Rahaf Mohammed, 18, made headlines when she flew to Thailand and barricaded herself in a hotel while appealing on Twitter for help to avoid deportation.
She said she feared being killed if she was sent back to her family.
"It's something that is worth the risk I took," she told the Toronto Star and CBC News. "I had nothing to lose."
"We are treated as an object, like a slave," she said. "I wanted to tell people my story and about what happens to Saudi women."
Under Saudi Arabia's guardianship system, women must obtain permission from a male relative to travel outside the country, study abroad on a government scholarship, get married or even leave prison.
Ms Mohammed - who has dropped her surname, al-Qunun - alleged that her family had subjected her to physical and psychological abuse.
"In the beginning they locked me up for six months after I cut my hair... because it is forbidden in Islam for a woman to dress like a man," she told reporters at the office of an immigrant settlement agency in Toronto.
"But I was mostly exposed to violence by my mother and my brother," she added. "They were beating me and there was corporal violence."
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