem profile image

    Taiwo Kareem 2 years ago from Salford

    Great hub, I once heard of Aisha bibi at some time and stopped following her story. Its great to see this on your hub. You don't know how happy I am. Thanks

  • ziyena profile image
    Author

    ziyena 2 years ago from Southern Colorado

    I think many of us take for granted what our foremothers fought so hard for ... Thanks for your enlightenment

  • poetryman6969 profile image

    poetryman6969 2 years ago

    I wish that more western women would pay attention to things like this. Perhaps that old saying should be rewritten to say: All that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good women do nothing.

  • ziyena profile image
    Author

    ziyena 3 years ago from Southern Colorado

    Thank you and yes, you are so right ... male and female! I need to reanalyze my choice of verbage on this hub :)

  • RNMSN profile image

    Barbara Bethard 3 years ago from Tucson, Az

    Not just power in the song Ziyena although yes, that song says it all/but Power in You and Bibi and in All women who sufer at the hands of weak, cowardly and controlling people, whether male or female! Excellent hub!!! shared and voted way up!

  • ziyena profile image
    Author

    ziyena 3 years ago from Southern Colorado

    Savvy ... great feedback on RAINN percentages! Thank you for appreciating my effort :)

  • savvydating profile image

    savvydating 3 years ago

    Great article! Also, according to RAINN, 44% of sexual assault victims are under age 18, and 80% are under age 30. Most sexual assault goes unreported and most rapists will never spend a day in jail.

    The important thing is that people like you are getting the message out there-- that abused women have to find a way to leave and to fight for their dignity, no matter what.

    Good job. Up & useful.

  • ziyena profile image
    Author

    ziyena 3 years ago from Southern Colorado

    My beacon is still homing.

    Thanks for the Gratz Dora :)

  • MsDora profile image

    Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

    Ziyena, Congratulations on your survivor status. Thank you also for bringing us Bibi's story. Both of you are beacons of hope to women and to all victims. Great article!

  • ziyena profile image
    Author

    ziyena 3 years ago from Southern Colorado

    Marie ~ It took my mother many years of prayer, but in the end the almighty has his way. Retribution in all its glory :)

  • ziyena profile image
    Author

    ziyena 3 years ago from Southern Colorado

    R.Q. ~ Awareness is the key.

    Thanks for your words of kindness!

  • ziyena profile image
    Author

    ziyena 3 years ago from Southern Colorado

    Frank ~ there definitely power in that song for years to come :)

  • Marie Flint profile image

    Marie Flint 3 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida USA

    There is only one thing worse, and that is having so much held in self hatred that suicide is believed to be the only option.

    I pray for transmutation and release of evil on this planet daily. That is my support for all oppressed peoples. I include the elementals, the beings that care for the plants, the water, the air, and the earth, in my prayer sessions, too.

    Pray without ceasing! ***

  • Romeos Quill profile image

    Romeos Quill 3 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

    A great Hub article Z.

    You are doubtless a rock for womankind, and a strong woman who deserves respect.

    Take Care,

    R.Q.

  • Frank Atanacio profile image

    Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

    wow what a share it's ashame cruelty has no boundaries.. nice touch with the Gloria Song I Will Survive at the end :)

  • Shyron E Shenko profile image

    Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

    Not in this life, maybe in the after life.

  • ziyena profile image
    Author

    ziyena 3 years ago from Southern Colorado

    fpherj48

    It happens everyday, every minute, somewhere in this world, and if they're were just "an eye for an eye" laws put in place, perhaps the abusers would think twce about their criminal acts :)

  • fpherj48 profile image

    Paula 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Ziyena....I feel literally weakened throughout my entire being......physical, mental & emotional. I am unable to stretch my imagination to the depths of hell and torture, required for a person to commit such egregious and inhumane acts of pure evil & hatred, upon another human being.

    Bless you and your family for reaching out to this brave, loving Heroine.

  • ziyena profile image
    Author

    ziyena 3 years ago from Southern Colorado

    Your so welcome! Bibi means a lot to me as she should for all women. Cheers :)

  • Colleen Swan profile image

    Colleen Swan 3 years ago from County Durham

    Hi, a touching article about a remarkable woman. Thank you for bringing this to the hub.

  • ziyena profile image
    Author

    ziyena 3 years ago from Southern Colorado

    Thank you Shyron for your kind words.

    Much appreciated and thanks again for "liking" Bibi"s page

  • Shyron E Shenko profile image

    Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

    Ziyena, I am so glad the Bibi survived, she is awesome.

    Voted up, U/A/B/I and shared.

    And liked on her fb page.

    God Bless you for writing this.

    Shyron

  • ziyena profile image
    Author

    ziyena 3 years ago from Southern Colorado

    She is Meg. Nice to meet you. Thank you

  • DreamerMeg profile image

    DreamerMeg 3 years ago from Northern Ireland

    Excellent hub. Truly amazing.

  • ziyena profile image
    Author

    ziyena 3 years ago from Southern Colorado

    Truly.

    Hugs Vishnum969

  • vishnum969 profile image

    vishnu 3 years ago from india

    The image itself tells a lot about the pain, the survivor is suffering

  • ziyena profile image
    Author

    ziyena 3 years ago from Southern Colorado

    tobusiness ... THANK YOU

    And I hope this Hub reaches the right people just in time.

  • ziyena profile image
    Author

    ziyena 3 years ago from Southern Colorado

    Thanks Nell ... yes, the world is full of selfish ego and ignorance. I agree, the family she lives with now are angels indeed. How fortunate for her that she should be gifted with such love. Not all women find that after such a horrific experience.

  • ziyena profile image
    Author

    ziyena 3 years ago from Southern Colorado

    Thanks Peg ... My situation has definitely changed for the better, but it is unfortunate with all survivors that those wounds do not fully heal. But ... we are alive :)

  • tobusiness profile image

    Jo Alexis-Hagues 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

    It is hard to imagine that such cruelty is still going on today. I agree with Nell, you and Bibi Aisha are strong brave women, I applaud you both for spreading awareness. A very important article, voting up and sharing.

  • jellygator profile image

    jellygator 3 years ago from USA

    It's horrible what people will do to each other. What a shame.

  • PegCole17 profile image

    Peg Cole 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

    Absolutely amazing, the strength this woman shows. I hope your situation will soon change for the better with hope shining brightly through. Beautiful article on an important topic.

  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

    Hi, this is just appalling isn't it? what on earth is wrong with people! I am glad she is living with a lovely family now, words fail me, great hub ziyena, and I am sorry to hear about your situation too, you are both survivors, and very brave, voted up and shared! nell

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