Zainab Suleiman is a 17-year-old girl who suffered teenage forced marriage and attempted rape by her 75-year-old so-called husband. She stayed in the “safe house” for three weeks; she received mentoring, psychological and trauma healing interventions. In the course of her stay, she acquired skills in bead making, cooking, and leather work. Zainab has regained her self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-worth. These helped her to know her right and now fighting for that right as a girl child. Her case is ongoing with the National Human Rights Commission.
What is a Safe House?
The Safe House, also called shelter or Kamkpe house provides a space where women and girls who have suffered different forms of violence can experience love, acceptance, peer encouragement, and an enabling environment for them to regain themselves.
In 2014, Christian Women for Excellence and Empowerment in Nigeria Society (CWEENS) established the safe house. It became a safe harbour for women and girls who have survived different forms of gender-based violence. As the years rolled by, Kamkpe House gained more recognition by partners, individuals, and the general public due to the extensive media and advocacy campaigns. Kamkpe House still ensures the well‐being and rehabilitation of survivors of violence.
Addressing Sexual Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) is one of the core thematic area of our intervention presently. As a team, we have had training that has helped build our capacity for this work and made us capable of strengthening others’ capacity.
This shelter promises to add value to the lives of survivors of SGBV and add value to society on a wider range. It is set up to protect the socio well-being of SGBV survivors. Offer psychosocial support to help survivors of SGBV get back themselves and receive the help needed for them to cope.
In 2019, Christian Women for Excellence and Empowerment in Nigerian Society (CWEENS) partnered with ActionAid Nigeria through the Women’s Voice and Leadership Nigeria project. The partnership’s objective is to bring help to women and girls, speak for their cause, defend their rights, and establish a safe harbor for abuse and violence survivors.
In January 2021, CWEENS commissioned a new shelter in the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria, the shelter is a three bedroom en suite apartment with the capacity to accommodate ten survivors with one house parent adequately. It has a counseling room in a spacious and secured environment.