Domestic Violence in Armenia: An Ugly Crime Still Denied

Special for the Armenian Weekly

Zaruhi Petrosyan was a young mother of a two-year-old infant girl when her life came to an end after an alleged fall down a flight of stairs. At the time, her husband claimed that the death had been an accident. However, her bruised and battered body attested to beatings that had extended over a long period of time. This was more than sufficient evidence to bring her unfortunate death to the public’s attention.

Maro Guloyan died at the age of 20. She had an infant child and was pregnant with her second baby. Activists say the marks on her neck indicate death by manual strangulation. The court accepted her husband’s claims that she committed suicide.
Maro Guloyan died at the age of 20. She had an infant child and was pregnant with her second baby. Activists say the marks on her neck indicate death by manual strangulation. The court accepted her husband’s claims that she committed suicide.

It would not be surprising if most Armenians do not recall her name or remember the circumstances that led to her death. Zaruhi was not the first—nor has she been the last—victim of domestic violence, a crime that is still not recognized in the Armenian Penal Code. It is a form of behavior rooted in the mores of conservative, patriarchal societies. A complex set of life experiences that amplifies the sense of entitlement that is imparted to males during their formative years (as compared to females) triggers this violence as a normal response in their relationship with wives, children, or female companions. It is an insidious, pernicious form of behavior associated with a subset of men that degrades women and destroys their self-esteem.

As yet, domestic violence is not part of public discourse either in Armenia or the diaspora. Men may shrug off its existence by saying that while it might exist, it is very much exaggerated. Some may add the gratuitous comment that an occasional slap does not rise to the level of domestic violence. One would assume that women would be more sympathetic to this problem, yet some fail to identify with the hell that countless numbers of their counterparts endure daily. Others refrain from vocalizing their outrage—sometimes for fear of being labeled a feminist or being accused of attacking “family values.” Whatever the reason, the fact remains that there are men who routinely brutalize their wives to the point where the hapless victim begins to doubt her self-worth—doubts that may well lead her to believe that the stinging slap across the face or the punch to the body was deserved because she had failed as a wife or mother. If this physical violence was not sufficient, she may have to endure being reprimanded or ridiculed in front of her children, eroding what remaining self-esteem or authority she may have left within the family.

The difficulties associated with raising public awareness with respect to domestic violence may lie in the fact that it remains a hidden, unrecognized crime. It is a crime carried out within the isolated confines of the home. It is a crime usually with few if any compassionate witnesses. It is a crime that may be stoically endured by the victim because she may falsely believe that the punishment is deserved. Victims who are engaged with the public on a daily basis will try to hide their bruises while other victims may be punished by being prevented from seeing friends or family. Many of these women fear reprisal by their husbands if they seek help, while others, even knowing that help is available, may not have the strength, courage, or opportunity to escape their intolerable situation. Having young children only increases their difficulty in seeking help. As a result, the number of cases of domestic violence that are officially recorded bears no relationship whatsoever to the prevalence of the problem in Armenia. Unfortunately, this only fortifies those who do not accept domestic violence as a serious problem.

Diana Nahabedian died at the age of 35. She was knifed 21 times by her husband in front of their two teenage daughters who were unable to save their mother from their enraged father.
Diana Nahabedian died at the age of 35. She was knifed 21 times by her husband in front of their two teenage daughters who were unable to save their mother from their enraged father.

However, before the crime of domestic violence can be effectively addressed—through legislation; appropriate training for the police and the judiciary; relevant curricula materials for all grade levels in school; and appropriations for the necessary infrastructure to meet the rehabilitative needs of its victims—it must become part of the national discourse. To achieve that end, the media has a vital role not only in reporting cases of domestic violence, but in supporting the work of activists and organizations, such as the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Women in Armenia (or, the Coalition). Domestic violence is a public health issue and it is an assault on the Armenian family.

