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Violence against women decreases in first six month of 2019: official

The Director of the Communication and Relations Department at the Directorate for Combating Violence Against Women and Families in Erbil speaks during a news conference on Tuesday, July 16, 2019. (Photo Credit: NRT Digital Media)
2019-07-16

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SULAIMANI — The Directorate for Combating Violence Against Women and Families in Erbil released data on Tuesday (July 16) indicating that there had been a decline in reported incidents during the first six months of 2019 compared with the same period last year.

Nevertheless, the data showed that violence against women and girls in the governorate was still a significant and pervasive problem.

The Director of the Communication and Relations Department at the Directorate Zewar Mustafa said that 22 women had been murdered in the first six months of the year.

There were fourteen reported sexual assaults in 2019 so far, down from twenty-one during the first half of 2018.

There have been ten reported suicides so far in 2019, compared with twelve during the same period last year according to the statistics.

Incidents where a woman was deliberately burned by another person were down slightly from eleven to ten, but self-immolations were up from sixteen in the first half of 2018 to twenty so far this year.

“None of the killings [were reported as] an honor killing,” Mustafa said.

Complaints of violence or abuse, however, were up.

“There were 846 complaints, while there were 621 complaints” in the first half of 2018, he added.

The statistics did not include a number of other types of violence against women and girls, including female genital mutilation (FGM).

The Kurdistan Regional Government has been trying to improve its record on violence against women, setting up a hotline last fall for women to report incidents and get legal, social, and psychological help.

Like in the rest of the world, most domestic abuse and gender-based violence goes unreported to the authorities, so the extent of the issue is likely much greater than the data suggests.

The Directorate’s hotline for reporting incidents of violence or to get help is 119.

(NRT Digital Media)