Campaign offers women protection from domestic violence

Updated 08 May 2013
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Campaign offers women protection from domestic violence

The King Khalid Foundation has launched perhaps one of the most strident anti-domestic violence campaigns in Saudi Arabia with a provocative image of a Saudi woman — clad in abaya and niqab — with a blackened eye.
The image, accompanied by the phrase in Arabic, “Some things can’t be covered — fighting women’s abuse together,” has drawn widespread attention among Saudis for its stark portrayal of battered women.
The campaign is geared to raise awareness among women, but also urges reporting cases of violence against women. It promises “legal protection for women and children from abuse in Saudi Arabia.”
Campaign organizers’ literature said: “The phenomenon of battered women in Saudi Arabia is much greater than apparent.”
Howaida, 38, a mother of four from Madinah, said she welcomes the campaign, but cautions that not all women will embrace the spirit of its intent.
“There needs to be a central place where women in trouble can ask for help,” Howaida said, adding: “This campaign is a start. But I also think there are many women who wouldn’t think about reporting that their husbands beat them because they are just too afraid.”
But she noted younger Saudi women would likely have little patience with violence against them. “Those young ladies will certainly call authorities if necessary,” she said.
In a survey conducted by the National Family Safety Program, 70 percent of all Saudis said there is domestic violence in Saudi Arabia. About 65 percent of the respondents said domestic violence is perpetrated by husbands, while 92.1 percent assert that those perpetrators must be punished. Moreover, 88.5 percent of the Saudis surveyed said that women subjected to domestic violence need protection.
However, the program noted that most of the Kingdom’s health and law institutions have no “documented and comprehensive procedures to deal with domestic violence.”
The program pointed to King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, the Ministry of Social Services and the Ministry of Health as institutions that could provide help for battered women.
The program urged the government to establish a single institution to establish an advocacy campaign to prevent domestic violence. It also recommended adopting specific regulations to protect women.


Arab coalition working to protect region’s security, says spokesman

Coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki at a press briefing. (SPA file photo)
Updated 19 March 2019
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Arab coalition working to protect region’s security, says spokesman

  • Houthis want to disturb peace, says coalition spokesman
  • Stockholm peace agreement under strain

RIYADH: The Arab coalition supporting the internationally recognized Yemeni government is committed to protecting regional and global security, a spokesman said Monday.

Coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki was asked at a press briefing about Houthi militias threatening to target the capitals of Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

“This is their way to disturb peace,” Al-Maliki replied. “Previously the Houthis targeted Riyadh with a ballistic missile, violating all international laws by attacking a city that has more than 8 million civilians. We take all precautions to protect civilians and vital areas. The coalition works to protect regional and international security.”

Al-Maliki said Houthis had targeted Saudi border towns several times, the most recent incident taking place in Abha last Friday.

But the Saudi Royal Air Defense Force had shot down a drone that was targeting civilians, he added.

He said four Saudi nationals and an Indian expatriate were injured in the attack because of falling debris.

The drone wreckage showed the characteristics and specifications of Iranian manufacturing, he said, which proved Iran was continuing to smuggle arms to the militias.

He warned the Houthis to refrain from targeting civilians because the coalition, in line with international humanitarian law, had every right to counter such threats.

He said the coalition was making efforts to neutralize ballistic missiles and dismantle their capabilities, as the coalition’s joint command would not allow the militia to possess weapons that threatened civilian lives and peace.

Al-Maliki reiterated that the Houthis were targeting Yemeni civilians and continued to violate international laws. 

He also urged Yemenis to try their best to prevent children from being captured by Houthis, who were using them as human shields and child soldiers.

His comments came as the UN tried to salvage a peace deal that was seen as crucial for ending the country’s four-year war.

The Stockholm Agreement was signed by the Yemeni government and Houthi representatives last December.

The main points of the agreement were a prisoner exchange, steps toward a cease-fire in the city of Taiz, and a cease-fire agreement in the city of Hodeidah and its port, as well as ports in Salif and Ras Issa.

Militants triggered the conflict when they seized the capital Sanaa in 2014 and attempted to occupy large parts of the country. An Arab coalition intervened in support of the internationally recognized government in March 2015.

The World Health Organization estimates that nearly 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen since 2015.

Earlier this month US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that President Donald Trump’s administration opposed curbs on American assistance to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

“The way to alleviate the Yemeni people’s suffering isn’t to prolong the conflict by handicapping our partners in the fight, but by giving the Saudi-led coalition the support needed to defeat the Iranian-backed rebels and ensure a just peace,” Pompeo said at a news conference in Washington.