Oct. 1 has been set aside by the Coalition to raise awareness of domestic violence, sexual assault and harassment, trafficking, and child abuse. It was on that date in 2010 that Zaruhi Petrosyan’s lifeless body was found. The Coalition, formed that year, is now comprised of eight organizations that have dedicated Oct. 1 as the National Day Against Domestic Violence in Armenia. In death, Zaruhi Petrosyan has become the face and name of countless of her unfortunate sisters (and oftentimes their children) who have been and continue to be subjected to a form of male behavior that has no place in Armenian society. The annual daylong informational program to raise public awareness of domestic violence in Armenia will begin with a rally in Republic Square and Yerevan districts calling attention to a crime against women that the government has failed to acknowledge through appropriate legislation. In the afternoon, the program moves to “Swan Lake” and ends with an evening candlelight vigil in memory of Zaruhi and countless other victims of domestic violence. Meaningful change can come only when domestic violence, its prevalence, and the toll it takes on its victims and on our nation is recognized by the public.

For those who have admitted knowing someone who was a victim of domestic violence or acknowledge its existence, Oct. 1 is an opportunity to support the Coalition by being present for the daylong program. For skeptics and others who have yet to accept domestic violence as a serious issue, it is also an opportunity to listen to the speakers and read with an open mind in the comfort of their home the literature that will be available. I have purposely refrained from citing the data from the many studies, interviews, and anecdotal accounts that are readily available. The daylong program will provide more than sufficient data to validate the concerns of the Coalition. Unfortunately, it is a difficult path that the Coalition has taken in a society where many are ambivalent to the issue of domestic violence or simply refuse to accept its existence. Through the tireless efforts of the women and men of the Coalition, the process of forcing domestic violence into the national dialogue has begun, and the full extent of domestic violence in all its permutation and its toll upon its victims and on our nation is beginning to be exposed. Maro Matosian, the director of the Women’s Support Center states that “the more cases become public, more women call our center and our shelter—the only one for victims of domestic violence—which is filled beyond capacity with battered women and their children.”

Let it be said again and again and again. There can never be a situation that can ever justify a man striking a woman. This is a lesson learned as a child from my widowed mother, and it is a lesson that should be ingrained in every boy and reinforced in every man. I still remember a kind lovely Armenian neighbor that my mom would visit with me in tow as a youngster. Her husband was known to physically abuse her. Years later when she died I attended her wake. Now she has peace was on the lips of every knowing woman mourner. How is it possible to have a female friend at any stage of your life or to profess your love for a woman and still believe that you can abuse her?

More information on the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Women can be found at www.coalitionagainstviolence.org.

More information on the Women’s Support Center can be found at www.womensupportcenter.org.

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Michael Mensoian

Michael Mensoian, J.D./Ph.D, is professor emeritus in Middle East and political geography at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and a retired major in the U.S. army. He writes regularly for the Armenian Weekly.

69 Comments

  1. So two women were probably murdered by their husbands and now all 1.5 million men in Armenia are wife-beaters? This is just sensationalist writing for the sake of writing journalism.

    • (1) Highlighting two women’s stories does not mean these are the only two cases. The epidemic of domestic violence in Armenia is well documented by advocates working hard to change this reality. (2) I read the same article as you did (maybe you didn’t read it as closely?) and at no point did I see the author accusing every single man in Armenia of being a wife-beater.

      Not sure why you would be against creating a climate that is safe and nurturing for all Armenians, and that means including women.

    • This isn’t sensationalism and Mr Mensoian is not saying all men in Armenia are wife-beaters. But more has happened that just these two deaths and it is an issue in Armenia. And discussing it openly is the first step in helping improve the lives of women in Armenia who are in such dangerous situations.

    • The tip of the iceberg. The person above obviously is ignorant to the fact that this sort of crime, which like rape, goes unreported because the victim is often further victimized. The point of the whole story was that there are no laws showing this crime to be illegal.

    • Andre,
      This is not sensationalist writing for the sake of writing journalism.
      You need to understand how this “Armenian Twitter” campaign works.

