Knowledge is the Key
ACCTS-AWT held 9 workshops on three separate periods from March to April in the governorate of Madaba.
March-April of 2017
Madaba, Jordan ( AWT- ACCTS) - Our foundation hosted 9 awareness workshops in Madaba with the aim to bring awareness to women on different topics relating to family, violence, emotional healing and will equip them for a healthy lifestyle, but to also take care of the new generation.
Workshops were held on three separate periods from March to April in the governorate of Madaba (23rd-25th, 27th-29th of March and 3rd-5th of April) to which attended 150 Syrian women, 50 women at each period of time.
The topics discussed were the circle of grieve, the war and children, the relationship between wife and husband, the relationship between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, the relationship between parents and children, Gender Based Violence and Sexual and Gender Based Violence.
These topics were without doubt deeply related for most, if not all of the participants. They were very much engaged and we had the privilege to hear some heartbreaking stories but to also hear how the discussions helped to change perspectives, bring creative thinking for problem solving and the opportunity to give practical solutions on the spot.
As mentioned earlier, the ladies engaged passionately and opened up about the journey they are unto. Many of them shared the truths, advice and encouragements they could take from the sessions. Some had eye opening experiences about their families;
“I decided to start anew based on a new principle. I began to change my lifestyle. I decided to listen to my kids more. I want to start a new phase in my life. I reached a belief that is good despite all hardships, and that there is always a new hope! I adopted a new attitude of having to interpret my learned thoughts into deeds, and share them with others. I learned how to share and break the silence. And also convey the awareness message to my family. “
“Opposite to the norm, I hugged my children with great passion and love. I began to gather flowers and put them in my house”
“My relationship with my husband changed; I feel as if i were a child and now grew up. I felt in the workshop as if I have been lifted up from my place. When I got back home, I was a changed person, more loving and more compassionate. I started accompanying my children to parks, discuss with them and give them counsel. I feel full of life and loving myself.”
“Lectures provoked me to make a change in myself and my life. I used to be a bit violent raising my children. however , after listening to the lecture, I decided not to use this method of discipline”
Some took the opportunity to do some personal evaluation and here are what they took from it;
My perspective about loss changed and I had more hope in life
I learned that I have my own influential presence, character and strength
My life was bleak, however after attending the lectures, my life changed completely
I am more optimistic now. Hope was instilled in me. I learned how to face trauma, and began to raise awareness around me. I am more comfortable and live in serenity.
I went back home relieved; feeling very comfortable experiencing a great deal of serenity.
A lady named Siham was brave enough to share her story with us. Her case is an example of intolerable injustice and abuse. Here is her story;
“My name is Siham. I am 16 years old. I am married. I have a two-year-old daughter. I live in the house with my mother-in-law and his brothers. I suffer from my relationship with my husband because of my mother-in-law. She controls all aspects of our lives to the smallest details, which is making my relationship with my husband turn gradually from bad to worse. They used to forbid me from going outside the house door. I discovered that I was pregnant, and after seeing the doctor we discovered that the fetus had died in my womb. My mother-in-law prevented me from going out to do curettage to clean the uterus. The fetus remained in my uterus dead for 3 months, although the doctor told my husband and mother-in-law that if he remained in my uterus, it will leads to my inevitable death. Yet, they prevented me from doing the surgery. I reached a point where I truly wished to die. A life like hell...
No homeland, no comfortable marital relationship, and no comfortable home! Death for me was more comfortable, so I thought of committing suicide! Then it happened that our neighbor invited my mother-in-law to attend lectures on violence against women with the Arab Center for Consulting & Training Services (ACCTS) for three days. I was surprised later that my mother-in-law asked me to attend the workshops the week after. It was the second time for me to leave the house after the time I went to the doctor for examination. It was the first time for me to sit at a table with other women, who don’t have the spirit of dissension or disagreement among them. It was the first time for me to feel the one family spirit full of love. It was the first time for me to find people who understand me, or even ask me about my opinion in any subject, and what distinguished my table is the facilitator responsible for my table, she used to smile in my face all the time! When I speak, she used to listen to me attentively.
I do not deny that the first day I had the fear; being in such an atmosphere of love that I had not experienced before, that what I saw might be fake! I asked myself, “Is this true?” But the next day I was encouraged and began to share my problems and weaknesses, and the facilitator began to give me counsel and talked to me as a valuable person ... I began to share my problem with my husband and mother-in-law, until I dared to share that what is inside me is a dead fetus! The facilitator asked me to seek the help of the person responsible for the cases that affect the Syrians, whether medical or psychological, for the sake of transferring them to the specialized referral entities. And I approved it. And truly after the lecture, I sat with her and let out all what was burdening my chest about my relationship with my husband and my mother-in-law, and how the house turned into hell.
She sat with me and we talked a lot. She heard me very well and started to share some practical things tips that would help me in relationships. However, the dead fetus in my uterus was her utmost interest. She tried to convince everyone to let me get out of the house, and abort the fetus. And indeed, she referred me to family protection center, and it did not bear more than several hours to abort the fetus. And according to the words of family protection doctor, my death was inevitable.
I thank the Arab Center for Consulting and Training Service (ACCTS) for saving my life, and changing it for the better. I now have a reason to live. My body has become healthy, and I have begun to change my relationship with my husband, and create a spirit of love and understanding, as well as an exchange of conversation as I learned from the lectures. I will not forget these days all my life. They taught me how to be a human being, how to be treated as a human being, and that I am not weak, but I was created to challenge difficulties and to have achievements in this life. Yes I learned how to be a person.”
Siham is just one among so many women who go through incredible abuse, in households which do not respect their rights. But we believe that educating them about their rights, worth, potential and how to have and maintain a healthy lifestyle will help them challenge discrimination but also ensure that the next generation is being taken care of.