Lebanon is deeply affected by decades of conflicts, corruption and political and economic crisis. Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis in 2011, the country has known a massive influx of refugees (over 1.8 million). According to the UNHCR, over 1 in 4 people in Lebanon is a refugee. This represents a massive strain on the country’s infrastructure and economy. It is estimated that the Syrian crisis has cut the GDP growth by almost 3% and has doubled the unemployment rate in Lebanon. This economic crisis has reached a new low in October 2019, triggering a civil uproar.
Domestic violence is a prevalent yet underrated problem in Lebanon. According to a survey (KAFA, 2016), about a third of women living in Lebanon have experienced intimate partner violence. The Lebanese society is still deeply patriarchal and such violence is socially accepted amongst most communities. On the legal level, the country lacks adequate laws to criminalize such violence and protect the victims. For instance, marital rape is not considered a crime or infraction. As of today, victims and children rely solely on services and support provided by NGOs such as the Good Shepherd Sisters The World Bank analysis of this situation is particularly alarming, stating that over half the population could soon be living under the poverty line. Women and children, especially displaced ones, are the most affected by this situation. In times of conflict and economic crisis, violence against women and children tends to increase, while access to basic services such as education, healthcare, food assistance and social services becomes more difficult.