20 May 2022

TRAUMA: How a young Afghan woman who gave birth at 16 got the protection of a Kildare court.


TRAUMA: How a young Afghan woman who gave birth at 16  got the protection of a Kildare court.

Naas courthouse

A woman from war torn Afghanistan was granted a barring order against her husband at a Naas District Court sitting on February 9.

The 22 year old, who gave evidence in broken English, was commended by Judge Desmond Zaidan for initiating court action.

The woman, who was accompanied by a volunteer who works with a group assisting people who are at risk, married at 15 years and had a child at 16.

She arrived in Ireland five months ago, shortly after US armed forces left the country precipitating a takeover by the Taliban and a rush to leave the country.

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She told the court her husband who lives with her and their daughter sometimes beats her badly with a slap or a fist and this had been going on for a long time, including when they lived in Afghanistan. She said her husband is angry and when she asks why he tells her to shut up and this happens daily.

She told Judge Desmond Zaidan that she didn’t go to school in Afghanistan and she has no other family members in Ireland.

The court heard that is “no help for a woman in Afghanistan” and her marriage was an arranged one.

She sought  a protection order which prohibits threats of violence though the judge granted a barring order which prohibits the man from entering the home.

And the judge directed that the order be delivered by a garda accompanied by a translator fluent in Dari or Persian - the languages used in Afghanistan.

The judge urged her to go to school, adding that education will allow her to fend of herself.

“She is vulnerable and has her whole life ahead of her. The people of Ireland have done the right thing by giving her a chance,” he said.

Describing the case as distressing and disturbing, Judge Zaidan said the woman’s decision to come to court was brave.

“There’s no excuse for beating anyone, let alone your wife, the mother of your child,” he said.

He added it appears to be normal for some men to behave like this in Afghanistan.

“You’re doing the right thing in very difficult circumstances,” the judge told the woman.

He appointed a solicitor to assist her.

The court was heard that the Refugee Council will liaise with her husband in the event of barring order being granted.

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