She Was Held by Taliban, but It Was Her Husband She Feared

Caitlin Coleman describes years of abuse at trial
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2019 12:46 PM CDT
They Were Hostages, but Wife Says Husband's Abuse Worst
Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle are pictured with two of their children in this 2016 image from a Taliban Media video.   (Taliban Media via AP)

A woman once held by the Taliban detailed in court the abuse she says she suffered in captivity—at the hands of her husband, not the Taliban. Caitlin Coleman testified Wednesday in Canada in the trial of Joshua Boyle, her now estranged spouse who faces 19 charges, reports the CBC. The pair were captured while in Afghanistan in 2012 and freed in 2017. While in captivity, Coleman says Boyle would regularly choke, slap, spank, punch, and bite her, saying she should enjoy the pain because it made him happy. The US-born Coleman—who first met Boyle in person at age 20, four years after the start of an online relationship—also said her husband would often talk "casually" about killing her, reports the Ottawa Citizen.

She added that "probably the darkest period of my whole life" was her final two years in captivity, during which Boyle confined her to a small bathroom for entire days. Though Coleman hoped the situation would improve with their return to Canada in October 2017, she says it didn't. Indeed, the 33-year-old told the court that Boyle hit her in the face while forcing her to strip naked and swallow three anti-depressant pills at an Ottawa hotel on Nov. 5, 2017, to prevent her from leaving him. "I knew that if I didn't, he would hit me harder," she said. Coleman's testimony is to continue into Friday. The identity of a second alleged victim of Boyle, 35, is hidden by the court, per AFP. (More Joshua Boyle stories.)

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