Meet the women
Here are the stories of a some of the women who have come to Sammunat and work with A Colourful Journey. Please note that the names have been altered.
As is the tradition in Nepal, Sapana is living in her husband’s family’s home with him and her two young children. Her husband is an injecting drug user with HIV who regularly beats her and threatens the children with physical violence. After many attempts to make her marriage work she is now seeking to divorce her husband so she and her children can live without violence.
Sapana is forced to live with his family while this process continues and they are now abusing her psychologically. Her children have had to be withdrawn from school as she can no longer afford the fees and her husband will not pay. Her children are suffering dreadfully as a result. She has done some skills training at Sammunat and earns a small income making the products advertised on our Products page. Sapana particularly loves making the scarves. She is about to lodge her divorce papers.
Birka Kumari is a 58 year old woman who was violently stabbed by her husband when he attempted to murder her. She required extensive medical treatment and seeks justice and compensation from him. Her adult children are now more supportive of her following counselling and guidance from Sammunat legal advisor and she is living with her daughter. Her husband has now been sentenced but continues to threaten revenge. She continues to seek compensation and divorce.
Saroswati (10 years)
Saroswati’s father, a single parent, worked for a highly respected community member as a bonded labourer. She was raped by her father’s employer and for a long time her family said nothing for fear of the repercussions. Eventually, in a highly distressed state and with fears for his family, her father approached Sammunat for assistance with moving Saroswati and his other children to a safe environment and with helping him bring his employer to justice. Following Sammunat’s involvement, Saroswati and her siblings are safe, she is now back at school and slowly recovering from her trauma. A hearing is planned to sentence the man who raped her.
Sani was unable to find work and entered into a relationship with a married man who convinced her he was able to give her work in office/advocacy in return for sex. Eventually Sani regretted being in this relationship and wanted to leave but he threatened her with publicizing photos he had taken of them. She was referred by the police to Sammunat where she was encouraged to go through with plans to leave him and assured of support and assistance. A meeting between husband, his wife and Sani was arranged and an agreement made. Sani agreed not to have more dealings with him and he agreed to hand over the photos. All signed an agreement paper kept by Sammunat. Photos are destroyed. Sani is now working in a Communication Office and often talks with other young women in similar situations to encourage them that they do not have to be blackmailed.