Samia was born and raised in the Middle East. She has two sisters and three brothers. Tragedy struck Samia early in her life when at the age of six, her eldest brother Bassel began to sexually harass her. With time, her younger brother also picked up the same behavior and began to sexually harass her. Unfortunately, Samia was too afraid to tell her parents, and she dreaded her father. He battled anger issues and used to beat her and her siblings whenever he felt angry.
Samia’s abuse increased when her older brother Ahmed began to beat her as well. He beat her whenever he felt angry, and his abuse was both physical and verbal, reaching extreme levels. She was often bruised and covered with her own blood. Samia’s physical abuse was so intense that once her brother accused her of running away from school and beat her with an iron rod in front of her powerless mother until she was covered with blood. The worst part for Samia was when her father learned about the abuse and sided with his sons instead of sympathizing with her. The next day, the parents called the school principal and discovered that Samia had not runaway as she was accused. Despite her innocence, they didn’t bother to make amends nor apologize to her.
A few months later, her brother Bashar began to also display the same cruel behavior as his brothers. Not only did he sexually harass her, he also mercilessly beat her for mundane reasons, like not liking her outfit.
When Samia’s parents saw her kissing her friend, she was severely punished. They locked her in her room for three weeks. Her mother beat her the first two days, then continued to verbally abused her on a daily basis. Her mother was so cruel towards her that when Samia suspected she had a lump in her breast, her mother told her that she wished it was cancerous.
This is when Samia met Nadia on social media and became close friends with her. Nadia had shared the same tragic experiences, and had also been beaten and sexually abused by members her own family. But Samia’s mother and siblings did not approve of their friendship. A month later, when Samia was home watching a movie with Nadia and other friends, her siblings suddenly walked in on them and threw the girls out. Her brother Bashar cruelly beat Samia for standing up to their decision and bashed her head against the wall.
The girls were not allowed back in the house, and Samia was not permitted to speak to them again. For years Samia was not granted permission to leave the house except to go to school and her father’s office, or occasionally to visit her grandmother. One day, when Samia was a few minutes late on her way back from her grandmother’s place, she was severely punished and locked in her room in complete isolation with no food or water. Only her youngest sister would wait until it was late in the night to bring her some fruits and water.
This is when Samia finally decided to run away from the nightmare she was living in. She secretly arranged to travel abroad with one of her friends. On that day, she sneaked out of the house at 6 o’clock in the morning, went to the airport, and travelled with her friend Fadia to a neighboring country. Once there, she sent a message to her father informing him of her decision and apologizing if she had hurt him with her choices.
At first, her father was warm in his response and asked her if she needed money. He pleaded with her not to return home claiming that he could not guarantee her safety from her brothers who were seeking to restore the “honor of the family”. Later on, her father wired her money. However, this revealed her location. But Samia was already on her way to another country to stay at a friend’s place. A few days later, she received a call from her uncle who threatened to torture and kill her if she didn’t come back home.
Samia was desperate. She was stranded in a foreign country, about to run out of money, and unable to return home fearing death threats. She went on social media and recounted events from her tragic life in an emotional video that went viral. A TNF operative picked up on the story and acted immediately. After establishing contact, TNF carefully planned an extraction operation. Samia was moved to a secret and safe location and is currently under the protection and care of TNF. She was added to an urgent international relocation program and is awaiting her turn to travel overseas.
*The identity of everyone involved in this case will remain anonymous. All names were changed to protect the identity of the victims.