      It’s the end of the 2014 Fiscal Year for US Government, right? A bunch of NGOs in Armenia received grants from USAID and other government organizations, foundations, etc. They need to report on their “outreach activities” as written in their grants. So, at the end of each fiscal year we see the same stories recycled again and again. Let them get their grants for Uncle Sam’s sake!

    • Voskanapat,

      That is a very cynical way of distracting from the issue. The problems many women in Armenia are facing has not changed.

    • To Random Armenian:

      I think it’s cynical to publish the same press release for many years using my taxpayer money. The organizations who prepared it are not transparent. They use a lot of USAID grant $$ and all they were able to come up with is just this report that we see here year after year?

      I doubt that Major Mensoian had anything to do with it – did he travel to Armenia to take these pictures, interview victims, or maybe he is on the Board of Directors? If yes, this would be truly commendable, but for now it seems that his name was just used to get this moldy press release published again.

      He would be better off writing something about closer to his home issues like Boston domestic violence rates or rape in the Armed Forces. According to Pentagon, 26 THOUSAND service members experienced unwanted sexual contact while serving this nation in just 2012. How many of them were Armenian Americans? Only 1 in 5 women and 1 in 15 men serving in the US Armed forces actually report what happened to them. 90% of them get involuntary discharge. There are more men raped in the US army than women and that’s how many of both genders during the time you spent reading this post? Do your math – 26,000/365 days…

    • Voskanapat,

      You just might have a point if the domestic violence levels in Armenia went down dramatically since the murders of Guloyan and Zaruhi. But have they? Is this still not an issue in Armenia?

      Mr. Mensoian is an Armenian-American who has every right to be concerned and talk about issues in Armenia. And it helps that a man throws his voice into the issue of domestic violence. So why shouldn’t he talk about this issue? Is this issue not important enough to talk about?

  2. “There can never be a situation that can ever justify a man striking a woman.”

    Thank you Mr. Mensoian for keeping this alive. One of the biggest struggles of any nation or people or community is to be able to deal with internal issues and taboos. This is one of them. The more it’s discussed, the more attitudes will start to change.

    It’s unconscionable for any patriotic Armenian to stay silent to domestic violence which hurts and kills our fellow Armenians. But there will be such patriots who will not be able face this issue and downplay it and attack those who are bringing this issue to light and want things to improve.

    And yet this is not just a women’s or Armenian issue. It’s a global issue that also affects men who have mothers and sisters.

  3. Our Merciful, Loving, Glorious God has a special place in His heart for victims.
    The Bible warns Proverbs 12:14 The deeds of a man’s hands will return to him.

    Bible, Romans 12:19 VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY, says the LORD.

    Our Precious, Wonderful God is a Forgiving God, He is also a God of great wrath.

  4. Blaming domestic violence on conservatism? I’m not surprised this “news” site is liberal since it’s full of Americans blogging about issues they have no intention to do anything about.

  5. Andre, you need not personalize the issue of domestic violence in Armenia. This is a systemic issue that my father eighty years fought against in his village. As a young man, he had witnessed the savage behavior of some men against their wives, and he spoke out against it, even during the 1930s.

    All people must stand firm and have a zero tolerance for abuse of any kind. It is appalling that there is no law against this in the Armenian penal code, and I will join all efforts to see that this comes to pass soon. We can not turn a blind eye to this either in Armenia, or anywhere else in the world.

    • Sonya: Armenians don’t need laws to remind them to not beat their wives. We are not Arabs, we don’t cover our wives up with sheets to stop other men from looking at them, but we aren’t Europeans that let their daughters go around to whore themselves out become used by other men. You need to grow up and stop thinking your delusional liberal ideas can solve anything.

    • Andre, you really need to learn about the realities of what’s going on in Armenia.

      You actually think there is no prostitution going on in Armenia?

    • I never said nor did I ever thought that. There is prostitution in every group. However, that’s because of the dire economic realities of Armenia, not because of some unrestricted choice.

