Radio·Video

This Happened to Me: I was a teenage bride who escaped an abusive arranged marriage

Samra Zafar was your average teenager living in Abu Dhabi when her mother came to her with a proposal to marry a man she had never met.

This Happened to Me is a video series from CBC Radio that explores the turning points in our lives

I was a teenage bride who escaped an abusive arranged marriage

CBC Radio

1 year ago
8:21
Samra Zafar was just your average teenager living in Abu Dhabi, when her mother came to her with a proposal to marry a man she had never met. By the age of 18, Samra was married, pregnant and living with her husband and his family in Canada. 8:21

Samra Zafar was an average teenager living in Abu Dhabi when her mother came to her with a marriage proposal.

She wanted her to marry a man who she had never met, was 11 years older than her and living in Canada.

By the age of 18, Zafar was married, pregnant and living with her husband and his family in Ontario. It wasn't long before the verbal and physical abuse started.

After a decade of abuse, Zafar carefully plotted her escape to freedom. 

Zafar, who is now an author and founder of a non-profit that mentors survivors of abuse, first shared her story of resilience on The Next Chapter.


This Happened to Me is a video series from CBC Radio that explores the turning points in our lives — the moments that changed everything.

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