Hi, my name is Lili Nurieva and I am 20 years old. I live in Saint Petersburg, Russia, but originally, I am from Azerbaijan. I also have a sister, who is almost 18 years old.
I am reaching out to you because our parents are radically conservative. My sister and I are suffering from extremely conservative and abusive parents who try to control every aspect of our life.
To give you a little background, we were raised in a conservative muslim household and are not allowed to make decisions for ourselves. Our parents are forcing us to be obedient because a woman represents a "family honor". If a woman impugns a family's reputation, she is being threatened and psychical as well as emotional abuse is involved.
This is why we are not allowed to have choice. We are not allowed to work and be financially independent. We also cannot talk to any male without fear of being beaten. It is forbidden to move out before marriage with an Azerbaijani man (and only Azerbaijani man through an arranged marriage).
This also involves emotional humiliation. Being constantly called fat and ugly, my sister developed chronic eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia.
The list can go on, but I would like to mention that things get even worse over time. A few days ago my sister shared that our dad showed her news about an Azerbaijani woman murdered by her brother saying that killing her was the right decision.
We constantly feel fearful and threatened. Because of that we are planning to run away from our parents.
The issue is, our male family members can start chasing us, and there will be no help from the local authorities in such a situation.
First of all, domestic violence is decriminalized in Russia https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/16/decr.... Moreover, the Russian police sometimes can even leak the information such as address and phone number to the family of the girls who escaped from the strict muslim community.
So our plan is to move to Moscow which is the biggest city in Russia in both size and population wise to avoid persecution.
We are going to do that in 3 months right after my sister turns 18 (age of majority in Russia).
However as we were not allowed to work by our parents, we do not have enough savings to afford such a move until we actually escape and start making a living.
This is the reason why I am sharing my story with you.
Please rest assured that this decision to escape from the abusive family is well-thought and was not made on a whim. I am fully aware of the consequences and ready to take the risk to gain personal freedom.
Thank you so much for your help! I will appreciate it greatly.