fighting to prevent all forms of violence through our legal aid clinic project

legal aid clinic

Our Legal Aid Clinic works tirelessly on but not limited to the following Forms of Violence

Physical violence

Being subjected to physical force which can cause death, injury or harm. It includes having an object thrown at one, being slapped, pushed, shoved, hit with the fist or with something else that could hurt, being kicked, dragged, beaten up, choked, deliberately burnt, threatened with a weapon or having a weapon used against one (e.g. gun, knife or other weapon). Other acts that could be included in a definition of physical violence are biting, shaking, poking, hair-pulling and physically restraining a person. This is also part of our VAB project.

Sexual violence

Rape (e.g. completed or attempted oral or anal penetration with the penis or other body part or object without consent), gang rape (i.e. rape by more than one person), sexual harassment (i.e. unwanted sexual attention, advances or requests for sexual favors), being physically forced or psychologically intimidated to engage in sex or subjected to sex acts against one’s will (e.g. undesired touching, being forced or coerced into sex when drunk, high, drugged or unconscious and unable to consent) or being forced or intimidated to engage in sex that one finds degrading or humiliating. Sexual violence can also take the form of “corrective rape”, which is rape of one man by one or more other men with the purpose of punishing the victim and “curing” him of his/her sexual preference.

Emotional or psychological violence

Being insulted (e.g. called derogatory names) or made to feel bad about oneself; being humiliated or belittled in front of other people; being threatened with loss of custody of one’s children; being rejected or isolated from family or friends; being bullied or threatened with harm to oneself or someone one cares about; repeated shouting, inducing fear through intimidating words or gestures; controlling behavior; the destruction of possessions. This is also part of our Voices Against Bullying “VAB” project.

Socioeconomic violence

Being refused or cheated of salary, payment or money that is due to the person, or being severed unfairly from employment; having money extorted; being unfairly restricted in access to social services or social benefits; being excluded from housing (denied housing opportunities or rejected or evicted from housing); being excluded from property rights and inheritance; being denied access to education which would increase one’s socioeconomic stability; being subject to unfair fines or unjust criminal penalties.

Structural violence

Policies that refuse to acknowledge sexual-health needs (such as not teaching about sexual harm reduction for a certain community); laws that criminalize sexual relationships; laws that require a person’s family, friends and social circles to report him to the authorities for incarceration or punishment.

Other human-rights violations that should be considered in conjunction with violence against EHA beneficiaries include forms of stigma or discrimination such as:

  • being denied or refused food or other basic necessities
  • being harassed by landlords and neighbours or forced from one’s home
  • being denied employment or discriminated against in one’s job
  • being arbitrarily detained, subjected to invasive body searches or incarcerated in police stations, detention centers and rehabilitation centers without due process
  • being arrested or threatened with arrest for carrying condoms
  • being refused or denied health-care services
  • being subjected to coercive health procedures such as forced STI or HIV testing
  • being publicly shamed or degraded (e.g. stripped, chained, spat upon, put behind bars)
  • being coerced or forced into “reparative” treatment or therapy for homosexuality
  • being forced to subscribe to religious doctrine in order to obtain services
  • being expelled from school based on real or perceived sexual orientation

Most of EHA beneficiaries live in total fear of their lives, yet others incarcerated in different Civil Correctional Centers! The following questions help our Legal Team to determine the appropriate litigation required;

  1. Who was the victim?
  2. Who was the perpetrator, and was the perpetrator representing an authority?
  3. Where and when did the violation take place?
  4. What is the evidence? (photographs, affidavit, media report)
  5. Which law or human right was violated?
  6. Where the authorities (police) approached for support and if not why?
  7. How did the authorities respond? Why did they not act in the best interest if the victim, did they break the law or the guidelines of their public task?

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