GAZA — “Ibtissam,” a 27-year-old woman from the town of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip, asked for a number of guarantees before beginning to talk, among them that her real name not be used and that her story not be relayed to organizations assisting battered women. Despite attempts to reassure her when she met with Al-Monitor in public, she kept looking behind her for fear that her husband or one of his relatives might see her.
She had a gauze patch over one eye, stemming from a punch by her husband. Yet, that was not her motivation for meeting with Al-Monitor. Rather, what compelled her to be interviewed was her desire to make a change in her life. Thus, she recounted the details of her story, full of constant violence, including beatings and death threats, at the hands of her husband.