Bereavement due to traumatic death

Shazia - Interview 01

Female
Age at interview: 28

Brief outline: In 1993 Shazia's friend was shot by her friend's father because of 'izzat' and honour. Shazia, then aged 13, was devastated. She has found help through counselling and by supporting others in similar situations.

Background: Shazia is a Team leader (Karma Nirvana). Ethnic background/nationality: British Pakistani.

Audio & video

One day in 1993, when Shazia was 13 years old, the teacher told Shazia and her two friends that they could leave school at lunch time. It was a special day, ‘record of achievement’ day. The girls parents did not know that the girls had a half-day holiday and thought they were at school all day. Instead of going straight home the three girls went to the park.

 
While the girls were sitting in the park a man who knew Shazia’s friend saw her, and told her father that she was not in school. Shazia’s friend’s father came to the park and dragged her home. There was an argument in the house and he shot his daughter, her mother and her sister. Shazia believes that he shot her friend because of “izzat” and honour. He may have believed that playing truant brought dishonour on the family. He was a Muslim, and was part of the committee at the mosque, so perhaps felt that any dishonour for the family could not be tolerated. He then shot himself.
 
Shazia was devastated by the death of her best friend. She was not allowed to go to the funeral so did not have a chance to say goodbye. She was only 13 years old at the time and needed love and support but did not receive help from her parents or professional counselling. Years later she has received support and counselling from a trusted colleague, who is also a trained counsellor.
 
Now Shazia takes every opportunity to talk about her friend’s death to try to prevent other “honour” killings or abuse. She finds comfort by helping others who are in a similar situation, girls abused by their own families because of conduct they think might bring dishonour on the family.
 
Shazia was interviewed in 2008

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