27 September 2006. Human Rights Watch has released a report regarding the status of Kyrgyzstan on the issues of domestic violence and bride kidnapping. This report found that even though Kyrgyzstan has strict laws on these issues, the government has failed to enforce them.
The laws of Kyrgyzstan are more advanced than other countries in the area of violence against women. The women have been active in attempting to utilize these laws, but the police do not treat the crimes as being serious and they are not implemented. Upon hearing of assaults, the police will often encourage the women to reconcile instead of giving them a safe place to go to get away from the violence. This leaves the women feeling hopeless and they are stuck in violent situations that often leave them with serious and permanent injury as well as emotional trauma.
Also discussed in the report is bride kidnapping. The officials often portray it as harmless, but the women of Kyrgyzstan describe it as violent and traumatic. They are abducted by men they do not know or by acquaintances that use deception. The women are often raped and have long-term effects from this violation against them.
Human Rights Watch sent this report to the government of Kyrgyzstan with guidelines for implementation of their laws on violence against women. They also ask for an increase in the financial and technical assistance that is being given to the programs assisting the victims of these crimes. Through this report, Human Rights Watch has effectively challenged the government to step up and make this issue a priority.
Compiled from: Human Rights Watch: Human Rights News, “Kyrgyzstan: Bride-Kidnapping, Domestic Abuse Rampant”, available http://www.hrw.org/english/docs/2006/09/27/kyrgyz14261.htm.