Fighting GBV by empowering young girls and women in Rural Baidoa

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Mrs. Luul, a 20-year-old divorcee and mother of three, lives in Xaluul iyo Harqaan IDP settlement in Baidoa town, she was recently the victim of a rape attempt as she went about looking for firewood for her family. Before coming to Luul she previously lived in Lawatanjirow village about 60km south of Baidoa town, where she was married off as a third wife at the tender age of 15. Luul is from a poor family who had a small farm in lawatanjirow village in rural Baidoa where they reared a few goats. Luul was extremely unhappy when her father informed her that he will marry a respectable man whom she later found out was her uncle. Luul was surprised when she found out it was her uncle but she would not back down from the arranged marriage as the uncle had promised a financial incentive to the father.

Hearing that I was to marry my uncle was heartbreaking but there is nothing I could do at that point in time


After she got married, she ended up getting three children and was later divorced by her husband. At this point, she was left to fend for herself and her children. Three months after the divorce she was on her own with her children when the drought started to hit her area and she fled and settled in Xaluul iyo Harqaan IDP settlement in the Baidoa district where she built a small hut with the material received from the IDP community.
Since Luul did not receive emergency support on her arrival at the camp, she started to follow the other women living in the camps as they were looking for firewood in the outskirts of Baidoa town.

On the 4 th of Oct 2022 while Luul had gone to look for firewood one unknown man came towards her and asked what she was doing there, she informed him that she was looking for firewood for her children. He then proceeded to attack and force himself to her attempting to rape her, but she was able to fight him off and run away shouting for help.
The case was reported to the Camp leader and later to the READO GBV team who registered her and took her to the stop center where she was received treatment for injuries she had received during the fight between her and the perpetrator. At the safe house there she also received
Psycho-social support and DK she is currently recovering from the ordeal. The READO team is working closely and monitoring her condition to provide any other assistance she may require.

The READO Team has been amazing to me, they have encouraged me and empowered me, I now want to spread the word to all women that I know

Luul at the READO Safe space for girls and women in Baidoa

The READO Women and Girls Safe space

READO in partnership with UNFPA Somalia have built an amazing space where young girls and women who are victims of GBV and or are curious to learn more about Gender-based Violence(GBV) and Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH). In the center, the victims are registered on arrival and offered psychosocial services that establish the mental state of the affected. For some of the women, our team on location might offer clinical management of rape while doing tests to establish the medical condition of the victims. After this, the team then offers life skills and a variety of training to the survivors for a period of one month before releasing the ladies.

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