  6. The quote attributed to Maro must be in error. She knows that there is more than one shelter in Armenia that houses women and their children who are victims of domestic violence. The Armenian Charitable Lighthouse Foundation in Ptghounk houses victims for two years and supports them afterwards, if necessary. ACLF has a hot line for women to call for help. It is privately funded by the Ghazarian family foundation and other donors.

  7. **** It is profoundly sad.., we Armenians with a long history of culture and civilization., how is this possible..? absolutely the laws need to be changed a.s.a.p., domestic violence victims need to be more vocal and shame on any Armenian men for not helping to change the laws of the land. PERIOD..!!!

    • AMEN and shame on the parents for not keeping their ties of FAMILY and protecting their child or not stepping in to take affirmative action to take her out with the kids to the safety of your care Hell my grandmother a genocide survivor carried a pod (STICK) and had it with her at all times you didn’t mess with her or her family

  8. The article does not mention verbal abuse, which is equally damaging to a woman’s emotional health and is used even more by men because it leaves no physical evidence. It still humiliates and degrades the woman, and shows contempt toward her, which is the intent. Science has found that the nervous system processes emotional and physical abuse in the same way, i.e., they hurt equally. By their cowardly actions, these arrogant abusers all over the patriarchal world prove their inferior status as human beings: don’t try to hide behind the “culturally accepted” excuse. Amot dzes! And bravo to the men who speak up against these cowards–they are the much stronger ones.

  9. This is not only a problem in Armenia it is a problem with Armenians in the diaspora too. Although I did physically see my Dad hit my mother, he would verbally abuse her frequently in front of us children. In turn, my mother would physically and verbally abuse several of us so that by the time I was an adult, I had no self esteem. I married a man who was abusive to me verbally and in front of my children and was caught in a trap from which one cannot get out. My children also had this type of relationship, but one was able to get out when I saw what was happening. The other one is rebelling and the tables are turned.

  10. Does anyone think that the burning issue of domestic abuse of women is still at the back burner – in independent Armenia – because at least some of the men who should participate in creating laws to penalize the abusers, or enforce the laws, are abusers themselves?
    There is no shortage of reports – so many arrogant and sadistic husbands or ‘lovers’,(along with their parents,siblings and connections) making deals with security forces, with a corrupt legal system. Endlessly, relentlessly terrorizing their victims.
    My deepest gratitude to those men and women who have organized the October 1 events. Save our voiceless, helpless, hopeless sisters. Empower the Armenian women!

  11. There should also be zero tolerance for any woman who hangs into her abuser just to stay or be married. Too many Armenian women, perhaps of an older generation have openly stated that they would rather be beaten, cheated on and abused than not be married. Men know this and so feel they have the upper hand and so they use it to strike their wives. This problem is a two way street so let’s make sure women change their own attitudes. In Armenia, there us too much shame in not having a man.

    • Please don’t blame the victim here. I can’t believe that any woman would stay in such a relationship if she felt she had another choice. On the contrary, I am sure they stay because the society and culture they live in leaves them feeling they have no alternative….because being unmarried is more socially damning than being beaten! Degradation of and lack of equality for women is the issue. It’s a systemic cultural problem that has to be addressed by men and women alike.

  12. I lived among and know a large Armenian Community. There is nothing in my experience the DEDICATION of an Armenian wife/mother to her Family—beyond Christianity and its teaching! This kind of CRUELTY/CRiME , Ignored by a government Trashes HUMAN RIGHTS and Nationhood.Just look at he two pictures ! So heartbreaking.

  13. When a man does this to his wife/partner, may he think that that could be his little girl one day being bashed by her husband. Now if that doesn’t touch him…

    • But it is not so. The men who use sex-slaves often have daughters themselves. DSK who is now well-known for the brutality of his sexual practices and accepted to pay a huge amount of money to Nafissatou Dialo, thus suggesting that the woman’s accusations were founded, has daughters. What the men who abuse their wives don’t realize is the damage they cause to their sons as well as to the females of the family. It is terrible for a little boy too, to witness the violence. And it is true that it happens in the Diaspora too. It is great that a man has decided to address this subject. Thank you, Mr. Mensoian, and thank you, the Armenian Weekly.

