Isolated with a tyrant: victims of domestic violence in Kazakhstan tell their stories

Isolated with a tyrant: victims of domestic violence in Kazakhstan tell their stories

Once he ended up beating her so hard with his feet and hitting her head on a heater that she went blind on both eyes. She was paralyzed. And then she died.”

Such stories  are written by Kazakh women on forums, of course, anonymously. Meanwhile, the number of victims of domestic violence rapidly increased globally due to quarantine measures. For example, the number of the victims doubled in China and increased by 30 percent in France. The same situation is in Italy and Spain, caused by the quarantine tension and financial problems.

Women in Kazakhstan are increasingly subjected to the domestic violence as well. Domestic tyrants spare no children either. Earlier, a resident of Taldykorgan brutally beat his stepson. The child has been in coma for several days, but now he is recovering. Police officers said that the man was drunk.

Kazakhstan recorded a dramatic increase in the sales of alcohol during the lockdown. The sale of strong drinks jumped up by 70 percent in Nur-Sultan. Earlier, residents were buying expensive alcohol, now they buy drinks that they can afford.

One of the women living in the capital told what is happening in her family. She said that her husband began drinking a lot and abuse her in the first month of the quarantine.

He came at night, got me out of bed and hit me in the face asking who I am. He didn’t drink before. Now he smokes and drinks, degrades. He has been drinking for three days with his friends via video calls,” she wrote.

Authorities urge citizens to stay home during the lockdown and be in self-isolation, but sometimes it is hard to call your own apartment a safe place. Experts recommend victims of the violence to contact special care centers and call the police if they feel that the situation is getting out of control. Kazakh law enforcement officers even came up with a special passphrase that can be used by a victim if she cannot call the police openly in a difficult situation. Just call 102 and say: “Have you received any more masks or antiseptics?” The police will immediately understand that the victim needs help and will ask to name the address.

Victims of the domestic violence are being actively supported. However, many women do not even go to the police hoping that everything will get better or fearing that they will be killed for that. So did Kamilla, who asked not to reveal her last name. She has been living with a real domestic tyrant for four years. A beating during pregnancy was the last straw in this relationship. She was eight months pregnant when her husband brutally attacked her.

He has been beating me for the period of pregnancy and I decided to run away from him at the eighth month, because I could not stand this anymore. He came to mother’s store and beat me again. I was screaming, but alas no one would have heard me. Then I ran out to the street and started screaming loudly, but he closed my mouth, wanted to drag me back and tried to beat me at the same time. Fortunately, some women came to the store and saved me,” said Kamilla.

The woman said she is happy that she could escape from living with such husband. However, fear will remain with her forever. For women who find themselves in a similar situation, she wishes, first of all, not to be afraid to leave. For your sake, for the sake of children. After all, the one who hit once will always hit, says the 22-year-old Kamilla.