Middle East: Honor killings, where a young girl’s life is taken for a perceived moral infraction, claim the lives of 5,000+ girls annually. Ninety percent of the autopsies show the girl is still a virgin. Families can and do take the lives of their women if they are believed to have even an interest in someone the family does not approve of. Girls subjected to rape and incest are viewed as guilty and punished accordingly. At worst, their life is taken in a violent honor killing. At best, they live quiet lives of horror. In fear of being blamed, most do not report the attack(s). In Islamic countries, girls who are victims of incest cannot be removed from the home where the abuse is occurring. Women who are raped cannot report their abuser. The shame brought upon a household is perceived as a greater harm than sexual abuse. The family blames the victim and may kill her to preserve their honor. Many girls run away and go into hiding so their parents cannot send them to jail for “protective custody.” In these detention centers, the girls cannot leave until someone puts up a $15,000 bond and promises that their family will not kill them. In an attempt to empower at-risk women, a scholarship fund was created to allow women to learn a trade. Currently, funds are being raised to send women to cosmetology school. At the school they are given the opportunity to learn a profession and to build friendships with other women. This gives them a viable excuse to escape from a dangerous home situation. Within this safe environment, women learn to support themselves. Thailand: WAR, Int’l also provides cosmetology scholarships in partnership with one of our safe houses in Thailand. They have a unique ministry, where they actually use a beauty salon to reach out to the trapped women. However, once these women have been rescued, they need to have a way to earn income. WAR, Int’l has helped sponsor women to receive cosmetology training, fulfilling their life-long dreams.
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