  14. “There can never be a situation that can ever justify a man striking a woman.”

    Come on dude, there’s at least a couple. Are women never annoying? Do you understand how obnoxious I would be if I knew I could do anything and never be popped in the face for it?

  15. The unemployment rate among women in Armenia is 72 percent. SEVENTY-TWO PERCENT.
    (http://rus.azatutyun.am/content/article/25474506.html)

    Women are second-class citizens in this country and it is disgusting. At some point we wealthy diasporans need to have a frank discussion about our priorities. The subordination of half of our population is just as big a national security threat as the Turks and Azeris.

    • Excellent point. Lack of possibility for employment obviously plays a role in women feeling stuck in abusive relationships. If you can’t support yourself and children, and you have no family willing to take you in, or you are too embarrassed or concerned about social stigma to make your personal struggles public —-than you might feel you have no choice.

  16. I just want to say that it’s very nice to see non Armenians reading these things and commenting and Joan McClendon I am touched by your story. I am sorry you got stuck in the cycle, it is not easy to break. My household was not SO abusive as the stories of this article, but it was abusive enough that it could be called abuse. One thing I have learned from experience and observance is that most Armenian men who beat do so because they can not process, communicate or control their bad feelings, their anger. And a lot of them are also caught in the cycle too. Growing up watching your mother get beat, then both parents hit the kids, what is there for the child to learn from this? Some people try to break the cycle as best they can, sometimes they have lapses like drug addicts. My mother was slapped a few times, not punched or stabbed. And I was always spanked then later hit. I myself have a cycle to break. As much as the women need help I just want to go out on a limb and say that these men need help too. I am sorry for all if them.

  17. 100% agree that ignorant Armenian.men are the problem and the cause if.all abuse. They try it.in the US and.they all get prison sentences. Educating the men and.women is the key and not.throwing every ignorant.man in prison.

    If more women.say no and and not.get into these stupid relationships then the pendulum will turn.
    Ive been living.in the states for.over 4 decades and I have seen women’s rights abused every day, this time by women, causing another dilemma.

  18. Forget about “changing attitudes”, just put them in prison. What do you expect: to turn the aggressor into a humanist?

  19. And there is the terrible rate of gendercide too. Armenia is reported to come second after China regarding the percentage of aborted female fetuses. Why, in a country where the problem of dowry doesn’t exist, unlike in China and India, and where women are not barred from universities or jobs? Is it because girls are undesirable and hated already in the womb, or because expecting mothers don’t want their children to lead the sort of life that is their lot? The rate rises with the parity. When the future little girl is the third one, she is a lot more likely to be aborted. Statistics are appalling. Same problem in Azerbaijan but Turkey has a normal sex ratio…

    • Marina,

      The selective abortion is another important issue. If there is any sort of preference of boys over girls in a society, then such things will occur. It’s short sighted and self-destructive.

    • According to the World Factbook, it has Azerbaijan coming in second after China, followed by Armenia. Nevertheless, it isn’t only these three countries where the birth sex ratio happens to be higher for boys than girls. The birth sex ratio is higher for boys in all countries, including the United States. This therefore means that the rate of aborted female fetuses are a problem in all countries of the world.

    • Here are the most recent numbers I was able to find in a two minute search – according to Yerevan Mayor’s office between September 5-11, 2014, there were 507 live births registered (273 boys and 234 girls) – where is the gendercide you are talking about?

    • There is a natural boy/girl sex ratio where it’s higher for boys. But the ratio in Armenia is above this natural rate. That’s the issue.

      Voskanapat,

      Unless my math is wrong 273 boys / 234 girls is 117 boys to 100 girls. The natural rate is supposed to be 105-107 to 100 girls.

      And the numbers you provided are consistent with the high ratio reported for Armenia in general; 114:100.

