Giacomo d'Orlando is a self-taught documentary photographer born and currently based in Italy. He began career as an advertising photographer in 2011, but in 2015 he decided to move to Nepal and then Peru in order to enter the world of...
Focus:Photographer, Photojournalist, Travel, Environment, Documentary, Photography, Portraiture, Arts & Culture, Freelance, Civil Rights and Social Inequality, Assignments, International, Climate, Environmental Stories
Daily wage workers and those on the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum are suffering more the effects of the pandemic. Many women deprived from their only source of income, become more economically dependent from their husbands. This consequence increase inevitably the social disparity, feeding one of the main causes of the gender-based violence.
The pandemic have changed drastically the everyday life of Nepali, who were spend their time mostly in the streets, especially gathering in the markets. Many makes in Kathmandu have been closed in order to limit the spread of the pandemic, leaving behind them a surreal scenario.
In the last months the work of the police section specialized in gender based violence increase drastically. During the pandemic women and girls are at higher risk of intimate partner violence and other forms of domestic violence.
After having received a signalation from the community of Udaypur, a woman victim of violence has been rescued from the social operators who will help her to overcome her traumas.
Sanchita (44) developed mental health issues following an episode of violence happened outside her village borders. She never wanted to say what happened to her because she didn’t want to live again her trauma. She was signalized her community who wanted to help her due her tendency to isolate herself. After a period of almost one year spent in a Mental Health Centre in Kathmandu, she came back with her family in Udaypur. Now she is followed by the Katari Municipality which providing her medicine support in order to keep stable her psychological conditions.
Leaving the community for a gender based violence victim is never an easy step. Admitting the need of an external help can be psychologically very hard for a survivor.
Kamala (35) is a woman who suffered discrimination and violence by her community after she has developed a psychotic disorder. Due to her conditions, she begun to isolate herself, refusing any help coming from her family worsening her physical and mental health. Her family sought help and convinced her to stay in a mental health center in Kathmandu for a period of six months. Currently she has been reintegrated with her family and with a constant medicine support her mental conditions are improved.
Pramila is crying while she is telling her dramatic story to a psychologist in charge of compile the GBVIMS (Gender Based Violence Information Management System) form.
Reliable data is crucial to informing the humanitarian response to gender-based violence. The humanitarian community had not had a tried-and-tested approach for the collection, management and sharing of GBV-related data generated through service delivery. A robust GBV information management system now exists, and has been implemented in over 20 countries over nearly 10 years.
As a result of a suffered violence, Samiska is not able to open her hand properly anymore. This happened because the woman was accustomed to close her hand as tight as possible in order to vent silently her anger caused by the perpetrated violence.
Laxmi is an orphan girl from Ramechhap. Due to her inability of providing for herself during her childhood she was often victim of violence. At the age of 17 she has been taken in custody by Apeiron after a report by the local police and brought to the “Safe House”. She stayed in the shelter for women victim of violence for a year, following literacy programs and cooking class. After a year spent in the shelter, she came back to her community where she is currently working as a cook in a local Hotel.
During the pandemic, the Nepali Government decided to hang "Awareness Banners" above every central street of Kathmandu. This action aim to help people to be more conscious about the new rules applied during this particular period.
Sudha was raped at the age of 15 while she was working as a waitress in a small restaurant. For shame, she didn't say anything about what happened to her until she couldn't hide the pregnancy anymore. Her family kicked her out home because according to them she brought dishonor on family's name. Once was sent to the District shelter run by the Government, she was in danger because the family wanted to get her married in order to avoid the problem that she caused. Later she was sent to Casa Nepal, a "Safe Home" provided by the NGO “Apeiron" where the women victim of violence are helped to overcome their traumas. Once Sudha arrived there, she has been followed by the social operators and she give birth to her baby. At the age of 16 she came back to school thanks to Apeiron support and at the age of 18 she begun to work in "SanoNani" a separated project of the same NGO. In the meantime she is finishing her studies, becoming a good mother with a perspective of a bright future.
Anju is a woman from India who has been found near the Nepal/India border, wandering the streets with visible signs of violence on her face. She was not able to speak any words with the authorities. She has been immediately taken to Hospital for an health check. During her treatment, doctors diagnosed a "noneffective psychosis". After a rehabilitation program in a Mental Healt Center last three months, her problem was slightly healed. Following the treatments, she was referred to “Mangala Sahana” a women shelter run by Nepali Government for a long term stay. Now her mental condition is stable and she can take care of herself.
In order to overcome their psychological traumas, many survivors need the assumption of anti-panic, painkillers and relaxants during their rehabilitation process.
Individuals who have been exposed to trauma may experience a great deal of anxiety and sadness, and feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness. The survivor is also likely to experience inability to sleep, hyper vigilance, or an exaggerated startle response.
In the worst cases, the violence endured by women takes them to develop some serious mental illness that isolate them.
A severe traumatic event often changes the way in which survivors understand the world around them. They may lose their sense of safety, and feel vulnerable and helpless. If the event involves acts of violence and the intention to hurt, trust in other people may be lost and the survivor’s inter- relational world seriously disturbed. Personal encounters with human or man-made violence are considered the most disturbing forms of trauma, likely to have the most lasting impact.
Abuse, Civil Rights, Documentary, Domestic Violence, Editorial, Essays, Freedom, Hope, Human Rights, Isolation, NGO, Photography, Photojournalism, Violence, Womens Rights
The pandemic had tremendous effects on the world's economy and on the social fabric of every society, especially in Developing Countries such as Nepal. Women and girls in particular are facing a greater risk, as they are systematically disadvantaged and often suppressed by poverty, violence and marginalization. The fear and uncertainty caused by the pandemic have intensified various inequalities against women, resulting in violence. The figures of violence against women increased during the lockdown and are likely to do it thereafter. Gender Based Violence (GBV) was already a growing problem in Nepal prior the pandemic. UNFPA suggests that 48% of Nepali women had experienced violence at some point in their lives, with 27% of them experiencing physical violence. In addition, 61% of them had never told anyone about the abuse. Getting real data on GBV is a major challenge in a Country like Nepal, as few victims report their dramatic experiences. The core cause for this is the stigma associated with being a GBV victim, a tendency to blame women and girls for their own assaults, and the importance of family honor, all of which prevent victims and families from reporting. Pre-existing gender inequality is a fundamental cause of the reproduction of gender-related vulnerability during crises. Due to channelization of resources and other efforts to contain the virus during the critical months of pandemic, the services provided specifically for GBV survivor diminished, even if several independent NGO never gave up on the fight of this social plague even during these difficult times. This is the case of Apeiron, an NGO that welcomes women victims of violence in its shelter called "Casa Nepal", where the GBV survivors can feeling safe again and begin a psychological rehabilitation process aimed to reintegrate them in the society. Unfortunately the commendable work of the NGOs is not enough to contain this problem. A total of 648 women have been reported for commit suicide during the 83 days of lockdown in the Country (23 March-15 June 2020), partly linked with violence. Previous researches has shown that Gender Based Violence has long-term effects on women and girls such as fear, social stigma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and in the worst cases even thoughts of self-harm and suicide. All these psychological consequences can further deteriorate gender equality after the pandemic creating a setback to the Country's socio-economic potential and increasing an already large discrepancy between men and women within Nepali society.