Armenia: New report exposes sexual and domestic violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights

"A woman is like wool; the more you beat her, the softer she'll be”
-Armenian saying

A new report from Amnesty International today exposes rape, domestic violence and sexual harassment against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights in Armenia.

Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights told Amnesty International how they were beaten by their husbands or other family members; how they were raped and verbally abused; how they were controlled and prevented from meeting their parents and friends. Over a quarter of Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights in Armenia have been hit or beaten by a family member and about two thirds have experienced psychological abuse, yet the state fails to prevent, investigate and punish violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights, says the report.

Forty-five-year old G.M. lost her sight after years of violence: “Anyone who felt like it could beat me. If something was wrong in the house, I was the one who got the blame. They pounced on me and beat me - all together.” Another woman, G.L. tried in vain to escape a violent relationship: “Several times I wanted to walk out, but I have got nowhere to go. I have two young Children's rights, and if I leave he will not let me back. I want a divorce, but he does not.”

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

“Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights in Armenia suffer disproportionately from violence and abuse at home and at work, but this is seldom understood as a violation of their basic human rights.

“A real sea-change in attitudes right across Armenia is needed – from the criminal justice system to the home - to ensure that Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights can live in safety and dignity.

“Right now the preservation of the family unit comes at the expense of Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights’s rights, their safety and even their lives.”

Amnesty International’s report No pride in silence: Countering violence in the family in Armenia, looks at individual case studies and examines the background to these pervasive abuses – that in Armenia, social attitudes among both men and Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights largely accept and even vindicate violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights. Other hurdles include the stigmatisation of rape victims, reluctance by police to investigate domestic violence cases and a lack of shelters and support for abused Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights.

The Armenian authorities are failing to provide Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights with options to leave violent relationships by not putting into place a functional system of either initial protection against violence in the family or longer term support through employment and housing.

Amnesty is urging the Armenian authorities to combat violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights in all its forms through the implementation of legislative, institutional and public educational strategies and more specifically to:
- Criminalise domestic violence through the adoption of a specific law;
- Implement a cross-agency approach including police, health workers, the judiciary, shelters and crisis centres and non-governmental organizations;
- Increase the public awareness of violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights as a widespread criminal offence and human rights violation.

The report is part of a series of publications issued within Amnesty’s global ‘Women's rights's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights’ campaign, which was launched in March 2004. The campaign urges governments to comply with their obligation under international human rights law to counter discrimination against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and girls. Violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights is a global phenomenon affecting in one form or another nearly one in three Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and Amnesty has exposed violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights in countries from the USA, France and Spain to Russia, Georgia, Belarus, Ukraine and Turkey.

  • read the report here

View latest press releases