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Early marriages, polygamy and poverty lead to the fact that every second woman in Tajikistan is subjected to violence.
Cover of the report on domestic violence in Tajikistan.
The authors of the report – the Notabene Public Foundation (Tajikistan), the International Partnership for Human Rights (IHLR, Belgium) and the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (HFHR, Poland) – believe that many factors contribute to domestic violence: the prevalence of early, unregistered and polygamous marriages , social denial of divorce, persecution of the victim, inaccessibility of education for girls.
Girls do not go to school.
Children in Tajikistan must attend school until the end of the 9th grade, but 10% of girls do not finish even secondary school.
Violence leads to widespread poverty – Tajikistan is among the 30 poorest countries in the world, and in rural areas, 75% of the population lives below the poverty line.
The unfavorable economic situation leads to a shortage of affordable housing, high unemployment and an inadequate social security system, with women disproportionately affected by these problems.
My mother-in-law brought my son a new wife.
One of the stories cited in the report is about a woman named Katerina, who lived seven years in marriage and suffered almost every day from beatings. Several times she went to the hospital, after the spinal injury was bedridden.
“I tried to kill myself twice, but then I realized that I had to live for my son. In the end, after seven years of marriage, she divorced her husband – even before the divorce, her mother-in-law found a new wife for him. I returned to my parents, but my brother does not understand me – Tajiks always blame each other in the event of a divorce, “Katya describes her feelings after the collapse of the marriage.
Nargis, a 24-year-old mother of two, married a religious marriage ceremony. Then the husband decided that the children – not his, regularly beat and drove his wife out of the house.
“In 20 days after the birth of the second child, the husband came to my parents’ house and beat me,” recalls Nargis. “He demanded that I return to him, and I agreed because I wanted the boys to have a father.” When my husband heard that I want to move to him with the children, he again began to insist that they were not his children, and wanted to conduct a test for the establishment of paternity. He beat me so badly that I decided to stay with my parents. ”
Not only husbands, but also mothers-in-law offend the daughter-in-law – the study gives an example when her mother-in-law instructed the daughter-in-law to get up at three o’clock in the morning every day in the yard of the house and then prepare breakfast by five in the morning.
The police do not interfere in the disassembly.
The impunity of abusers also contributes to the murders and bullying of the family: last year, the inspectors of the specialized militia of the Ministry of Internal Affairs registered 145 complaints about violence in the country, although, according to human rights activists, about 50% of women regularly beat their husbands.
The presence of ten posts of inspectors for the prevention of domestic violence is not enough for the scale of the country, and a general amnesty for family usurpers makes statements to the police obviously hopeless.
After addressing the police, women often heard in response: “think about your children”, “go home – we do not want to interfere in your family affairs” or “think about what will happen to you if your husband is arrested and put in jail” . A similar picture is observed in the courts.
Desperate victims are resolved to extreme measures – cases of suicide are widespread in the country.
The Avesta news agency reported statistics on 200 suicides recorded in the eleven months of 2016 in Sughd, 90 of which were committed by women and girls (in 2015, 100 such cases were recorded).
Open shelters and legalize second families.
The authors of the study recommend that the authorities of Tajikistan publicly and formally condemn domestic violence, provide a centralized summary of statistics and information on domestic violence, and include in the Criminal Code an article on marital rape.
It is also important to include the definition of family in the Family Code of the Republic of Tajikistan and to ensure that this definition covers unregistered, early and polygamous marriages.
Human rights defenders call for the creation of family courts, resolve the issue of opening shelters for victims of violence and the provision of social housing.
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