A woman is like wool; the more you beat her, the softer she'll be

The title is a popular saying in Armenia, subject of a new Amnesty report on violence against women, released today. Our researcher and my international press office colleague Lydia were in the capital Yeravan this morning to launch the report, which reveals appalling levels of abuse and the equally-appalling attitudes that mean little is done about it.

Over a quarter of women in Armenia have been assaulted by a family member and around two thirds have experienced psychological abuse. Yet many are afraid to report abuse to the police. There’s a deep-seated belief in the importance of the family unit – nothing wrong with that in itself, I suppose – but in Armenia this means that domestic violence is widely tolerated or ignored.

We’re calling for domestic violence to be criminalised and for the government to ensure that women are able to leave violent relationships, rather than being forced to suffer in silence. Read the BBC’s report here and an Armenian media outlet's here.

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