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Her 'duty' is helping Muslim women heal after abuse
Toward the end of her marriage, Rabia Iqbal said she feared for her life.
Iqbal was born in New York to parents who had immigrated to the United States from the tribal areas of Pakistan. She had a strict Muslim upbringing and when she was 16, her parents arranged her marriage to a 38-year-old man. She claims her husband turned violent during their 10 years of marriage.
When she finally left him, she did not know where to turn. Going home wasn't an option, she said.
"My parents ... made clear that they would disown me," Iqbal said. "My father even said ... 'You're lucky you live in America because if you lived back home, you would have been dead by now.' "
She was hiding out in her office at work when a friend put her in touch with Robina Niaz, whose organization, Turning Point for Women and Families, helps female Muslim abuse victims.
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