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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

UN notes - and excuses - Gaza violence against women

From the UN's IRIN news service:
The UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) in Gaza, local Palestinian NGOs and mental health professionals are reporting increased incidents of domestic violence and sexual assault against women in Gaza since the beginning of 2009.

An unpublished UNIFEM survey of male and female heads of 1,100 Gaza households conducted between 28 February and 3 March indicates there was an increase in violence against women during and after the 23-day war which ended on 18 January.

“According to our staff, and through clinical observation, there was increased violence against women and children during and after the war,” said public relations coordinator for the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (GCMHP), Husam al-Nounou.

We can attribute this to the fact that most people were exposed to traumatic incidents during the war, and one way people react to stress is to become violent.”

GCMHP, which runs six clinics and treats an estimated 2,000 mental health patients a year, carried out a post-war assessment, interviewing about 3,500 Gaza residents, said al-Nounou.

This war was extremely harsh, people felt insecure, vulnerable and unable to protect themselves, their children and their families; when people were trapped at home this increased the stress and anxiety,” said al-Nounou.
No condemnation. No calls to seek justice for the abusers and rapists. No mention of Hamas, as the de facto government, being even slightly responsible.

If women are attacked and sexually assaulted in Gaza, the UN and other NGOs like the GCMHP bend over backwards to try to "understand" the circumstances that could lead to such abuse. The people were stressed, you see. When they are stressed, of course they become violent. And the unstated but implicit source of the stress was, of course....Israel. Hamas clearly is blameless, as are the Palestinian Arab men themselves.
Sahar (who wanted her family name omitted), aged 36, divorced her husband in February due to the physical and psychological abuse she endured leading up to and during the war.

“He beat me severely and I was fainting from the stress,” said Sahar. “He forced me to engage in sexual intercourse against my will.”

Sahar brings her two-year-old daughter to the Palestinian Centre for Democracy and Conflict Resolution (PCDCR) to visit the daughter’s father. The court ordered supervised visits after Sahar’s ex-husband and his brothers tried to take her daughter away by force.
He was just...stressed out! You have to be charitable to the abusers, after all. You need to understand where they are coming from. Just like you need to understand where terrorists get the idea that murdering dozens of civilians is a reasonable idea.

Has abuse of women increased in Sderot over the past eight years of stress under constant rocket bombardments?

Has any Israeli aggression even been excused, or contextualized, in a UN or other NGO article because the Israelis are under stress?

By the way, a women was stabbed to death in Gaza yesterday:
A Gazan woman from the Al-Maghazi Refugee Camp was found stabbed to death at her parent’s home Wednesday morning, officials said she was likely stabbed overnight.

The woman, who was 31-years-old, left the home of her husband following a violent argument and gone to stay with her parents; they found her bleeding and brought her to local hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Police said an autopsy was being performed, and did not identify any suspects.
A real head-scratcher, identifying a suspect. But whoever he is, you can be sure that he was under tremendous stress, so go easy on the poor guy.

The UN once again proves its utter depravity.

The 2009 PalArab self-death count is at 58.