Free after 15 years of marital misery

Free after 15 years of marital misery

SINGAPORE - Mayla (not her real name) married her husband mainly because her mother urged her to marry the "good and responsible" Singaporean.

He was holidaying in Jakarta and got to know Mayla, an Indonesian salesgirl, at the shop where she worked.

After four months and a mostly long-distance courtship, they married.

Then she found out the truth about her husband, a driver now in his 40s. He had an explosive temper and was quick to hit her when she defied his wishes - even over trivial matters.

He also forced her to have sex and perform sexual acts she was uncomfortable with.

When she was about to give birth to their second daughter, she asked for a caesarean section to be done as she could not bear the pain. He said no and slapped her a few times in front of the nurses.

Mayla, 38, said in Malay: "He always threatened to kill me but I tolerated the abuse for my children's sake. Besides, it's shameful to talk about it." Their eldest daughter, one of three teenage girls, was also not spared from his rage, especially when she did not do well in school.

About two years ago, he chased Mayla out of their home after a quarrel. She found a place somewhere else to stay, but he started stalking her.

Fearful that he would kill her, the Singapore permanent resident lodged a police report and applied for a personal protection order.

After that, he kept away. She has since divorced him, ending 15 years of marital misery and is now working at two jobs to support her children. She said: "I'm relieved now as things are a lot more peaceful. I can concentrate on earning money to support my children."

Next: Prisoner of jealousy and rage

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