This Australian Woman Came To Find Love In Pakistan, But Was Sexually Assaulted And Kept As A Prisoner

By Haddiqua Siddiqui | 27 Jan, 2019

Trigger Warning: Sexual assault and abuse

Stories of meeting a soulmate online and starting a new life with them have been making rounds in the country. But, for 30-year-old Australian woman, Lara Hall, the dream of a fairy tale soon became her worst nightmare.

In 2013, struck by ill-fate, Lara met a Pakistani woman called Rihana on a train in Australia.

Coming from a broken family, Lara started getting close to Rihana’s family as they adored her and often brought her gifts.

via Dailymail

One night, on a Skype call with Rhianna’s family in Pakistan, Lara made her first contact with Sajjad, who was a relative.

via Dailymail

Not too long after, the two connected on Facebook and talked intermittently over the next few years.

Sajjad claimed to be a lawyer and was eager to make her happy. For Lara, who had completed a law degree at the University of Notre Dame and was working in a prestigious position, this appeared to be a match made in heaven.

via Dailymail

Lara had battled obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and her childhood troubles still haunted her.

The vulnerable Lara, fell prey to the fake promises of a happy life with him.

via Dailymail

He would tell her, “I will fill all your blank spaces”. It was one of his favorite sayings, Lara told the Dailymail.

Last year, Sajjad invited Lara to his brother’s wedding in Pakistan. She saw it as a chance to see if their online romance could turn into real-life love.

via Dailymail

On April 23rd last year she flew 18 hours to Lahore from Sydney, only to discover he was a con man.

Sajjad had lied to her about owning a Spanish villa but she was spellbound and ignored everything else.

via Dailymail

But, things soon started to get ugly when he raped and physically abused her multiple times.

Lara said she came to Pakistan all by herself and she had become a house-prisoner who suffered from the torture.

via Dailymail

Lara planned her own escape by reaching out to Dr. Kaiser Rafiq, chief executive of the elite AFOHS club, a prestigious members-only club for armed forces officers, diplomats and prominent business personalities via Facebook.

via Dailymail

Dr. Rafiq escorted her to the local police station where she received further assistance.

Lara managed to fly back to Sydney with the help of the British Pakistani-Christian Association after failing to receive any assistance from the Australian High Commission.

via Dailymail

The internet is still not a safe place after all, and trusting a stranger with your life is risky. This horrifying experience, when shared with Pakistanis, left everyone angry and disturbed.

Some people wondered why the man’s face was censored in all the pictures.

It does seem rather unfair that the woman’s face is everywhere, whereas her assailant’s face is hidden from the world. His face truly should be shown to everyone to move forward the process of justice being served.

People also started talking about how women shouldn’t trust people online, but more importantly, how men shouldn’t lie, abuse and rape, to begin with.

Overall, people found the entire incident horrifying…

…and they were surprised at the lack of action.

Truly, what an awful ordeal to go through. Let us know what your thoughts are in the comments below.


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Cover image via Dailymail

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