Fatema Sohail urges abused women to step forward and speak up

Actor Mohsin Abbas Haider’s wife, Fatema Sohail has responded to what Mohsin had to say during his press conference yesterday, in which he denied the domestic abuse allegations levelled against him.

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Placing her hand on the Holy Quran, Fatema said, “my pictures are real; Mohsin had hit me when I was 3 months pregnant. I had never thought I’d get a police case registered, I waited until the birth of my son. He would not only abuse me physically but also mentally by talking to his girlfriend, by swearing at me. I left to go to my mother’s house to save my life and he’s deeming that as a separation.”

“I got slapped on the third or fourth day of our marriage and Dua Malik is a witness to that. I was enduring it all quietly, I was keeping the people from within the industry who knew like Gohar Rasheed and Hamza Ali Abbasi silent because it was a love marriage, I wanted to save my home. He says I fell down the stairs. Why did I not go to a doctor if I fell down the stairs during pregnancy? I was slapped so hard, I couldn’t even open my mouth to speak,” she said.

Fatema began her press conference saying that Mohsin, who had mentioned in his presser that he had just come from giving his statement at the police station, did not do so. She said she spoke to the SHO who told her that Mohsin had recorded no statement at the station.

“He is now twisting his words around, saying I was sitting in the car and my lawyers went inside. When he came to the station today, for the first time in my life, I wasn’t scared of this man. Otherwise, I would be sitting in fear, that he’d start beating me,” she added.

She then shared her medical report from the November 2018 incident on her Instagram stories:

“Now that Mohsin sees he’s got no way out, no evidence, he is trying to patch up with me but that is not going to happen. I can not have my baby around such a dangerous man nor do I want to live with him anymore.”

“I’ve received numerous calls and messages from other women saying they are in my shoes but don’t know how to take a stand against their abusive husbands. Women are forced to leave work so they’re scared because of the financial dependence on men,” said Fatema, noting that the case has gotten bigger in its scope than her plight.

“I sort of went into shock because I [spoke up and] was going to fight for my child’s rights but this is so prevalent … this is something else. I’m now fighting for my women as well. Take a stand, come out, and speak up!

“God is the one who takes care of us all. These women are often financially weak, they think ‘who will take care of me, who will take care of my children?’,” she noted.

Fatema Sohail further emphasised that “these women are afraid” of being utterly financially dependent on their husbands and “it’s worrisome”.

“Please come out and speak up. Women have said to me they want to soak up but I’m not sure if they would actually be able to or not. They just have the same fear — being financially weak.” She urged women suffering from abuse to step forward.

Later, Fatema, outside the police station, said she will be determined to her application and will tell the police whatever they asked her.

Although she mentioned, “the FIR [first information report] is still not being registered. I don’t know what the reason behind this is or if there is any kind of pressure from somewhere but the FIR was not registered.”

“I have told you over and over again that the pictures I shared on social media were from 2018 and in the four years of my marriage, I was abused often,” Fatema said when asked about not having a medical test done to file the FIR on basis of the report.

“I never had the intention to come out in the public” about this. “I couldn’t open my mouth because he slapped me so hard,” she said.

At the meeting, the chairperson of Punjab Women Protection Authority, Fatima Chaddar said that Sohail would get all the legal protection that she needed, adding that her case has reached the chief minister and she would receive justice.

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