26 April 2018
Say NO to domestic violence PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 16 February 2013 08:07
It is estimated that around 40-70% of all female murder victims worldwide are killed by an intimate partner. Today, in no country in the world are women safe from domestic violence and abuse. According to certain statistics, at least one in every three women around the world has been beaten, abused, forced into sex in her lifetime. Often these abuses come from their partners, husbands or family members.

Numerous organizations work worldwide and locally to stop violence against women, especially domestic violence and Agency for Social Technologies (AST) is one of them. Agency for Social Technologies is a partner of Freedom House Kyrgyzstan and works towards eliminating domestic violence and bride kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan. Since the commencement of their project in 2012, AST has created Committees on Prevention of Domestic Violence (CPDV) in the capital city of Bishkek and in all seven regions throughout the country. Following the creation of the Committees, members of the CPDV have been working with victims, communities, social workers, government institutions, women’s groups and non-governmental organizations to not only deal with victims of domestic abuse and bride kidnapping but most importantly to work towards preventative measures. It is important to understand that the work of AST has not been without challenges. People of Kyrgyzstan are still relatively conservative and presence of Islam of course contributes to that. Family is very important to the Kyrgyz people, and most individuals see family issues as something private and not open for discussion. This of course creates many challenges when it comes to working with communities on issues of domestic violence, absence of marriage registrations, early marriages and bride kidnapping.

For AST it was important to make sure that committee members came from various backgrounds and could work together to assist the local communities on the issue of domestic violence and where applicable on bride kidnapping and early marriages and marriage registrations. Members of CPDV in all regions closely monitor the situation on domestic violence and acquire the necessary skills to assist in resolving the issues. For instance during October 2012, seven cases of domestic violence were registered by members of CPDV in one of the northern regions of the country. Working together with local inspectors and social workers, members of the CPDV were able to resolve the disputes. In addition to their monitoring work, members of the committee for prevention of domestic violence work closely with youth and youth organizations in order to educate them about gender equality, importance of marriage registration and family planning. In less than a year since the creation of committees, communities in various regions in Kyrgyzstan have finally opened up a platform where community members could talk about domestic violence, its root causes and solutions to the problems.

Today, domestic violence remains a global issue. The creation of the committees in Kyrgyzstan is an indication that local communities throughout the country are taking a step to combat domestic violence. It is these committees who are educating the new generation about respect and gender equality, it is them that are not only giving hope for a brighter future for victims of domestic violence, but most importantly it is through the existence of these committees that the issue of domestic violence is finally being confronted and dealt with locally.

Munara Beknazarova (see Women with Initiatives), who works with AST and has been working with CPDV since its establishment and said that she is extremely glad that committees exist to help people and provide necessary advice.  Mrs. Beknazarova hopes that individuals who seek assistance from CPDV will not only start making independent decisions in the future but also help others who continue to live under threat, abuse and violence.

While working in Kyrgyzstan, I had the honor and pleasure to not only work with AST but also get acquainted with members of the Committee on Prevention of Domestic Violence. I must say that what they are doing is not only important and vital for the Kyrgyz society but also very brave! When I was a little girl, my grandmother always said that ‘strong and happy family equals strong and happy state’ and in my opinion that is what the project of AST is trying to accomplish through creation of these committees throughout the country. By creating peace and respect within communities and fighting against domestic violence and abuse, AST is contributing to a stronger and more sustainable future for the Kyrgyz nation! 

Aigul Kasymova
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