It is difficult to get a divorce in Nepal. Legal changes have made it possible for a woman to divorce her husband and still keep some of the property, and even to gain custody rights. However, such court cases are lengthy and expensive. It typically takes many months to get a divorce case through court if the woman makes any kind of property or custody claims. Even worse than the time and money required to get a divorce is the social stigma put on a divorced woman. Many women are so terrified of being ostracized from their communities if they get a divorce that they will endure years of abuse instead.
Arranged marriage at the age of 16 years old
Two children “
My husband was very violent and abused me. He beat me almost daily and raped me whenever he liked. We had two sons together. One day I decided to leave this situation, and fled with my two boys. I wanted a divorce, but I feared social retaliation. My family asked me to not divorce, as this would ruin the family. My husband was still looking for me and when he found me he beat me in public. He harassed me on several occasions and he printed flyers with my phone number on, saying I was offering free sex. I had no energy anymore. I just wanted to livea happy life with my two children. So I asked The Women’s Foundation Nepal for help. The staff there convinced me, that I should divorce my husband and they helped me to push the case through court. My husband stopped harassing me, as I was in a strong community, protecting me. Eight years after I left him, I was finally legally independent and had custody of my children. I now work and raise my children and they are doing so well at school. I am very happy and free now.”