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Madagascar 'listening centres' encourage female victims of domestic abuse to speak out


From a report, 65% of women in Madagascar, have reported experiencing some form of abuse (threats, beatings, rape, etc) but only 5% of cases end up in court.

Shame, social pressure, and plain ignorance of their rights are all reasons why the majority of Malagasy women who suffer from domestic abuse do not file a complaint.

“I tried to defend myself, but he grabbed me by the hands, he was very strong, and we were home alone. Afterwards, my hips hurt. I went to the hospital to get treatment, “said Onintsoa, rape victim.

“One time he hit me because he saw me talking to my ex boyfriend on the street. It’s not right to hit women. I’m already very poor, so if they hit me too, I’ll just lose it,” said Vaha Manatenantsoa, victim of domestic abuse .

A lady in charge of the listening and legal advice centre says the young woman did not press charges because she wants to maintain relations with the villagers.

“This young woman, a rape victim, hopes that the aggressor, her boyfriend, will become her husband, and that’s why she didn’t press charges,” said Sourayah Banou Vololomihaingo, in charge of the Tsihombe listening and legal advice centre.

The listening centre notes that the abuse on women in the country is unacceptable and encourages victims to speak out against domestic abuse.

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