BEIRUT: Women who have been subjected to domestic violence and abuse, and survived this trauma, find different ways to cope with their ongoing pain.
One of the means to deal with this post-traumatic stress is through safe shelters, also known as Al Dar, which was established by the Lebanese NGO Abaad.
The shelters act as a temporary transitional space “until women are able to regain their strength and make consequential decisions,” Abaad told Annahar.
On Wednesday, Lebanon's U.N Special Coordinator Pernille Kardel and Minister of Women’s Affairs Jean Oghassabian visited these shelters and share a meal lunch with survivors, to stand in solidarity and celebrate the women’s strength.
“Today we are celebrating these women for their courage to take their lives into their own hands, despite the violence that they have suffered," Kardel said during her visit to the center.
Speaking to Annahar, Kardel lauded the work "impressive work being done by Abaad" in helping these women reintegrate into society.
“What is really impressive is to see these women who have suffered violence the no one should experience, to be able to get back up and establish a new future,” she said.
Meanwhile, Oghassabian thanked the NGO for its actions, which most often than not, makes up for the authorities' shortcomings.
"Women have the right to live with dignity,” Oghassabian told Annahar, adding that the Judicial system should act tougher with abusers. He also called for the implementation of stricter laws.
Oghassabian also called on specific ministerial committees to better safeguard women and human rights, in line with a bevy of international agreements.
“It was a visit that gave me lots of inspiration and hope,” one of the women who spoke on condition of anonymity told Annahar.
Another woman who has been residing in Abaad's shelter for a certain period thanked the guests for “their respect and sympathy”.
Al Dar has been operating since 2013 across three locations. “It’s a life project that seeks to eliminate violence from women’s lives to enable them to be independent,” Abaad said.
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