Women’s Safe House

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Our newest project provides safety and support for women victims of violence in the remote Himalayan mountains of Sankhuwasbha District.

Samridhi Ghar, the House of Prosperity, opened in 2022 as the first women’s shelter in the region. Women in Nepal are vulnerable to domestic violence, rape, trafficking and other social problems and are often unaware of their legal rights and unsure how to access legal or health resources, particularly in remote, mountainous regions.

95% of girls and women across Nepal report first-hand experience of gender-based harassment or violence, and over 25% of Nepalese women experience domestic violence.

When women need help, our Safe House provides safety, shelter, counseling, hospital and court connections, and guidance through the legal process. Our goal is to create a place where women can access support, learn more about their legal rights, feel safe from violent situations, and begin to establish themselves independently from abusive situations. We also conduct outreach in villages throughout the district to help raise awareness about women’s rights and to educate and empower women to take a stand for their safety and well-being.

Prior to the opening of Samridhi Ghar, if women traveled to the district center to report violence or abuse, the local police had nowhere to house them, even for a night. Women also didn’t know where to access resources and information about their rights. We now have partnerships with local government including the District Police and the District Hospital who refer women in need and help to fund the Safe House for long term sustainability. In this remote region, people are beginning to know that legal protection and safe shelter are available for women. Our intention is that Samridhi Ghar will serve as a model for similar safe houses in neighboring mountainous districts in the future. 

Changing Lives Nepal has led and overseen this initiative from the beginning, and we are deeply grateful to our project partners, without whom the vision would never have become a reality: 

All The Sky Foundation which had faith in the idea and provided the essential starter grant as well as a generous annual matching grant for three years to bring this vision to reality, ensure successful launch of the program, and help carry the program to a point where it can become self-sustaining.

Mountain Madness which has graciously publicized and promoted the project to their adventure community, helping garner annual donations towards the matching grant to successfully launch the program.

Another Brick in Nepal which generously plans to design, fund, and build permanent buildings, so that the women of Nepal will have safe space for years to come and the program can become self-sustaining. 

—Society Development Center (our Nepal NGO partner) for their vision, wisdom, facilitation, relationship-building, formal documentation, on-site coordination, monitoring, and so much more!

—The local Nepali government which has prioritized safe space for women, donated substantial land for permanent buildings, and written financial provisions into policy to ensure local funding now and into the future.

Please note: To protect the dignity and privacy of the women we serve, we do not publish their photos or their real names. Photos are from Deana’s Nepal archives.

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