October is set on the calendar as a�?Domestic Violence Awareness Montha�?

How truly public is domestic violence in Lebanon? We hear stories about women abused in their homes, we might even know a couple but we are forced to feel that there is nothing we can do about it. Our hands are tied when the law is against common sense.A�

A friend of mine, while on public transportation on his way to work, saw a man hitting a woman on the side of the Jounieh highway. The men got off the bus to try and calm the situation. The abuser said that the woman is his wife, and everybody a�?minded their own businessa�?.A� This is the reality of the situation here. If a man wants to hit his wife and you interfere, you will most probably get beaten up as well. A�A�

There are reports of 5 women dying of domestic violence since July. How many more have died in the same way but without it being reported? And what can we say about cases that have put away on a dusty shelf? And if death is not the result, does that mean that the abuse is minimal and trivial?

What are the actual numbers?

We are talking about a country that doesna��t even have a precise number for its population. Regardless, domestic violence is a sensitive issue. A lot of women wouldna��t admit to it out of fear of being more abused. Fear alone is a key element here. Wea��ve seen a couple of ads that encourage women to speak out, and discourage men to act out. Have they been useful? How can we know the actual gravity of the situation if we dona��t have past and present stats?

There have been campaigns, there have been protests, yet we still wait for a real law to protect all women from abuse, domestic and otherwise.

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A�References and Sources:

http://www.beirut.com/l/28691

http://www.al-akhbar.com/node/192406

http://www.assafir.com/Article.aspx?EditionId=2580&ChannelId=62352&ArticleId=166&Author=O?O?O?U�+O?U�U?U�#.Uk63NtJ9HaJ

http://newspaper.annahar.com/article/68944-%D9%85%D9%86-%D8%A3%D9%83%D8%B1%D9%87-%D8%B2%D9%88%D8%AC%D9%87-%D8%A3%D9%8A%D8%B6%D8%A7

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Useful resources: Kafa a�� Enough Violence and Exploitation in Lebanon

A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� A�A� Abaad a�� Resource Center for Gender Equality

A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� A�A� (and every woman that has been a survivor of domestic violence)

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  1. Thank you Hermes !
    I suggest the following steps:
    Make a donation to a nonprofit agency working to end bullying, dating violence, and violence against women and children.
    Support domestic violence legislation at the national level.
    Persuade your local schools to include bullying prevention and healthy teen relationship topics in their curriculum.
    Encourage clergy to mention the issue in sermons and newsletters and host resource materials in your house of worship where victims can access them privately.
    Be an advocate at your doctor and dentist’s offices. Ask your healthcare providers to include questions about personal safety on all intake and medical forms. Ask them to host resource materials in their offices where patients can access them privately.

  2. We need more awareness campaigns and a proper education on non-violence in our schools and universities, and in our media.
    Unfortunately, we live in a country torn by war, and violence has become a culture!!

  3. In Lebanon, so many women are victims of abuse and violence, physical and psychological. Shame on religious and political leaders!
    Shame on ourselves too, except for those fighting for women’s rights – you are doing a LOT! this is such a taboo subject!

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