The $19 million project, which is in the design stage, will be built on a proposed plot of land in Hamad Town and will comprise separate sections for Dar Al Aman Shelter for Abused Women (Tubli), Dar Al Karama Shelter for the Homeless
(Tubli), the Elderly Day Care Centre (Muharraq), and the Child Welfare Home (Barbar).
The project is also expected to house a shelter for boys aged between 10 and 17 who currently have no place to go despite the Family Protection Law highlighting this crisis.
Dar Al Aman head Dr Huda Al Mahmood told the GDN that moving the two shelters in Tubli was essential as the facilities were not enough to accommodate the number of cases they received.
“We hope to see the construction of the new complex to begin (this) year, which is the proposed plan so that we can have it completed by the end of 2019,” she said.
“We know that the complex is in Hamad Town and it is in the design stage, but further details are awaited.
“We welcome the project as the two centres – Dar Al Aman and Dar Al Karama – as we know are located in Tubli, right in the middle of a commercial area. “The rented building restricted to two floors is not designed for a shelter or a
protection unit – it is more an office space, which we have converted into rooms.
“This is not enough as per standards of a shelter, where we require open space for inmates, play area for children and private space for counselling and other legal activities.
“The proposed complex will be designed with all these aspects being taken of.”
The GDN reported in 2016 that a shelter to house young boys who have been victims of physical and sexual abuse in Bahrain was expected to be set up last year, but the plan never materialised.
However, Dr Al Mahmood said such a shelter will be included in the new complex.
“At present we do not have much details on this project, which is actively backed by NGOs, the Public Prosecution, governors of all four governorates and the Dar Al Aman board who are all taking lead roles,” she added.
“This shelter will solve a lot of our issues, as currently we don’t have a place to accommodate boys aged above 10.
“The Family Protection Law has included this but the crisis is that we have no place for the boy victims aged between 10 and 17 to be sent, hence there is a dire need for a boys shelter.”
According to figures published by the GDN in 2015, majority of victims – out of at least 25 cases of alleged child sex abuse in the country - were young boys aged between nine and 12.