Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report yesterday that exposed the bride-kidnapping and violent domestic abuse that occurs among women in Kyrgyzstan. According to the report, women as young as twelve years old are forced into marriage after being captured by groups of men who bring her to the home of the future groom. The woman is often subjected to rape, as well as physical and psychological pressure from the groom and his family in order to gain her consent for marriage. Once married, many Kyrgyzstan wives endure violent beatings and stabbings; some are even killed by their husbands.
While Kyrgyzstan has a law which requires police to respond to and prevent domestic abuse through a serious of specific procedures, Krygyz authorities neglect these obligations, according to HRW. Many government officials believe that domestic violence is more of a private issue than a law enforcement issue. When asked in an interview what the government could do to stop violence against women, one government official said, “Women should be more obedient and pay more attention to men and then domestic violence would decrease,” according to the report.