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Domestic Violnce Shelter

“Saudi Arabia’s Makkah region recorded the largest number of domestic violence cases”

Shelter for domestic violence How to design a protection house for survivors

Rana Kabli 1320006 Capstone Research

Table of Content :












Abstract Domestic violence is a major concern in our country today sadly shows no sign of abatement. Thousands of women each year fall victims to their partner’s abuse. While there are of course, serious physical ramification from ongoing abuse, the mental impact is far greater. The combination of physical and verbal violence often leads to anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression thought of suicide. Women who make the choice to leave their abuser typically either live with a friend or family or seek the protection of domestic violence shelter. Protection house in Saudi Arabia was established under the ministerial resolution No. 1/10771/u dated 1/3/1425 AH to serve the cases of domestic violence against children under the age of eighteen and women of any age. in order to guide them towards the nearest point or place to receive the necessary assistance in any region of the Kingdom. Through this research, this thesis looks at how shelter architecture can create an environment of growth, stability, and rehibition rather than having a shelter that feels like a prison. The research methodology includes literature review, interviews with victims of domestic violence, case studies, and surveys. From this research, it have been established a series of design principles that may be implemented in the shelter.

02 Introduction

Introduction: “Domestic violence or intimate partner violence is a pattern of assaultive and coercive behaviors including physical, sexual and psychological attacks, as well as economic coercion used by adults or adolescents against their current or former intimate partners.” (Unicef2006). The concept of women’s rights clarifies the power and privileges that should be granted to females of different ages in the modern world. Unfortunately, women’s rights are abandoned through legislations and laws in some countries. (Dobash, R., 1979) The title ‘women’s rights’ includes basic, social, economic, and political rights that are given to females on an equal scale with males. This subject was the center of attention in the 19th century, where variety of corporations and associations developed researches to overcome most problems and all forms of discrimination that women faced. One of the significant problems that the modern world was not able to diminish until now is physical violence and psychological abuse practiced on females including kids, teenagers, and adults. (Hosken, F.,1981). The phenomenon of domestic violence comes in various forms; It includes the violence that children are exposed to by either negligence, physical attack, or raising shortage, and the violence that a house wife is subjected to from her husband which will leave a negative effect on children, hence a chaos in the community as a whole. This aspect has been detected in various regions, more precisely, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

History Globally



women started to spread awareness about domestic violence and gender inequality through Great Britain and the United States.

found that 1.3% of women and 0.9% of men reported experiencing domestic violence in the past year.





Between 2003 and 2008, 142 women were murdered in their workplace by their abuser, 78% of women killed in the workplace during this timeframe.

CDC study stated that 28% of straight women who had been raped experienced their first rape as a child, with the crime taking place between the ages of 11 and 17

62 cases of legal system abuse were reported, compared to 37 cases in 2015.

Saudi Arabia







Saudi Arabia has taken steady steps toward protecting women and upholding their rights. Domestic abuse in Saudi Arabia started to receive public attention in 2004 after a popular television presenter, Rania al-Baz, was severely beaten by her husband, and photographs of her bruised and swollen face were puba prime ministerial decree ordered the expansion of “social protection units,” or women’s shelters, in several large Saudi cities.

the Kingdom adopted a law criminalizing domestic violence, which usually targets women and children.

Saudi Arabia’s Justice Ministry stated that its courts saw 8,016 domestic violence cases in a one-year period.

1,059 cases referred to Saudi courts in 2017 involving violence against women

“Some ladies accept whatever violence they face from their spouses and do not report it according to their religious beliefs and culture.�

03 Facts


More than 1 in 3 women (35.6%) in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.


A child witnessed violence in 22% (nearly 1 in 4) of intimate partner violence cases filed in state courts.




83 percent of violence cases take place in the home, where women are most vulnerable.

35 percent of women in Saudi Arabia have experienced at least one type of violence in their lifetime.

16 percent of women believe that the prevalence of violence against women is high,



Shelter of domestic violnce in Israel Shelter for domestic violence, this shelter for battered women in Israel was built in 1977 which aim to raise awareness of domestic violence. This shelter is a collaboration between Amos Goldreich Architecture and Jacobs-Yaniv Architects.(Oh,2015) “According to World Health Organization data up to 45% of women in Israel, like most countries in the west, will be victims of domestic violence at some stage in their lives and recent statistics indicate that 45% of children in Israel are subjected to violence.� This case study focused on creating a sense of home and security for the inhabitants, without it feeling like a prison. The positive thing about this shelter is the location which is located in a quiet residential neighborhood and surrounded by a mix of private residential houses. This location is reachable for, stores, jobs, health clinics, schools, parks and other green spaces, counselling centers and recreational facilities. (Presswire,2018). This shelter has so many successful aspects such as the consideration of privacy and safety of the survivor and also the programing and the location.

Shelter of domestic violnce in Israel Program: The program of this shelter provides different function for the victims such as common areas, a nursery, a computer room, laundry room, kitchens, and independent living quarters for each family. As for the staff there were provided by staff accommodation, office areas. including social workers, a child psychologist, housemothers, a childcare worker, and a part-time lawyer (Oh, 2015).

