The shocking reality of gender-based violence in Lesotho

Gender-based violence (GBV) is found around the world, but it is particularly prevalent in Lesotho. In 2021, 47% of the women murdered in Lesotho were killed by their husbands and partners. In the first half of 2022, the Police Child and Gender Protection Unit received 45 physical assault reports and 184 sexual assaults reports with female victims in Lesotho. There is no way of knowing how many violent acts went unreported. 

Beautiful Dream Society has an Anti-Trafficking Shelter to assist women in these situations. We always take in victims of minor assaults, but we try to help with severe cases when possible. Such was the case for Lintle, a mother of four who came to our shelter after extreme abuse in her household. 

Lintle lived with an emotionally and physically abusive boyfriend. She was beaten so badly once that she couldn’t recognize her own face in the mirror. After countless traumatic experiences, Lintle finally got the courage to leave her boyfriend and report his actions to the police. 

When Lintle arrived at the Anti-Trafficking Shelter, she was withdrawn and fearful, as is expected in post-traumatic situations. All she wanted was to be reunited with her family, so BDS decided to modify our program to assist her in the comfort of her home. Most of the women in the program stay at the shelter for recovery, but we could tell Lintle would do best with support from her loved ones. 

Lintle enrolled in the shelter’s life skills program and completed several courses. She plans to use those skills to make a living for herself and her children. Lintle says she is ready to face the world and make something of herself thanks to the support she received in the BDS Anti-Trafficking Shelter. 

Leaving an intimate partner and starting a new life is not an easy task. It takes tremendous strength to face and overcome trauma, but we see dozens of women do so every year. God’s power is evident in each of their lives, and we are honored to take part in their journeys.

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