Every Third Woman Is Subjected To Spousal Abuse In Republic Of Armenia
By Adonia Agayan
YEREVAN, October 14 — According to statistics and sociological inquiry, every third woman in the Republic of Armenia suffers physical, psychological and sexual abuse in her family.
“We’ve been working in this sphere since 1997, and I can say for sure that Armenia faces these problems, and we should take all possible steps to prevent family violence,” said Susanna Vardanyan, the head of the Women Rights Center.
According to her, because of groundless prejudices women subjected to violence rarely turn to the police. “For women who avoid going to the law or turning to the police we have set up a hotline both in Yerevan and other regions of the Republic of Armenia. The purpose of the hotline is to help them turn to us and obtain psychological and legal assistance,” Vardanyan said.
Every day over 10-15 people call the hotline complaining about spousal assault. “If the woman is abused once, she’ll be abused for the second time as well; accordingly it gets more and more dangerous to stay in that family. Many people think our appeals ruin families, but they are not right, because families like that are already ruined,” she said.
She also added that the Women Rights Center completed the elaboration of the draft law proposing punishment for those guilty of spousal assault back in 2007.
“Over the previous two years the draft law was finalized with the participation of international organizations. In 2009 the draft law was submitted to the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, but up to this day we haven’t received any response,” Vardanyan said.
“We hope the draft law will be introduced and approved, just like in all civilized countries,” she said.
In her turn Satenik Grigoryan, the lawyer of the Women Rights Center, said that this year already 1782 women have turned to the hotline service.
“Among them 854 complained of psychological abuse, 481 of physical abuse and 13 of sexual abuse in the family,” she said.
Mostly women between 26-32 age groups are abused in their families.