    • Random Armenian,

      We are talking about ranges here. Take China for example. In some provinces there the ratios RANGE from 115 boys per 100 girls to all the way to 385 (!) boys per 100 girls. It depends on many factors like big city vs rural, firstborn vs. second or third child and China’s policies for prohibiting in-vitros, penalties for second pregnancy, bribes for using ultrasound to ID gender, etc.

      The numbers I had were just for Yerevan. If Yerevan was Beijing the ratios would be 130:100 all the way up to 160:100 for firstborns.

      USAID kindly provides ultrasound, in-vitro, birth control and “(post)abortion” services in Yerevan. But I doubt that their hooves reach all the way to Armenia and Artsakh rural areas where unlike in Yerevan it’s still common for families to have 3 or more kids.

    • Voskanapat, why did you just look at the Yerevan figure? You could have easily googled the overall sex ratio of the country.

      You’re also assuming there are no ultrasound machines outside of Yerevan.

      According to the official figures from the 2011 census, out of all the 0-4 age group in Armenia, there are 110,565 boys and 97,007 are girls. That’s a ratio of 114 boys to 100 girls.

      http://www.armstat.am/file/article/sv_03_13a_520.pdf

      So the Yerevan figures are slightly higher than the national average but the difference between the national average and the natural ratio is still larger.

  20. I have no idea how this wife beating culture has crept into armenian society. This kind of behaviour is more akin to an islamic lifestyle. It is time for armenian men to be educated in moral and christian values and realise wife beating is the most cowardly and unacceptable behaviour in modern society.

    • Well there are the beatings and then there are the killings. The killings are what really bringing the abuse into the spotlight. The beatings were probably there since the beginning of history. The beatings are something that can be covered up by not speaking about it outside of the home. But you can’t hide the killing.

      I certainly have not heard of any killings in the Armenian communities I’ve lived in. What’s making news are the ones from Armenia.

      Out of curiosity, has anyone here heard of this happen in the older Armenian diaspora communities?

    • Dear Hagop,
      Wife beating, or rather wife killing – uxoricide – is the number one problem in Spain, a Catholic society. Not necessarily because Spain was occupied by Arabs long ago. In Italy, in France, in Portugal, that are also Catholic countries, it is endemic. But the champion is Spain. Year after year, surveys find that it plagues all the social strata, is is not confined to poor, uneducated circles. Certain lawyers, doctors, judges beat their wives, certain workers or jobless men do too. Alcohol doesn’t help of course. Child abuse is also found in all social classes. You find the theme of “punishing” a wife by hitting her in 17th century comedies. There must be more than one explanation, of course.
      Patriarchal power also means that sometimes, boys who have a despotic father have a perverted relationship with their mother, who seems to be submissive but who may emotionally dominate her sons, who then only respect her but not their wives. There is the problem of paranoia, which often involves sick, irrational jealousy, which drinking worsens. There is education, there is the tolerance of the neigborhood, of society, of books, the media, the courts that find all this normal, and part of private life, not to be meddled with. In certain Western countries, until recently raping one’s wife was not a crime since she had a “duty” to provide sex, whether she was sick or not, wanting it or not. As far as I know, Chinese men are not always very respectful or their wives either, and they are neither Muslims nor Christians. Nor are Indians, are they?
      When a religion places men above women as does our Church, it supports the domination and hence the violence of the man. If I am not mistaken, during an Armenian wedding, the bride has to respond yes to the priest who asks her “Henazant yes?” (“Are you obedient?” and not “Will you take so and so for your husband”) and the bridegroom has to reply yes to “Der yes?” (Are you the lord/master/owner?). Again correct me if I am wrong, but Saint Paul, the arch woman-hater of the Scriptures, says that a woman must cover her head and she must obey her husband just as the Church obeys the Lord. So if my parents “give me” (that’s the expression too, isn’t it) to a man, I must consider him as my Christ. This is how married life starts…in Church.
      By the way, what does the Armenian church do, what do Armenian priests and bishops do, to teach men to respect women? I am not a puritan, but the first things that developed in post-Soviet Armenia were “erotic shows” and brothels, weren’t they? Not free love between free people, but women turned into sex objects for the enjoyment of men. What does the Church has to say about this, and about the blows that kill young mothers? What does the Church say about selective abortions? The latter express so much hatred for the future little girls that it may be better for them to be aborted, but does this horrify the Church or not? Why doesn’t the Armenian church allow women to become ministers too, as protestants do? Is the most virtuous Armenian woman less worthy saying and singing prayers to God on a Sunday than a despicable man? For the moment, the answer is yes. Whether one likes it or not, our very church discriminates women in a way few countries would allow any institution to discriminate a group of people whether on religious or racial grounds. On gender grounds, it is seen as OK, by the Roman church, but also by ours. Actually I am fed up with being a second-class individual in the eyes of my own church. Yet, many of our great-grand-mothers prefered to be slaughtered rather than betray their misogynous church, they showed incredible faith, but their descendants must swear to obey men who become their “Der” when they get married… It’s so depressing. And this is the third millenium. As someone once suggested, why don’t all Armenian women and girls boycott churches totally? No cleaning, no attending mass, no buying candles, no singing, nothing for a whole year. See what the churches will look like.

