PrathiEven after fifteen years of living in Utah Prathi was trapped. As a refugee from Pakistan her hopes of freedom had not been realized. Although she lived in a nice home with her son and could be seen most days at the nearby ethnic food store she was a prisoner. Her home belonged to her husband who no longer shared their marriage bed. She was forced to be a maidservant for her mother-in-law as her husband sought another wife.  She couldn’t complain — not because she did not want to — but because even after 15 years of living in Utah, she still spoke no English.

Prathi’s son who adored his shy and caring mother looked for a solution and consulted the only other adult he trusted, his aunt who lived with them. Together they contacted Women of the World (WoW) who immediately took Prathi under their care and helped her start a new life. WoW was there for Prathi in ways that no one else had been. They listened to her story and helped her to understand her rights and take action. She worked in partnership with a local women’s shelter and the authorities to gain freedom from the oppression of her husband’s family.

There were many anxious moments as she and her son escaped her enraged husband and mother-in-law and the only life they knew. But WoW provided the support she needed to build her case for divorce and custody of her son. WoW has helped Prathi to find a job and is helping her to begin to build a life away from the shelter. Her son and protector is still a kid and is enjoying summer sports camps enrolled in through the help of Women of the World.

At the Heart of Our Community are people like Prathi (not her real name or photo) and organizations like the Women of the World where the goal is to help women like Prathi help themselves to make a better life for themselves and their children through a foundation of love and collaboration.

It’s what makes Our Community great!

For more information about Women of the World and their programs or to volunteer or donate visit http://womenofworld.org/

Prathi’s story is brought to you through the Utah Bankers Heart of Our Community initiative. For more stories like Prathi’s follow our blog at www.heartofourcommunity.com or on FaceBook, Google+, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest #heartofourcommunity #utahsbanks #womenoftheworld