A divorced American woman is trapped in Saudi Arabia with their young daughter because of the restrictions the Kingdom’s restrictions on women.
Bethany Vierra, a 31-year-old from Washington state, has lived in Saudi Arabia since 2011. She moved there and took a teaching job at a women’s university, according to the New York Times.
In 2011 Vierra met her husband. They were married in Portugal in 2013. They have a daughter together who is now four years old.
Last year the couple got a divorce. Vierra claimed that her husband was abusive to her, emotionally and physically.
Despite finalizing a divorce, Vierra has been unable to leave Saudi Arabia due to the strict guardianship system in Saudi Arabia.
More on the story from Daily Mail:
The system means Saudi women are often only as free as their male ‘guardians’ – which can include husbands, fathers or other male relatives – allow them to be.
Women have to receive formal permission from the male guardians to study, get married or even renew their passports.
Vierra is a dual Saudi-American citizen.
In her case, her ex-husband is still considered her and her daughter’s guardian.
Her family claim the ex-husband let her residency run out last month, which means she is now in Saudi Arabia illegally and no longer has access to her bank accounts.
This is absolutely disgusting. Her husband abused her and now she is divorced, taking car of their child, with no access to her bank accounts and is in the country illegally because her ex-husband let her residency run out.
Vierra’s cousin shared some details of the situation with hopes of raising awareness of what she is dealing with.
“She is completely stuck. She is out of options,” Nicole Carroll, Vierra’s cousin, said.