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Fauzia arrived at the UNFPA supported Family Protection Centre (FPC) in Herat Province in an extremely bad psychological and physical condition, with visible wounds and injuries to her body, from what she said was physical violence inflicted on her by her husband and his family.

Fauzia talked to UNFPA on the condition of anonymity. Fauzia, is the pseudonym we gave her. She entrusted her story to the FPC counselor and mentioned how she was abused psychologically and also battered by her husband. Although pregnant, the bruises and scars showed very recent violence inflicted on her.

The counselor at the FPC used acquired up-to date knowledge and experience to apply counseling and stress management strategies and calmed her down. The counselors saw Fauzia on multiple follow up sessions and also referred her to the legal sector for support.

After a number of counseling sessions at the FPC and consultations with a lawyer assigned to her, Fauzia decided to seek for separation despite her husband’s initial refusal to consent.

After 6 sessions in the court and with evidence from the FPC and help from the lawyer, Fauzia successfully got divorced. She is currently teaching at a community based school in Herat and enjoying a life of freedom and dignity.

UNFPA works in 26 provinces of Afghanistan to provide health, police and legal sector response to Gender Based Violence.