It is no secret that domestic violence is still a real social and legal issue in Lebanon, and activism is still ongoing. In some cases, women tend to remain quiet, which worsens their situation, for their silent submission nurtures the violent behaviors. However, in other cases, they tend to break the social taboo and seek help from different NGOs and lawyers. In light of the increasing number of cases of violence against women, several lawyers took the initiative to step in and help free of charge.
The initiative started on the 14th of August when the Lebanese Lawyer Omar El Koush posted on Facebook that he will be offering legal services for free for victims of domestic violence. He mentioned that he would defend any woman, mother, wife, or even a daughter, and make the case a public one and ensure that the abuser regrets ever harming a woman.
Just the very next day, on August 15, other lawyers joined him in his initiative, as El Koush informed the public via a Facebook post. We are not talking about a few lawyers, but about some dozens across Lebanon. It is as if so many were waiting for just one person to be bold enough to step up, and here is the list of names of these noble lawyers according to the provinces:
It is important to mention that KAFA, the leading Lebanese NGO advocating for women’s rights, receives 2,600 calls in its domestic abuse helpline each year. KAFA’S analysis of media reports shows 62 reported cases of violence against women between 2010 and 2015.
Also, 25 women were killed by family members between 2010 and 2013, and four women died in 2014. According to a survey conducted in 2016, 31 percent of women in Lebanon had experienced intimate partner violence, and 24 percent of men claimed responsibility for it.
Although many campaigns and efforts are done regarding this dramatic issue, much more awareness needs to spread. People need to know how to act in case of being victims of violence or even witnessing a kind of violence. No woman should be a victim of social taboos and gender inequalities.
You may not be a victim of violence, but some woman out there is. Whether it’s you or someone you know, don’t hesitate in seeking legal services to defend the right to living freely, with no harm.