Visitors and users: Women, children suffering from domestic abuse, manger, social worker, psychologist, lawyer, and childcare worker.


Understanding the domestic violence:

domestic violence carries various forms of abuse:

psychological abuse

practiced on a partner for the sake of control

harmful sexual attack

repeated injury

people in Saudi Arabia argue that domestic violence barely exists due to the low rate of cases recorded. But this isn’t the case... Saudi Arabia issued the first law about domestic violence a couple years ago in 2013, moreover, the traditions didn’t accept any female to voice out her experience whether it was a sexual, physical, or an emotional assault. This kept women tight-lipped about domestic violence to stay safe in their belief. Statistics are newly revealing that married women make up the highest percentage of victims in KSA

Use of children and the impact on them

The feeling of safety is a necessary need for every child which puts the responsibility on the caregiver to offer protection in the right time. Children in houses with domestic violence cases find it really hard to turn to their caregiver when terrified. Various effects can result from stressful environments in the shelter on caregivers and most importantly, children. Such situations will lead the child to question the image of a ‘safe world’ that he has in mind and might affect the manner in which his mind mentally develops by exploring and discovering with a different perspective. Another consequence can be aggressive behavior toward others as a result of the stressful situation. A serious aspect that is unfortunately neglected by people is the effect that domestic violence leaves on children’s brain function and structure, which has been proved by recent researches. The feeling of danger causes a person’s nervous system to release adrenaline and other hormones in the blood which increases heart rate and blood flow. The longer the period of unsecure feelings lasts, the more the dramatic changes of the body continues altering cognitive, emotional, and behavioral development. For a child I believe, it is very important to help them aim their energy towards learning and exploring rather than focusing on survival from chronic violence at the hands of there caregivers. The brain of a child might view a situation as a threat when other children who have not experienced domestic violence cases would see as normal. It is all related to the tantrums built in with the child’s personality which was affected by his environment. To lesson the various impacts mentioned earlier, shelter service providers can help caregivers to better understand the reasons behind certain behaviors and responses originated from domestic violence.

Having a home: Shelters might be present in our communities but are not complete. They carry the definition of a shelter but lack the feeling of home. Home is more than just blocks and stones carrying people within, it symbolizes the different emotions of a person throughout his/her life. It is basically love, affection, satisfaction, and safety. The primary concern of this project is to offer a home not only a shelter, a shelter that protects females subjected to domestic and sexual violence. It should be designed to offer social safety for women of all ages including kids under the age of eighteen and an environment which gives a positive impact

on health and well-being. (Cohen, S., 2000). A shelter should satisfy different psychological needs including privacy, security, and comfort. As an example, Drayton Park Crisis Home is one of the few shelters that carry the definition of home for survivors. Home usually acts as a connection between the family living in it and the land surrounding it. All these different meanings that a home carries are very hard to lose. Victims of domestic violence miss those aspects because they view home as a site of abuse. That’s why there is huge necessity of having a shelter to escape to. (Prestwood, 2010)

Why some victims stay? A frequently asked question about domestic violence is “Why do victims stay in vi-

olent relationships?” To clarify this query, a person must reconsider the meaning of domestic violence, what kind of violence is she facing, and what options are accept-

able by her community before judging the case. Realistically, many of the victims do leave harmful relationships. (Ganley, 2002) But in Saudi Arabia, for example, a woman can’t easily take the decision to leave a violent relationship due to many barri-

ers the society imposes on her. A woman should consider the unjust judgements of

people about her, the scandal that will be automatically paired with her name for a lifetime, the problems following the divorce procedure, or simply setting the chil-

dren as a priority thinking it is better to maintain the name of a ‘family’. Although, in my opinion, separation is sometimes safer for the child’s mental health. Addi-

tional abuse in marriage and divorce can be experienced by women in Saudi Arabia because of the lack of family law issuance. The phenomenon of forced marriage or abandonment is widely observed. The time it takes to complete divorce procedures

for a woman can act as a pressure causing her to waive her right of child custody to

gain the divorce. At the same time, not assigning a minimum age for marriage is the reason of forced marriages. (Alhabdan, 2015) This is why, I believe, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia should provide an escape for abused women and children to acquire

internal peace in. A study has shown that the possibility to act violently increases when one of the partners doubts that the other has left or is about to leave the re-

lationship. (Campbell, 1992) It leads partners to react in an aggressive way with the other party such as threatening, causing serious harm, or even killing. Taking a closer

look will allow you to notice that some victims try to escape but end up being compelled to stay in the relationship by being subjected to violence from the partner. This is because perpetrators do not accept the facts that their partner just wants to leave. Therefore, it is not that victims accept being violated by their partners, but

sometimes it is the safest option available. Reasons that lie behind staying in a harm-

ful relation may include fear of violence, consequences of a harsh psychological or physical trauma, the financial and personal dependency of the partner on the perpetrator, the stereotypical thoughts that keeping the family as a whole unit is a priority, promises of the perpetrator to change, lack of suitable shelters and transitional support, absenteeism of legal assistance. (Anne L. Ganley, 2002)

Thank you Rana Kabli

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