International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women Marked in Yerevan
Members of the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Women Organize Demonstration
YEREVAN (A.W.)—Members of the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Women marked International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women by organizing a demonstration in downtown Yerevan on Nov 25. During the demonstration, members held posters and passed out pamphlets to the public in an attempt to spread awareness of domestic violence.
According to RFE/RL’s Armenia service, the group also stated that fifteen women had died this year as a result of domestic violence.
Domestic violence against women in Armenia has been a subject rarely discussed openly due to the mainly conservative society that exists in Armenia. Recently, because of the activities of women’s rights groups and international human rights organizations, it has been receiving more publicity.
This publicity has allowed more women to come forward and actually complain and report about the abuses they receive from their husbands or relatives.
Armenia has no specific law against domestic violence. “Many issues go unreported because individuals are ashamed to reveal their family issues,” said the U.S. State Department in a recent report. Laws have been drafted in the past, but none have actually been enacted.
Zaruhi Hovhannisian, one of the leaders of the women’s rights group, told RFE/RL’s Armenia service that, “We need an in-depth conceptual approach to domestic violence and we must instill in the public consciousness the notion that domestic violence is a crime.”
The United Nations (UN) Armenia office released a statement on Nov. 28, strongly condemning recent cases of violence in the country. The statement particularly focuses on two cases of domestic violence that occurred over two days in Shengavit and Yerevan.
In the statement, the UN also calls on the government to adopt a law on domestic violence as a legal protection mechanism.
Source: Armenian Weekly
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