Her home - The most dangerous place !

Posted December 4, 2010 from Saudi Arabia

Dear President Obama, Vice President Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the members of US Senate

I am writing this letter as I read another heart-breaking story of a woman suffering from abuse. This woman might be lucky and courageous enough to report her story, but there are countless women living in endless agony, unable to change their destiny.

Passing this act will help them do so!

Women belonging to different classes suffer the same fate – rich or not, educated or not, working or not …all suffer varied forms of emotional and physical abuse. Abuse is a daily part of a Saudi woman’s life – yet we are in denial. We live in denial because few cases are reported every year, only 257 were filed last year. In a country of 27 million people, the number is grossly under the true average.

The majority of women do not report due to fear and shame. The growing numbers of victims does not match the number of shelters available for them. Recently, 10 young victims family abuse were transferred to the a care center for the elderly, citing reasons of a lack of a specific shelter for them

Women from poor backgrounds suffer more but we often do not see how educated, working women suffer the same abuse in inconceivable, new ways.

A married woman in her early 20’s lives in insurmountable distress. Unlike most cases, her marriage was not an arranged one; she married a man thinking she had found the Prince Charming of her life! Little did she know about the beast lurking inside him...

Her husband, (self-proclaimed modern and open minded individual) is a greedy man who wants his wife to earn a living for him! He is someone who believes a housewife is worthless and women must bear all the expenses. He forces her to work 24/7, manage all the household chores and at the end of the month he takes her money to pay majority of the expenses and deposits his earnings in own bank account!

She can’t spend time with her children and can’t spend money of her own will. Her two children suffer as well; they feel desperate for their mother’s time. When their mother is away, they become the victims of his mindless behavior.

One day he threatened to strip her naked and throw her outside – this was his way to ‘fix’ her for protesting against his bad behavior

Despite being a working mom, she doesn’t get a day off on weekends while her single male colleagues work less hours with weekend holidays. At work her male colleagues makes her life a hell, (as her husband does at home). I ask, is there a place for a women to be free of emotional and physical abuse?

A women turns a house into a home – but she, herself does not feel secure inside her own home, I ask – is this acceptable? I sincerely urge President and senators to pass this act, a first step to see an end to violence against women in my lifetime. Passing this act will open locked doors for women across the globe, improving women’s public and private lives while creating a healthy future generation.

Please pass this act and create a better life for those suffering for years, for those unborn female children waiting to see the light…




The International Violence Against Women Act

Comments 8

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  • Cara Lee
    Dec 04, 2010
    Dec 04, 2010

    I've met women who have become victims of violence in their own homes, and I've been a victim of violence from men in my own past... even though I'm an educated, independent, middle-class American woman. Yet, your story of a woman whose husband is squeezing her for everything she has strikes me as one of the most insidious yet. I suppose what bothers me is the realization that when society tolerates brutality against women, it creates a slippery slope for the rest of us - allowing men to rationalize and hide their behavior. Not all acts of violence, subjugation, and control leave bruises.

    I can't help but wonder whether this woman you describe is a friend of yours, a neighbor, or maybe you. I don't expect you to answer, as I suspect that you might put yourself at risk by doing so. I just want to thank you, Sharona, for being brave enough to share the story at all.

  • Farha
    Dec 26, 2010
    Dec 26, 2010

    Thank you reading my piece , dear Cara ! appreciate your comment.

    The woman I addressed is my friend’s sister.

    I couldn’t help but notice this rising trend among educated, working women being subjected to ‘invisible kind of subjugation’ if I may put it that way. Many educated women fall into these traps, and it’s hard to seek help in such cases. Educated, working women face different dilemmas in seeking help,and it’s not even readily available.

    Yes, you’re absolutely right about society tolerating brutality against women. If one woman is silent, her silence creates a ‘silent hell’ for the rest. If one woman resists and resists vocally, she becomes a mouth piece for hundreds and thousands of other woman.

    I hope we all resist and re-think how we address such issues.

    Take Care ;-)

  • Rita Banerji
    Dec 05, 2010
    Dec 05, 2010

    Thank you Farona!

    I am hearing so many women in the middle east speaking out -- so loudly and clearly just as you have!! And you are right -- both poor and upper class women suffer, but the upper class women hide the abuse more because there is that issue of social respectability. It is the same here in India!

    Good for you girl! We are together in this!

  • Marian Hassan
    Dec 05, 2010
    Dec 05, 2010

    Dear Farona,

    What a powerful letter.... seems like women everywhere in this world suffer the same. Hope all these evil things will disapear and every women will enjoy her life fully.

    Thanks for sharing this powerful letter.

    Warmest regards.

  • Jana Potter
    Dec 05, 2010
    Dec 05, 2010

    Your voice is loud and clear!

  • Amei
    Dec 06, 2010
    Dec 06, 2010

    Very touching a sad reality for women. Hope is the strength of our work.

    Thank you for writing such a passionate letter.

    Regards, Amei

  • Maura Conlon
    Dec 09, 2010
    Dec 09, 2010

    You broaden the stereotype of "abuse" in your letter to include all aspects of it -- from physical to emotional. I applaud you for taking the time to write your letter and sending it to The Powers That Be.

    Here's to love infusing all the powers.

    Here's to the transformation that is to come.


  • Jade Frank
    Dec 20, 2010
    Dec 20, 2010

    Dear Farona,

    Thank you for participating in the IVAWA letter writing campaign and for sharing your voice and your personal testimony with President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and members of the US Senate on the urgency of ending violence against women.

    We sent copies of your letter in packages, along with your fellow PulseWire members', to these key decision makers, and I am excited to announce that on December 15, the International Violence Against Women Act was approved by the Foreign Relations Committee! Our voices were effective in supporting this bill!

    Next step for the bill: Get passed by the Senate and House by the end of the year. I will keep you updated!

    In friendship and solidarity, Jade Frank

    Online Community Manager World Pulse