Maeva* migrated from Madagascar to Lebanon in 2000. There, she met an Ethiopian man whom she married in 2013. Her husband isolated her from all her friends and started abusing her. From then onwards, she was continuously subjected to physical and psychological violence. She was insulted, beaten every day and forced to work without receiving any money for herself. The husband ended up being imprisoned for one year for a different crime. When he was released, their daughter was 7 months old. The domestic abuse continued. Eventually, Maeva sought the help of a few NGOs and managed to flee the house and stay in a shelter, but not for long. Her husband found her, beat the shelter managers and forced her to go back home with him. The violence and abuse increased sharply and her life was at risk numerous times as she used to be threatened with a knife.
In January 2020, the husband felt her. Maeva became a single mother taking care of her minor daughter. As the COVID-19 hit the country and Lebanon suffered a major blast in August, she had no means to support herself nor her daughter. Thus, they were extremely vulnerable to further violence, exploitation and abuse. The IOM Global Assistance Fund assisted Maeva and her daughter with accommodation, clothing and personal items while travelling was not possible. in Lebanon. Maeva’s plan was to one day return to Madagascar and start a new life with her child.
*Name modified for the purpose of anonymity.