The mother-of-two, calling herself Lubna, revealed that she had been beaten, robbed and raped by her estranged husband despite being the British courts banning him from approaching her and which had also awarded her custody of their children.
But family pressure persuaded the British-Pakistani to try and obtain an Islamic divorce in a Sharia court.
Expecting to be treated sympathetically, Lubna said she felt violated when she was instead told to return to her violent husband.
Gita Sahgal, a human rights activist from the One Law for All campaign and Centre for Secular Space, said this is the reality of Sharia courts which are operating across Britain.
She said many Muslim women are being denied their legal rights by Sharia courts which are bypassing the UK’s justice system and telling women British civil divorce does not count in the eyes of Islam.
She said: “Any woman who embarks on a new relationship will, they say, have committed adultery – a crime only equalled in their eyes by apostasy, abandoning Islam, and blasphemy.
“Yet the courts in, for example, Bangladesh and Pakistan, are perfectly happy to accept a civil divorce certificate from Britain as evidence of the end of a marriage, which in the Muslim tradition is a civil contract rather than a sacrament. In those countries, the contract must be registered to count as a legal marriage.”
The Commons Home Affairs Committee has begun an investigation into the spread of Islamic law, a move criticised by some Muslims who have branded the probe “interference”.
Dr Ahmad al-Dubayan, chairman of the UK Board of Sharia Councils – a body set up to standardise the administration of Islamic law – said unregulated Sharia law courts exist “everywhere in the country”.
And he told the Home Affairs Select Committee last week the self-appointed courts are performing marriages and handing out divorces.
Although the unregulated bodies have no legal force or jurisdiction in the UK, they are regularly used by Muslim families to adjudicate on personal matters, the Committee heard.
Many courts reportedly charge for their services, with fees for divorce proceedings often higher than British courts.
The doctor warned the exact number of Sharia courts operating across Britain is unknown.
He said: “We don’t know how many councils there are.
“Some people talk about 80 or 30 or 50, I don’t know. There is no record for this and no studies, unfortunately.”
He added he could think of only two or three cases which had been unfair to women out of “hundreds” handled by Sharia councils.
The Select Committee heard that if Sharia courts are banned, backstreet courts will continue to operate but will slip even further under the radar.
Labour MP Naz Shah, who also giving evidence, admitted the councils could be used to “oppress” women.
She added: “Sharia itself is actually a code of conduct and the fundamental principal of Sharia is that the law of the land precedes anything.
“You cannot enforce and have a second parallel legal system in this country.
“As a British lawmaker I’m very clear, we have one law and that law is of the British court.”