Turkish women hit by abuse

Women are the victims of increasing violence in the eastern province of Van, where difficult conditions in the wake of last year’s devastating earthquakes are pushing residents to the brink, Hurriyet Daily News reports.

“[People] who did not used to live with their mothers- and fathers-in-law now [find] they have to live together with them. Slander and quarrels can sometimes arise between those who share the same tent with their relatives. Women [can be] subjected to violence from their fathers-in-law and their husbands,” said Esen Günay, a member of the Van Women’s Association (VAKAD).

A large number of women have appealed to VAKAD since the earthquakes with problems related to violence, economic hardship and shelter. Men who experience psychological distress due to unemployment often subject their spouses to violence, Günay said.

“In particular, widowed women and tenants are experiencing difficulties with respect to the [pre-fabricated] container homes. Solitary women are told to go to their families. Tenants lacking a contract or an electricity or water bill to their names are likewise denied container homes,” she said, according to daily Milliyet.

Another VAKAD worker, Aylin Çelik, said the number of sexual abuse cases has also increased because the container cities were all located in deserted areas.

“There is no security in these places and many of the women are under threat of sexual abuse,” Çelik told the Hürriyet Daily News.

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