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RIGHTS >Number of Turkish women changing names to avoid domestic violence reaches 300 this year

ANKARA

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Women protest for justice as they denounce violence and abuse with a slogan that translates as 'Do not meddle with my outfit' in Ankara. AFP photo

Women protest for justice as they denounce violence and abuse with a slogan that translates as 'Do not meddle with my outfit' in Ankara. AFP photo

Some 300 women this year have changed their names to avoid domestic violence, whereas this figure was 40 and 125, respectively for 2013 and 2015, daily Habertürk reported on Sept. 11.

Most of the women exposed to violence in Turkey want their identity cards to be changed completely, according to the information given by the Family and Social Policies Ministry, the daily said. This is the only way for them to obliterate their traces and hence feel more secure, the ministry reportedly indicated. 

There are other precautions in the country taken to protect women against domestic violence, such as shelters, electronic handcuffs for the offenders and for the male suspects to be given restraining orders by a court. But, women were indicated to have felt the most secure when they changed their identities. This regulation was put into effect as of 2013, with a legal amendment, and many have utilized it since, with the number increasing every year, according to the daily.

The Family and Social Policies Ministry reportedly said that after their names were changed by a court order, the women could not be reached by their offenders again. The ministry also indicated that the women with the new identities were provided with job opportunities with the help of the state, as a result of which they could continue their lives on their own.

The ministry also announced that the “electronic handcuff” regulation for abusive husbands was utilized only in two provinces but they were working on extending the regulation to another four provinces.

So far, 10 men in Turkey have been put in electronic handcuffs for domestic abuse, the ministry reportedly said, adding that the results of the regulation were “positive.” But the cost of this regulation is reported to be quite high, which is why the regulation has not been extended to many provinces.

“Thanks to the regulation, my life substantially went back to normal. In the beginning, I felt as if I was being watched by a hawk. I thought people were giving me the evil eye and because of this I was a nervous wreck, as a result of which, my desire to inflict violence increased. But with the anger management and rehabilitation programs, I was saved from a tendency of violence. I never approached my wife again,” one of these men, known only by the initials Z.B. reportedly told the ministry officials.

September/11/2017

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