A Quebec woman is pleading for help from the Canadian government to help her daughter escape what she says is an abusive marriage in Saudi Arabia.

Nathalie Morin, 23, is married to a Saudi Arabian man she met in Montreal when she was 17. They have two children, one of whom was born in Montreal.

Her mother, Johanne Durocher, has written to Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier, who replied that he is concerned about the situation, adding that consular officials have been working on the case since 2003.

However, the Foreign Affairs department's website says Canada's consulate in Saudi Arabia does not have the power to grant exit visas to Canadian citizens.

Durocher said Thursday her daughter's marriage appeared to be strong until the family moved to the Middle East. That's when things changed, she said.

"She's not allowed to go out. He beat her. He took a knife and said, 'I'm going to kill you.' He beat my grandson Samir [on] the 17th of February," Durocher said. 

Morin wants out of Saudi Arabia, and out of the marriage, Durocher said. But, she said, her daughter won't leave without the children.

Under Saudi law, a wife needs her husband's permission not only to leave the country, but also to take her children with her.

Durocher says her son-in-law won't give his permission. 

"That's what he [told] me, because he's very, very mad. But I'd be very surprised.  Me, I know my girl. I am going to fight for her, and she is going to fight for them."