Cross-posted from UN Women
A case worker at the Kabhre multipurpose women’s center in Panchkhal, Nepal, Sabitri Lamichanne attends a program on July 1. The multipurpose women’s center provides dignity kits, solar lamps, trauma counseling, information, referrals, carries out women’s safety audits and facilitates early recovery and livelihood activities. Photo: UN Women/Samir Jung Thapa.
Rajani BK*, 26, was sitting in front of her house when her father came home early in the morning and started verbally abusing her mother, who was getting ready to go to work. “He was drunk, angry and started threatening to kill my mother,” says BK. She tried to intervene, and was dragged near a wall, and thought she was going to die. This was not the first time BK felt physically threatened by her father. She doesn’t remember a time when he was not abusive.
BK hasn’t been able to sleep properly since the April 25 7.8-magnitude earthquake and May 12 7.3-magnitude aftershock that devastated Nepal. Her house was destroyed, but she couldn’t even live in the temporary tent that was set up by her family because she feared her father would assault her. “If we had a house, I would know where to hide to stay away from my father, but in a tent, I didn’t feel secure enough,” says BK.
BK belongs to the marginalized Dalit community, which represents 13 percent ofNepal’s total population of 28 million, according to Nepal’s 2011 census. Dalits are one of the poorest communities in the country, with 42 percent under the poverty line, as opposed to 23 percent of non-Dalits.