Syria: Getting Away Legally With Assaulting Women

Rebecca Murray- IPS – Monday, 13 December, 2010 (originally published 10 Dec)

On a Damascus street. Image: Rebecca Murray/IPS

DAMASCUS, Dec 10, 2010 (IPS) – Iman Wannouss was just 21 years old when she was married off to a close relative. For the next two decades she gave up her work and raised three children in a loveless and violent marriage.

“He beat me for no reason, just when he got stressed, and sometimes in front of the children,” she says. Even when she landed in a hospital emergency room after he cut her face with a vase, she refused to tell the doctor what happened.

Wannouss finally filed for divorce in a Muslim court upon the urging of her children, but according to the law she had to relinquish all her rights and belongings. “Syrian society looks at divorce in a very negative way,” she says. “Women get blamed all the time.”

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