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Archive for September, 2009

Sometimes a statistic is all you need to tell a story.

90% of Afghan women suffer from domestic abuse.

Tell this to Shameen, an Afghan woman who now, after years of abuse (including rape and torture), found her way to a shelter called Women for Afghan Women (WAW).  While there are hundreds of domestic abuse shelters in the United States alone, Afghanistan has barely a dozen.

Shameen’s story shows the depths of human depravity instilled in a culture.

Afghanistan is a country where for centuries women have been considered property — not equals, like the constitution states. They are often beaten, raped and even sold to the highest bidder. There are very few places women can turn to.

Thanks to the work of Manizha Naderi, an Afghan-American who returned to Afghanistan to direct WAW, 54 women and children are currently provided with the necessary comfort and care that they deserve.

Click here to read the full article. (CNN)

Do you feel like there is nothing that you can do to help these Afghan women in need?  We all do.  What can we do for a country that is run by fear of the Taliban and lacking a strong central government?  In the eyes of the Afghan women, all they deserve is abuse — which we know is a pure fallacy.  We can start helping out these women by assisting the few domestic abuse shelters that exist in Afghanistan.  What better place to start than Women for Afghan Women?

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I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Karen Jupiter and I am the Director of Development for Good Shepherd Housing and Family Services and a blogger here.  Good Shepherd Housing has been serving low-income working families, the disabled, and the elderly in Northern Virginia since 1974.  We help clients who are faced with homelessness and need help through emergency financial grants, housing and support services.  Support services focus on education around budgeting and credit counseling to empower beneficiaries and stop the cycle of homelessness.  Good Shepherd Housing is proud to have purchased 30 properties to be preserved in the community as affordable housing over the last few years, continuing our legacy of working to eradicate homelessness in Northern Virginia.

When I first started working at GSH six years ago, I assumed that anyone who needed shelter could get it.  I assumed that if you were an abused woman who was fleeing domestic violence there would be a safe place for you to go at anytime.  That is just not true.  There are often months long waiting lists for shelter and therefore many women stay in dangerous situations because there is just nowhere else to go.  Once they do leave, there are significant financial implications as well.  Credit may be ruined, jobs lost and rental history tarnished.  This is where agencies such as Good Shepherd Housing and Bethany House come in.  At Good Shepherd Housing clients come to us not just for safety, but for help fixing the rest of their lives as well.  We offer financial literacy courses as well as connect clients with other resources in the area, such as food stamps, free health services and job banks.  To learn more about the work of Good Shepherd hosing, please visit our website and our blog.

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