Rebuilding lives: a 16 Days of Activism story from the ABAAD Midway House, Lebanon
Success Story: Towards a Gender Equitable Society, from Jo Cox Memorial Grant holders, ABAAD MENA, Lebanon – November 2021.
Trigger warning: this article contains descriptions of gender-based violence, suicide and post-traumatic stress.
Samah is a 28-year old young woman who suffered an attempt on her life from her partner. On that day, he shot her multiple times, resulting in life-threatening injuries to her stomach, arm, and shoulder and then took his own life.
In addition to the physical harm inflicted, Samah suffered from severe psychological distress and feelings of fear, depression, and anxiety. In total despair, she reached out to ABAAD through the Women and Girls Safe Spaces (WGSS) which referred her to the ABAAD Midway House (MWH) or Emergency Safe Sheltering and Services commonly called ‘Dar’, or ‘home’ in Arabic), a structure supported by UK Aid.
With the help of medical professionals, ABAAD team supported her through her physical and psychological recovery from the traumas inflicted by the drama. During her time in the Midway House she underwent a medical procedure to treat her injuries, and received the necessary continuous support and follow-up that helped her physical recovery and allowed her to reclaim the ability to take care of herself again.
Samah began healing, among the other women residing at the Dar who escaped domestic violence and other forms of violence against women and girls. She received the necessary psycho-social support that aided her psychological recovery and facilitated her reintegration into everyday life.
She explains: “During my time at the Dar, I took part in artistic workshop activities. These helped me learn some new skills, which I hope to use when I will be ready to reinsert my family and community.
Today, Samah decided she was ready to resume the life she used to live and to leave the Dar. She confides: “I am rebuilding myself, and am now more accepting of my physical and mental scars. I hope to regain the ability to live the independent life I always wanted to lead.”
Al Dar, ABAAD’s emergency safe shelters are free and safe temporary houses for women at risk or survivors of GBV, including single and married women, their children, as well as adolescent girls.
Visit the ABAAD (abaadmena.org) website.