After a lifetime of physical, sexual and emotional abuse, rejection and neglect by her family, two painful failed marriages, a lost pregnancy, and a suicide attempt, it’s a wonder she is even alive.Yet she is able to smile and say, “I know that Jesus is holding my hand, I know that he’s taking me through it.”“I really don’t have good childhood memories, because I was brought up in a very dysfunctional family,” Jiya said.“I saw my mum and dad fighting all the time, my dad was very violent, and he sexually abused me from the age of 6 to 16. “At the age of 10 I knew that something was not right about this, but I was afraid to say anything.“Then when I was 16 … I confronted him. I guess that caused even more abuse and violence in the family.”
When Jiya reached adulthood, her parents arranged her marriage to her third cousin. And so I came to Australia. “My husband was abusive. At first I stood up for myself, but my mother in law told me I was a weak woman. So I started putting up with abuse.” Jiya found happiness when she discovered she was pregnant, and finally had hope that life could get better. “My husband and mother in law were not at all happy; they wanted the baby to be aborted,” Jiya explained. “That’s when I started taking my real stand. I said “no, that’s not happening”. “I suffered so much abuse because of that. And so I eventually miscarried my child. Jiya left her husband and went back to India seeking support from her parents. But she was told to support herself, with her father suggesting the unthinkable.
“He said, “If you want to live in India, you have to become a prostitute”. Rejected, Jiya returned to Australia. She then met an Indian Australian who swept her off her feet and married her, but Jiya said he soon became controlling, preventing her from working, having friends or going to church, and treated her much like a slave. Jiya loved her new husband but had become so depressed from years of abuse and suffering, that she decided her only answer was to die. “I started looking up on the internet about what to do to kill myself. I felt like the most promising way would be to burn myself. And so I did. In that one act on November 15, 2013, Jiya lost her home and possessions, which all burnt in the blaze, and also lost her marriage. Her husband left her. “When I woke up in the hospital I was totally burned. My neck, my whole leg, my shoulder, a little bit of my face; my hair was curled up, and my knee was burnt totally. The doctors told me I’d never be able to walk. “I realised that day, there was nobody around me. Nobody at all. That’s when I found that there was only Jesus who was present there. After being released from hospital, Jiya had nowhere to go, and ended up in a refuge in Kings Cross. “The burns that were supposed to turn into contractures started healing. My scars got healed. My hair started growing. I started reading the Bible. “Now, 18 months later I have a job and I’m studying. It’s amazing how God restored everything. He’s given me beauty from ashes. ““Life is still hard. It’s not simple and I don’t expect it to be simple. “For me to be so normal and to be able to work, study, for me it’s a miracle. I don’t think I would have been able to do it without Jesus.Jiya said she wanted to encourage others with her story.
“I would like to tell everyone who’s going through a tough time in their life, that it’s ok, everyone goes through it, but there’s a hope in Jesus.
It was such a blessing to have you over. Thank you so much for the smile box. I celebrated and cherished each one of them. I just have no words to tell you how much it means to me.