Surviving Abandonment and Maltreatment in prison: Setting out to new horizons
was born in 1989. Married and without children her husband denounced her to
save himself from jail. She was suspended on charges of murder for almost four
years in women's prison of Tripoli. Her husband
left her and travelled.
With her family not living in Lebanon Rana stayed in jail without a lawyer.
Therefore Dar Al Amal provided her with legal aid including a lawyer.
During her incarceration Rana participated in many activities (which) Dar Al Amal offers in the women's prison of Tripoli. These activities are organized in the framework of DAA's rehabilitation and reintegration project for women prisoners.
These activities include vocational trainings
on sewing, decorating ornaments, computer skills, handicraft etc. These
contributed to the development of Rana skills and helped her to ensure an
income due to the sale of her products by Dar Al Amal.
In addition Rana was followed up socially and psychologically.
Unfortunately her relationship to her parents suffered under her imprisonment. They refused to visit her as they weren’t able to accept her being in prison. Dar Al Amal offered a family follow-up as well until finally her father accepted to visit Rana in prison. Moreover he supported her with money.
After DAA paid Rana's bail she has been released. At that time she was yet fully qualified to face a society which condemns women prisoners and hinders them in returning to a normal life without obstacles.
Fadia was raised in a broken family. Her parents were always fighting. Their home was full of violence. At the age of 16 she ran away with the first man she met. They got married.
Fadia's husband turned out to be an alcoholic, who used to beat her regularly. After a while, as if that were not enough, he started to exploit her and sold her to other men.
Fadia gave birth to two children, but her life was not changing. At some point she wanted to kill herself but she could not. She was invariably thinking of her kids. Finally she got a divorce and for a while she lived with her kids on the streets.
Eventually she was directed to Dar Al Amal, where she received help:
A place to study, eat and sleep was provided for Fadia's children. The work with Fadia started immediately by offering her psychological help and by finding her a shelter to sleep. After some time, she found a job as well and therefore was able to rent a room. She could see her kids every weekend.
Until now Fadia still visits Dar Al Amal and participates in field trips.
Ola is a 12 years old girl who lived with her family, which consists of mother, father and 3 children. They suffered from difficult social and economical circumstances:
Her father worked as a security officer in a small market in Beirut. Her mother worked as a cleaning lady. However, their income was not enough to meet their basic needs.
In addition Ola was victim of her father's physical and moral abuse.
Those conditions affected Ola in
1- School: She was at high risk of dropping out from school, as she was repeating her classes for the second time (grade 4).
2- Friendships: She was unable to make any friends, neither in school nor in the neighborhood. She preferred to be alone.
3- Relationships to her family: She hated her family, especially her father, and dreamt of running away from home.
Dar Al Amal assisted Ola and her family during the hardest time, in which they attended social and psychological services.
Now Ola is improving at school again. She’s enjoys it and comes regularly to the centers.
Her mother is supported by a social worker and a psychotherapist, who are teaching her how to protect herself and her children.
Rouba is 12 years old and lived in a small room together with her mother and 3 brothers.
Her father left home 6 years ago, after a big fight with his wife: He used to hit her and their children, especially Rouba.
The family was facing serious socio-economical problems and was not able to pay the rent or even food.
In order to support her family, Rouba's mother worked at night, which created rumors that she might be a prostitute, and spent all day sleeping.
Due to this situation, Rouba had a lot of behavioral and psychological problems:
1- She skipped school and spent all day with some boys on the streets without her mother knowing.
2- She used to drink alcohol and to smoke water pipes.
3- She failed her 8th grade three times.
4- She became unhygienic, wore dirty clothes etc.
5- She was in high risk of delinquency.
Rouba came to the center, and a social worker created an action plan with herto instantly start helping.
In collaboration with a psychotherapist and the DAA team, Rouba showed of the following improvement:
1- She benefited from school reinforcement as her grades improved.
2- Psychological counseling helped Rouba in her to deal with her situation. She became more responsible, less careless.
3- The social worker assumed the social follow-up with Rouba. Together they solved some problematic issues such as hygiene. Moreover they worked on her interpersonal relationships. Therefore the social worker also cooperated with Rouba’s mother to improve her social and medical situation and not east her relation with Rouba. AShe learned how to protect Rouba, especially from the risk of delinquency.
4- After one year of social and psychological follow-up, Dar Al Amal saw the need to take Rouba out of her family and she moved to a new home for her best interest.
is 15 and her sister Rima is 16 years old.
Their father is an alcoholic and addicted to gambling. He neither works nor supports his family. While their mother is sick and suffers from high blood pressure and diabetes. Therefore she needs a permanent medication. Moreover their older brother is unemployed. Furthermore their father is very abusive, meaning he beat them continuously. Several times they ran away from their home and slept on the streets.
Due to their deteriorating economic condition their mother made them support their family: She forced them to work as dancers in night clubs.
At the beginning the girls did not know the risk of it and therefore welcomed the idea. It seemed to be just an alternative place to sleep – better than sleeping in the streets. By the time the girls were disgusted by their job and saw the dangerous side of it. Not least they were exposed to several harassments. While a social worker of Dar Al Amal was visiting the families in an area in Beirut, and was informing girls about the center, she was introduced to Rima and Mariam. He/she encouraged them to come to the center and join the literacy session. The girls showed great commitment by coming to the shelter, but after a while, they stopped appearing. The social worker visited their home and met the mother, who claimed they were working until late hours. Therefore they were not able to wake up early in the mornings in order to come to the center Moreover they needed money for her medical treatment and other family expenses.
So the family was followed up and informed about the danger of the girls working in night clubs.
After that, Mariam and Rima continued their classes in the center and joined the English session as well. In addition to psychological and social follow up they joined several recreational activities.
The follow up continues, but the girls need time to forget about their experiences and to adopt with their new opportunities.