Friday, November 11, 2005

Violence institutionalized

Today I called Sevara, my 19-year-old acquaintance who was stolen against her will in Osh in April. Since then, she has become pregnant, her husband beats her and forces her to wash his feet.

I had a difficult time meeting her after she was stolen. But when we sat together at a cafĂ© last month, she was already thinking of how and when to leave this man. She was sad and did what she could to reduce his anger, and his violence. But before she could leave him, she needed the wedding. “Otherwise, it is shameful for me,” she said.

At that time, she told me that right after the wedding, she’d go back to her parents for 30 days. There she could relax, be herself, and take care of herself. But today, two days after the wedding, I found her at her husband’s house. We couldn’t talk, since she’s not safe speaking freely from home. I can only hope that somehow, someday, she’ll find the strength to get away, and not subject the rest of her life to this young man’s demands. Regardless, a child she is not ready for is on the way and her life is irreversibly marked by his violence.

2 comments:

Alyclepal said...

I found your blog while looking up shyrdak/shirdak carpets online. Thank you for putting this blog up. I'm vastly interested in Central Asian countries and their past and present cultures and your blog is fascinating. I admire the guts it must take to work abroad and be so confident there. Aly

jj said...

Thanks for your feedback. I appreciate it! jj