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Last updated:31 March, 2009 - 15:51 GMT

Gazan women face rise in abuse

Al-Atar women family members, Beit Lahia, Gaza

Insharar al-Atar (second left) says she forgives her husband for his aggression

The United Nations Development Fund for Women in Gaza says domestic violence - verbal, physical and sexual - has increased noticeably since Israel's recent assault on the strip and in general since Hamas took over the territory almost two years ago.

That was when Israel and Egypt effectively closed their borders with Gaza, severely limiting supplies and freedom of movement.

Since then, Israel has launched a number of punishing military campaigns.

The BBC's Middle East correspondent Katya Adler has been to Gaza, where NGO's are now trying to stop men taking out their frustration on their families.

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First broadcast 31 March 2009

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