Aliya (not her real name) is a smart, young, ever-smiling mother of a three-year-old girl. Her independence and strength are the result of her continuous struggle with her unsuccessful marriage and the resultant custody cases.
Aliya married Firoz seven years ago in India.
He beat and tortured her constantly but Aliya endured the sufferings, hoping that her life would improve soon.
They migrated to New Zealand but her life did not change for the better.
She was not allowed even the small pleasure of life such as the radio, television or newspapers.
She was not allowed to meet anyone, and hence she led a secluded life.
The birth of her daughter ended her solitude but not her plight.
Firoz was not a good father.
Aliya was keen to protect her daughter from all problems and calamities and hence constantly remained with her.
An angry Firoz filed a divorce case against Aliya.
They were divorced but Aliya lost her property, her only shelter in New Zealand and was forced to seek government help. She was also awarded full custody of her daughter, with meeting time exemptions for Firoz.
Initially, Aliya supervised the meetings, which became unsupervised later.
Six months after the unsupervised contact, her daughter started showing strange symptoms, which shocked Aliya.
She was not willing to go to her father’s house but could not explain why.
Aliya felt that her Government-assigned lawyer was biased and hence did not want to seek her help. She was also worried as to what would happen, because legally the child had to meet her father.
Aliya approached Jaagriti (Awakening) Women’s Support Group, a unit of ‘Roopa Aur Aap Charitable Trust’ for assistance.
The organisation forwarded her case to a qualified barrister, experienced in handling family conflicts.
The barrister advised her to speak to the Government-appointed lawyer about her dissatisfaction and file an application in the court explaining the situation and insisting that Firoz could meet the child only under her supervision.
“Jaagriti improved my life and the barrister was knowledgeable, understanding and helpful. I am glad I have some support,” she said.
If you are going through a similar situation, there is no harm taking a second opinion from another lawyer.
It is your right to seek advice and take a decision only when you are convinced.
Jaagriti helped Aliya and it can also help you in need. You can disclose your issues freely, as Jaagriti assures confidentiality under the Privacy Act and a suitable solution.
For more information, contact Roopa on 021-665609.
Diksha Vohra is Public Relations Officer of Roopa Aur Aap Charitable Trust based in Auckland. Email: email@example.com