Women and children fleeing the danger of war torn zones are a familiar sight across the world's media. However, hidden from the world's view are millions of women who are victims of unimaginable violence in marital or parental homes, severely broken physically, emotionally and mentally - often pregnant or with children in tow. Our aim is to provide a safe place for these victims to find refuge and begin their healing and rehabilitation.
The Nigeria Demographic Health Survey (NDHS) 2013 indicates that 1 in 3 Nigerian women under 50 have experienced some form of physical or sexual violence. In Lagos, Nigeria's largest city with a population of about 20 million, our shelter is just one of two private ones remaining and struggling to stay open due to the high operating cost of such facilities.
Shelter and food are two of our basic needs as humans. Millions of women and children in Nigeria find themselves in life threatening violent situations at home. They are often helpless due to poverty, as well as cultural and religious beliefs which make help from family and friends difficult to get. Providing emergency temporary shelter and food will ensure that the most vulnerable do not have to remain in bondage at home and can flee to a safe haven where they can receive help.
Women who survive domestic violence become liberated and empowered citizens and are in a position to take charge of their lives once free from the shackles of violent marriages or hostile family situations. With legal advice, medical aid, vocational training, educational scholarships, employability workshops and stable housing - survivors are able to contribute to society's development and serve as strong role models to other women and children.
Lagos State Domestic & Sexual Violence Response
World Bank Report GBV Nigeria
World Health Organisation Domestic Violence
Pulitzer Centre Article on Domestic Violence