Domestic violence still a cause of high concern
Around 2,400 women faced violence, while six men were killed by their wives
In spite of official statements pointing to a drop in the number of cases of violence against women, the number remains of high concern. On the other hand, men also increasing complain about the violence they endure in the family, from their wives.
According to official statistics published by the Kurdistan Regional Government’s ( KRG) directorate of violence against women, in the last six months of last year alone, some 2,400 cases of violence had been registered.
Hazha Suleiman, a member of the committee for defending women's rights in the Kurdistan Parliament, told the Kurdish media that the reason behind escalating violence is due to broad and quick social developments in Kurdish society.
She also warned of the misuse of new technologies such as mobile and communication tools.
Suleiman further noticed that violence against women had in the past been hidden by the Kurdish patriarchal society, and women did not have the courage to complain against their husbands in the courthouses.
“I do believe that the high number of violence cases is because women increasingly having the courage to go to courthouses and lodge complaints against their husbands.”
She also expressed that the cultural development of the Kurdish patriarchal society has not been on the same pace as new technologies.
Despite the existence of several women NGOs and public institution for the defenfse women's rights, the number of violent cases stunned many civil society activists.
Suleiman said that the women NGOs could not professionally realise their objectives, adding that they failed to focus equally on the geographical distances.
She also added that the vast majority of the violence cases takes place on the outskirts, while the NGOs concentrate more intensly on the city centers. ‘Kurdistan Men Union’ With the development of the Kurdish patriarchal society in terms of culture and economy, violence against men, an extraordinary phenomenon, is on the rise too.
Burahn Ali Faraj, secretary of the union, told Kurdish media that the number of cases of violence against men hit a new record high. He further added that the union registered some 163 cases of violence against men across the Region.
“Some six men were killed by their wives, while around 40 men killed themselves,” he said.
“Some 41 women were involved in marital disloyalty in the previous year.”
He also added that wealth and affluence of some 27 elder men were seized by their wives, who forced them to leave the house.
According to official statistics, some 48 cases of divorce were registered in the courts, all because of intervention on the part of women’s family.
He also added that 11 men faced psychological pressure and sexual abuse by their wives.
In 2012, some 5,399 cases of divorce had been registered across courts in Kurdistan. In the first quarter of 2012, the divorce rate was only equal to 17 percent of marriages. ‘Psychological analysis’ Saman Siwaili who is a psychological doctor says that the rapid changes insociety makes life more complicated than ever so that in essence the number of the violence cases is not that high when compared with the pace of changes.
Like Suleiman, he also warned of the misuse of communication and technology tools such as mobile and internet. He added that overworking makes people exhausted, and this leads to the possible reduction of sleeping hours. Accordingly, the likelihood of violence taking place also exponentially increases.
“The vast majority of cases are small things and are resolvable. But the irritated couples cannot solve their problems peacefully.”
To reduce the number of violence cases, Siwiali recommended that people should try to take their spiritual or psychological conditions into consideration.
In conclusion, he said people can purchase with relative ease any kind of guns in the three Kurdish provinces, which is a major reason for an increase in the numbers. He urged the KRG to take very strong steps to eradicate the culture of gun-holding among the people.