The Butterfly's Cage
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More About This Title The Butterfly's Cage


The Butterfly’s Cage, is the heart wrenching, inspiring true story of a young Pakistani woman’s flight to freedom. Suffering familial abuse, tyranny and disownment as a result of refusing to submit to the abuse received by not one but two violent husbands, Shahnaz* opens the doors to a hidden world, illustrating how cultural values can allow human rights violations to prosper and the cost of reputation is integrity, respect and love. Born into a wealthy family with homes in both Britain and Pakistan, she was forced to give up school at the age of 12 in order to care for her younger brothers. There followed two arranged marriages, to a violent, drug addicted, petty criminal and then to a vicious, controlling sadist. Her family ignored her pleas to escape her marital hell, instead casting her as the wicked, immoral daughter whose selfish desires threatened to damage the family’s reputation. After years of abuse and intimidation in both England and Pakistan, Shahnaz fled the family homes to try to start a new life in London with her young daughter only to be lured back to Pakistan under false pretences. Stripped of her possessions and kept under house arrest, Shahnaz was in constant fear of her life for a further 18 months, enduring brutal beatings and diabolical threats to her life. Through her intelligence, courage and unwavering fortitude alone, Shahnaz overcame adversity, won her freedom, her family’s acceptance and now lives in England with her daughter and third husband, embarking on a career in social care. Six years on, wishing to reveal the pain and suffering that can be caused by misguided cultural attitudes and social values, Shahnaz has written her story. *Shahnaz is not her real name – she does not want herself or her family to be identified