Friday, December 01, 2006

it's about power

'It's about power ....... men beat women up because they can get away with it.'

An interesting article in the Guardian today about the 35th anniversary of the refuge movement in the UK reminds me of the difficulties we have in Jordan in dealing with husband/wife abuse.

A 7 month pregnant lady is beaten by her husband with a belt and buckle, she flees from her home and ends up where?

Where do abused wives go when their husbands beat them? Probably to the police station or the governor or end up with an NGO, but there is no safe haven for them. For nearly eight years there have been many efforts to get the Ministry of Social Development to provide a shelter but unfortunately this has yet to come to a reality.

We do not need to begin with a state of the art place, we just need to start with somewhere where a woman (and maybe her children) can be safe for a few days while the police can take the case to court and social workers can calm the situation and try to help the woman to find her way, know her rights and what are her options are. The Family Protection Department of the police does not deal with these cases as they wanted a co-ordinated approach to the problem. All the training that has been done over the past few years is being wasted because there is no official refuge. A reconciliation centre has been set up by the Ministry of Social Development but, as far as I know, is not operational but I think the name is completely ridiculous. These victims need a refuge.

If you have seen, like I have, a woman who was just blood from neck to toes because her husband had beaten her with electric wires, you will know how desperate the situation can be. We have moved forward with child and sexual abuse but domestic violence is still lagging behind.

I believe very strongly that we in Jordan can tackle anything that faces us so please, these women should not have to sit in silence or live with fear, they should have somewhere to go which is safe. T


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do I seem to remember that Prince Hassan was involved in the Family Protection Unit when it first was initiated in Jordan and at that time there was some sort of cooperation with the British Police, a house was allocated as a shelter, and some local ladies were also involved. What happened to all this ?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006  
Blogger joladies said...

You are right. It was under Prince Hassan's auspices that the FPD began and with a large contribution by the British Government of over 2 million pounds for an integrated project. Unfortunately the shelter part of the project has yet to materialise. T

Wednesday, December 06, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does this mean that Prince Hassan is no longer responsible for this project and if so, why not and who is ? £ 2 million is a huge amount of investment into a project that cannot be wasted.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006  
Blogger joladies said...

Prince Hassan was not responsible for the project per se. It all started in 1997. It was between the British Govt and the Jordanian Govt and the £2 million was not just for domestic violence! The money was spent over a period of years to train police, prosecutors, judges, doctors, educators etc on how to deal with child abuse, sexual offences etc. The British involvement finished last year and the Danes are now continuing. It has been a great project and a very successful one. T

Wednesday, December 06, 2006  
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