"He used to undress me, tie a rope around my neck and then rape me. It got harder every time, as I knew what was to come. I could feel the burn and pain between my legs before he would rape me. I hate my brother''. Abeer might have escaped her violent and abusive brother after long years of suffering, but an even harsher reality was yet to come.
As Abeer marks her fifth year at the Women's Shelter in Palestine, she is subject to yet more abuse, this time from society."People talk badly about the shelter. They spread rumors claiming that there are prostitutes inside. Sometimes they even don't hesitate to call it a whorehouse''. Abeer can not leave the shelter. She is still at risk of her brother seeking revenge, and carrying out a so-called 'Honour Killing'. Marriage could be a way out of the shelter for Abeer, but even that is a struggle - very few men want to marry a woman who is not a virgin, especially if she is a ''Shelter Girl''.
Abeer's situation worsens with the Israeli occupation, as travel restrictions are imposed on Palestinians by the Israeli occupation reducing her chances of seeking shelter abroad. Gender based violence remains a taboo in Palestinian society as most of the attention is given to political and military issues and little time and energy is left for what they dismiss as mere domestic disputes.
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