Jul 2018

Violence Against Women

Posted by Amy on Saturday 28th July 2018

Violence against women and girls is a daily reality across Ethiopia. Figures by the World Health Organisation paint a frightening picture about the levels of violence girls and women experience in Ethiopia.

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Nearly one half of women have experienced physical violence by a partner at some point in their lives 

71% of women have experienced physical or sexual abuse (or both) over their lifetime

The main injuries these women suffer are:

 - Abrasions or bruises -

- Sprains and dislocations -

- Injuries to eyes and ears -

- Fractures -

- Broken teeth -

For pregnant women, 8% experienced physical violence during at least one pregnancy and of these, 28% had been punched or kicked in the abdomen

39% of women have never talked to anyone before about their abuse... 

...and more than half of these woman said they had not said anything because they had been threatened or feared the consequences of reporting it

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Violence can be in the form of emotional abuse, physical violence or rape and is often at the hands of male family members, neighbours or employers – people the women know or are close to in their lives.  

Young Ethiopian woman

How are we working to support survivors of violence?

We partner with the Association for Women’s Sanctuary & Development (AWSAD); an organisation working across Ethiopia to provide protection and support for women who have survived gender based violence.

AWSAD runs fully-staffed safe houses for women who need safe refuge. These shelters are for women and children only, so that survivors can feel safe in their new environment and share their experience with others who have gone through a similar ordeal.  

Alongside safe shelter, AWSAD provides food, medication, legal advice and counselling for the women and girls in its care. For women who have not had any formal education, they provide basic literacy education and also skills development training to give women the tools to rebuild their lives and move forward as independent and self-sufficient members of society when they are ready.

Residents are also encouraged to develop their self-esteem and confidence by being physically active and developing their own interests; such as taking self-defence classes, joining a scouts group or participating in a marathon.

In the past year alone, AWSAD has supported 160 women and 73 of their children who experienced and needed refuge from violence. At the start of this year, 13 young women graduated as fully qualified hair dressers following a 6-month course, allowing them to find work in a skilled profession once they are ready to leave AWSAD.

Safe house for women and children by AWSAD

For women and girls

  • Safe shelter and food

  • Food and medication

  • Legal advice

  • Counselling

  • Reading and writing education

  • Skills development for jobs

For communities

  • Educate primary school students and teachers about  the harm of gender based violence

  • Work with the media to report cases of gender based violence

For government

  • Work with police and other officials to encourage reporting of abuse and violence

  • Work with community and government institutions to provide quality services for women and girls

Young women in Ethiopia protesting violence against women

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