Tori Towey, a native of Co Roscommon who was a flight attendant for Emirates Airlines, is facing charges in Dubai after she attempted to take her own life after sustaining abuse from her husband.

Towey, 28, has been charged with attempted suicide and alcohol consumption and faces a potentially lengthy prison sentence in Dubai.

According to the advocacy group Detained in Dubai, which is assisting Towey, the Irish woman moved to Dubai just over a year ago when she was offered a job with Emirates Airlines.

She quickly married a man from South Africa whom she met through work, but he "began a campaign of physical, psychological and financial abuse."

Towey's mother Caroline, who is now in Dubai with her daughter, told Detained in Dubai: “He cut her off from her friends and family.

"If we tried to contact her, she got in trouble.”

BREAKING: An Irish domestic violence victim has been charged with attempted suicide in #Dubai. Rather than authorities helping her home to #Ireland with her mother, she now faces jail! So much for the #UAE's "women's rights" advances. @rtenews @Independent_ie @IrishTimes

— Radha Stirling (@RadhaStirling) July 9, 2024

Towey's husband became "out of control," Detained in Dubai states. In one instance, after he was thrown out of the bar for causing "havoc," he launched a  "horrific" attack on Towey that involved physical abuse.

He ripped up Towey's two passports during the hours-long "torture," which only ended when some neighbors intervened.

Afterward, Towey, who sustained frightening injuries, filed a police report and Emirates Airlines gave her time off to recover. 

However, when Towey attempted to replace her passport, she learned that there was a travel ban against her, though she didn't know why. Detained in Dubai confirmed that "it's commonplace for spouses to open pre-emptive cases against the victim to try to immunize themselves from their own criminal cases."

Towey returned home to her husband with the hope that the abuse would stop, similar to so many other abuse victims.

When Emirates Airlines fired the husband for "behavioral issues," he began to use Towey's credit cards excessively. Upon noticing, Towey put a stop on her cards, knowing that high debts can lead to travel bans and jail time in Dubai.

Towey predicted that her husband would become enraged with the financial cutoff, so she left their home for a few days and stayed in a hotel that her mother had arranged for her. 

When Towey returned home, there was relative peace, but it was short-lived.

According to Detained in Dubai: "Tori arranged to fly home to Ireland, but when she arrived at the airport, was told a case against her by her husband had been dropped but the travel ban remained.

"She attended the police station who assured her the travel ban would be lifted but it never happened.

"She was stuck."

Tori Towey's injuries. (Detained in Dubai)

Tori Towey's injuries. (Detained in Dubai)

The following day, her husband again launched into another rage. Towey believed he was going to kill her, as he had promised before.

"Feeling like there was no way out, Tori ran upstairs to the bathroom and wrapped an electrical lead around her neck," Detained in Dubai says.

"The next thing she remembers is an ambulance crew and police waking her up. She was taken to Al Barsha police station and kept for several hours before going home again.

"Her mother pleaded to the Irish Consulate, but in the absence of their assistance, boarded a flight to Dubai.

"When she arrived, she wasn’t allowed to see Tori alone, her abuser wouldn’t allow it. The three met at Emirates mall, then attended the prosecutor's office to find out what charges had been registered against her."

Towey had been charged with attempted suicide and alcohol consumption. She was told nothing could be done and that the cases against her were going to court on July 18. 

Later that night, the husband went to the pub. When he returned home, he began verbally abusing Towey again and "pushing her around."

Towey and her mother packed her bags and left the home, "this time for good."

Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai, has criticized Emirates Airlines, the Irish Embassy, and the UAE medical and police services for their handling of the situation.

Stirling said on Tuesday: “We are calling on Dubai authorities to urgently drop the charges against Tori, remove the travel ban, and let her fly home to Ireland with her mother.

“We are also calling on Ireland’s Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Simon Harris, the head of Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin, Ambassador Alison Milton, and local TDs Michael Fitzmaurice, Claire Kerrane, and Denis Naughten, as well as the UAE’s Ambassador to Ireland, H.E. Mohammed Hmoud Hamad Rahma Alshamsi to help bring Tori home.”

Towey's situation was raised in the Dáil on Tuesday by TD Mary Lou McDonald.

“The system over there, rather than protecting this woman, who is an Irish citizen, chose instead to detain her and charge her," McDonald said during Leaders Questions on Tuesday.

"She is now under the most incredible stress."

McDonald, who said she spoke with Towey's mother that day, continued: “Tori wants to come home. It is as simple as that. She is a Roscommon woman, and she wants to come home. 

“I am asking that, as a matter of absolute urgency, that we have a statement from this House; that the Taoiseach will intervene; that the ambassador is called in and; that it is made plain to the authorities in Dubai that no woman should be treated in this way and that an Irish citizen, an Irish woman, will not be treated in this way.”

Myself and @ClaireKerrane raised the emergency case of Tori Towey with the Taoiseach seeking urgent intervention in her situation.

The system in Dubai, rather than protecting this Irish citizen chose to detain and charge her.

She wants to come home.

The Taoiseach must…

— Mary Lou McDonald (@MaryLouMcDonald) July 9, 2024

Responding in the Dáil, the Taoiseach thanked McDonald for raising the matter and said it was his understanding that TD Kerrane had raised the matter with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Tanaiste Micheál Martin.

“I am not directly apprised of the situation but I am very happy to be directly apprised of it now and to work with Deputy McDonald to intervene and see how we can support an Irish citizen in what sounds to be, from Deputy McDonald has told me, the most appalling of circumstances,” the Taoiseach said, adding that he would be happy to engage directly with McDonald on the situation.

Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs says it is aware of the case and is providing consular assistance.