Violence against women and girls is a violation of human rights. Violence could include physical, sexual and psychological harm. it is a form of discrimination against women. “That’s the way he is, he loses his temper sometimes.” “He just got carried away. It’s no big deal.” “You provoked me.” “You deserved that beating” “You can cover that up with some makeup.” “Women are stronger, you can take this.” “He only slapped you. Other women have gone through far worse than you.”
Ever heard these excuses your abuser makes in defense of their actions? or it could be other people who defend the actions of an abuser. Whether it is verbal, emotional blackmail of physical – it is still abuse.
The abuser can be of either gender, it could be a sibling, it could be a spouse, it could be a boyfriend, a girlfriend or a relative or even a friend.
It is estimated that 35 per cent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or sexual violence by a non-partner at some point in their lives. However, some national studies show that up to 70 per cent of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime. Women who have been physically or sexually abused by their partners are more than twice as likely to have an abortion, almost twice as likely to experience depression, and in some regions, 1.5 times more likely to acquire HIV, as compared to women who have not experienced partner violence. (Excerpt courtesy : Facts and figures: Ending Violence Against Women)
If you feel you have come to the end of your tether, and looking for a way out you can and you should. We have put down a few places you can get in touch with who can provide you with the help that you need.
- Women In Need operates in 8 locations namely Colombo, Matara, Kandy, Anuradhapura, Badulla, Kurunegala, Batticaloa, Puttalam and Jaffna. WIN also maintains the only specific shelter for Women and Children who are subjected to Domestic Violence in the Island. Call 011-2671411
- Women Help Line – 1938 This has been established with the objectives of providing assistance and relief for the receiving complaints related to all forms of discrimination against women, defilement of the rights of women, harassment and all kinds of abusive circumstances.
- The Welcome House provides services to women and their children who are affected by domestic violence by opening their institution to safe and secure short term temporary shelter, one to one counselling services, police assistance, connections to medical and legal help. You can write to them at email@example.com
- The Salvation Army Sri Lanka provides shelter women and children affected by family violence. They provide short term shelter. Call 112324660
- Community Concern Society The Community Concern Society runs a shelter for abused women called Heavena. Call 112 721 812
- Family Planning Association provides counseling for women and children facing domestic violence. Call 112 555 455
- Home For Human Rights is an international organisation with an office in located in Colombo with branches located in Colombo, Ampara, Batticaloa, Jaffna, Mannar, Nuwara Eliya and Vavuniya. They provide advocacy on behalf of women who are abused. Call 112 577962
- Ma-Sevana – Sarvodaya is a place for young mothers who have been victims of sexual abuse, rape and incest. It provides residential care and protection. Call 011 2 655577.
If you know of any other organisations that help women who face violence, do include them in the comment section.