One of the reasons I began this blog, was to share my story of a common occurance in the Middle East to foreign women; which is essentially ignored by the world. From my own experience I found that if your lucky enough to escape, that the trauma doesnt stop there. Either your blessed to escape with your kids or unfortunately they have been left behind. As a survivor you suddenly have to deal with the concequences of what happened. As in my case I returned with my two children, three suitcases and not a penny to my name. I had been away 21 years, and even though I was English I no longer knew how to function in English society.
I had no idea how anything worked, the law, how to open a bank account, enroll my kids into school, it was a total minefield of the unknowns
Our first action was to report to immigration at London that we were escapees from Saudi and to put a block on the childrens passports – so the family couldnt come after us and kidnapp the kids back to Saudi. I was astonished to be told there was nothing immigration could do and we would need to see our local police force. WTF!!!!
I was blessed that my sister came to meet us at the airport and she would put us up at hers till we sorted things out.
Once we settled into my sisters we went to the local police station to report what had happened. What was a private issue became a circus. More and more officers came in to hear our story, unbelievable that such a thing had happened and we’d managed to escape after ten years. There wasnt really much they could do unless my inlaws were in the UK, it would be a case of waiting and seeing. They gave me an emergency text number to use so if the inlaws turned up I could text and the police would come. A bit useless I thought as if they showed up at my door I wouldnt have time to text.
They gave me the name of a solicitors : Burd Ward, and told me to see them – they work free on behalf of families in trouble. I made an appointment and when we met they informed us we would have to change our identities. It was bad enough loosing our home – our friends and belongings- but now our identity? It was hardest on Faris to lose his fathers name, Jana hadn’t really known her dad so it wasn’t a big thing. To me it was like wiping away 21 years of my life – my marriage our existence, but since our family name would be easy to track we had no choice. Next we had to move to an area no one knew we had a connection to. Whilst in Saudi I had told people I was moving to a different country, we still had to keep our tracks covered.
We had heard from my source in Saudi the family had reported us for kidnapping Janah; their grandaughter. They told the authorities that Faris was a drug dealer and I a prostitute and how we would corrupt Janah. They tried numerous times to get my source in Saudi arrested, after the fourth attempt he informed the police to tell the family who he waa and next time he would areest them all. Thankfully my source was a very powerful man as well as being my guardian angel.