The story of Heba, resident at the ABAAD DAR
In Lebanon, the pandemic, the worsening economic crises, and the surrounding wars have at times turned homes into prisons for women and girls. In this context, ABAAD provides safe shelters to support survivors escaping violence and Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), allowing women, girls and their children a safe lodging.
Heba was tied up into an arranged marriage when she was only 15 years old, and her husband 17.
Rapidly, she was subject to the violent and humiliating behavior of her spouse. "He used to insult me and to leave the house for months. After he had left me for six months, and was involved with other women, I decided to ask for divorce and moved to my parents’ house. My father argued that girls in our family do not get divorced, and he brought me back to my husband. He asked me to forgive him, and to forget all the pain and violence I have witnessed from him and from his family”.
Heba decided then to seek refuge in the ABAAD Safe Shelters with her young child. One week after her arrival, she explains: “It was very difficult to dare taking this step, and to challenge my family and my husband, I was very afraid. I prayed a lot. I thank God to have given me this strength. The people who stood by me directed me to this shelter, which no one can reach, and is a safe and secure refuge. I am very grateful to have found ABAAD”.
In a confidential and safe environment, ABAAD’s three Emergency Safe Houses are free, temporary safe shelters for adolescent girls, single and married women along with their children at risk or survivors of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence. Survivors can seek here different kinds of clinical care, engage in individual or group therapy and take part in numerous vocational activities. The Houses offer women and girls a space to gather information and explore their options, with the assistance of trained professionals.
* All names have been change