The 25-year-old copywriter from Baku grew up in a family where arguments and physical violence were constant. Her first childhood memory is of her father hitting her mother, sending her bouncing off a wall. The copywriter was just two years old.
When she was 14, she started to defend her mother. Eventually, she became a victim herself. Her father’s anger over work problems or her request for a tutor led to beatings, she claims.
Humiliation accompanied the violence. “He never slapped my face, but he would put his fist into my mouth in order to keep me silent or to take me downstairs” out of the apartment building, she recalls.
She was afraid to hit her father back. Instead, out of despair, she used to scratch her own face and neck, she says. There was no hope of seeking outside help.
“It is considered that if a father beats his daughter, it means she’s a woman who’s behaved badly and she deserved it,” the copywriter says.
She tried to leave her parents’ home and live alone, but did not. Instead, she married at 22.
She now lives apart from her parents and describes her new life as happy. Her husband, she says, is never violent toward her. “We might have some quarrels, but I can express my opinion without fear of being hit.”
She still has nightmares about what she remembers enduring as a child, but tries to focus on the future.
“It’s just a part of my life story,” she says of her past difficulties. “Despite that, everyone should have a goal [in life] and go for it.”