Widow Isolation

Widows Face Abuse, Vulnerability and Violence after Loss

Widows in many parts of the world face not only emotional and financial hardships but also physical abuse from family members. When widows face abuse, it can take various forms, including beatings, sexual assault, and other forms of violence. The emotional impact of this abuse is often compounded by the widow’s already vulnerable state, making it even more difficult for her to cope with her loss and the challenges she faces.

The Emotional Impact of Abuse

The emotional toll of physical abuse on widows is immense. They may feel trapped, helpless, and afraid, with no one to turn to for help. The abuse can also lead to feelings of shame and guilt, as widows may blame themselves for their husband’s death and the subsequent violence they experience. This emotional turmoil can further isolate widows, making it even more challenging for them to seek help and support.[1]

Stories of Suffering and Survival

Gulika, a widow in Asia, faced physical abuse from her in-laws after her husband’s death. They blamed her for his passing and subjected her to beatings and other forms of violence. Despite her desperate situation, Gulika found hope and support through a GFA World-supported women’s fellowship. These fellowships provide a safe space for widows to share their experiences, receive emotional support, and find practical help to overcome the challenges they face.[2]

The Role of Women’s Fellowships in Providing Aid and Hope

GFA World-supported women’s fellowships play a crucial role in helping widows who have experienced physical abuse. They offer a supportive community where widows can share their stories, receive emotional support, and find practical assistance to overcome the challenges they face. Through these fellowships, widows can access resources such as vocational training, income-generating gifts, and legal assistance, which can help them regain control of their lives and find hope for the future.

The Need for Legal Reforms and Societal Change

To protect widows from physical abuse, there is a pressing need for legal reforms and societal change. Laws must be enacted and enforced to safeguard widows’ rights and ensure that perpetrators of abuse are held accountable. Additionally, societal attitudes towards widows must change, with communities recognizing the value and dignity of these women and offering them the support and protection they deserve.

By raising awareness of the physical abuse faced by widows and advocating for legal reforms, we can help protect these vulnerable women and ensure they receive the support they need. GFA World’s Widows and Abandoned Children Fund provides vital assistance to widows, including vocational training, income-generating gifts, and access to women’s fellowships. By donating to this fund, you can make a difference in the lives of widows who have experienced physical abuse and help them find hope, healing, and a brighter future.

Learn more about widow isolation

[1] Trivedi, J K, Himanshu Sareen, and Mohan Dhyani. “Psychological Aspects of Widowhood and Divorce.” Mens Sana Monographs 7, no. 1 (January 2009): 37–49. https://doi.org/10.4103/0973-1229.40648.
[2] Ken Walker of InChrist Communications. “Coronavirus Intensifies Hardships for Widows.” GFA World, June 17, 2021. https://www.gfa.org/special-report/widows-worldwide-face-tragedy-discrimination/#fn:16:~:text=WIDOWS%20WORLDWIDE%20FACE%20TRAGEDY%2C%20DISCRIMINATION.