The son of a twisted fitness-obsessed dad who made his daughter promise to “never get fat” has spoken out about the mental and physical abuse he endured.
Karim Khadla and his siblings Amira and Hitcham were violently and attacked and manipulated for years by their father Rachid, 56, who was jailed for his crimes.
Today Karim spoke out about his experience, recalling the physical and mental abuse and controlling coercion he endured.
Karim said he was punched so hard blacked out for a few seconds, and called this the lowest point. Other physical abuse included being thrown to the side of the room, or being hit on parts of the body where people cannot see the damage.
He told BBC News : “He threw a punch at me with full intent like a boxer would in a boxing ring to the side of the temple.”
Karim added: “You feel ashamed because you don’t understand why it’s happening to you.
“You feel frustrated because there’s nothing that you can do to influence the result. And there’s also sadness and anger in there as well.”
Karim was able to escape to university, but he felt horrible knowing he was powerless to protect his siblings and his mum. who he didn’t speak to for three years as they carried on living under his dad’s cruel regime.
Rashid Khadla of Windsor in Berkshire, was jailed for two-and-a-half years after being convicted of two counts of causing actual bodily harm and three counts of child cruelty after a trial at Reading Crown Court in April.
He was also made the subject to an indefinite restraining order against all members of his estranged family.
During the trial, the judge heard how the tyrant controlled all aspects of family life – withholding access to the internet, mobile phones and house keys, and punishing disobedience by beating them with a wooden spoon.
Rachid forced his daughter Amira to promise “I will never let myself get fat…I will do lots of exercise to make sure I will never get fat….even until I die.”
At his sentencing hearing, Khadla’s only daughter, Amira, explained she was made to feel worthless and developed an eating disorder following weekly weigh-ins.
The veterinary nurse said: “I was made to feel stupid and worthless, I lost my self confidence and developed an eating disorder. Every bit of my life was affected growing up, we did not have a normal life or a happy childhood.”
Karim said the family have lived through some horrible times but they are now moving in the same direction together.
But he said he has not forgiven his father. “When someone shows no remorse for their actions it’s impossible to forgive”, he said.
Karim urged others living with abuse to speak out so they can get help.