  21. It seems that some of the commentators are trying hard to classify Armenian men as being “wife-beaters.” Sure, there are wife-beaters among Armenian men; however, there are many more Armenian men out there who don’t actually beat their wives. Is wife-beating a problem in Armenia? The answer is yes. Is wife-beating a problem throughout the world? The answer again is yes. What about the enormous number of men who beat their wives here in the United States? Hey, it happens every single day in every single American town.

    Anyway, I’m glad October 1st has been set aside to raise public awareness of domestic violence in Armenia. By being informed and made aware of the various issues, will enable the citizens of Armenia to develop a stronger and more knowledgeable society.

  22. about these so called MACHO? men ? they have to learn that their MOTHER are women and thei daugthers .they should learn that without them they not be in this LIFE

  23. I am ashamed hearing this. It’s hard to believe, I don’t want to believe it. How can this be. I thought at first this was started by those who hate us. I’m sure I have never known any family where this has happened.

  24. Marina,

    “By the way, what does the Armenian church do to teach men to respect women?” Actually, it’s not the job of the Armenian church to teach men how to respect women. It’s the job of the parents to teach boys how to respect females, as well as teaching girls how to respect males, so that by the time they become men or women, they will have already developed respect for the opposite gender.

    As for the Armenian church, its job is to teach Armenian Christianity. In terms of “erotic shows” and brothels (why did you leave out strip joints?), the Armenian Apostolic Church, just like all the other Christian churches is firmly opposed to those kinds of things. And just like all the other Christian churches, the Armenian Apostolic Church is firmly opposed to any kind of abortion. Why is the Armenian Apostolic Church obligated to have female ministers like they do over in your Protestant church? The Armenian Apostolic Church can do as it wishes, the same way that all other churches do as they wish. Just because there happens to be no female ministers in the Armenian Apostolic Church, does not in any way suggest that Armenian women are less worthy than Armenian men. The United States army, has never had a female commander up to now. Does this mean that women are viewed as being less worthy than men in the United States? What about the presidency? The United States has never had a female president up to now. Again, does this mean that women are viewed as being less worthy than men in the United States?

    It seems that your mission is to persuade Armenian women and girls to totally boycott the Armenian church. Well, you’ll obviously achieve very little success in that department. The truth of the matter, is that there is a very large number of Armenian women and girls who attend the Armenian Apostolic Church, both in the Fatherland and diaspora. As a matter of fact, for whatever reason, I’ve been noticing that there are actually more Armenian females than males at each of the Armenian Apostolic churches I’ve been attending up to now. Hey, they seem to adore the Armenian church as much as I do.

    • {“The United States has never had a female president up to now. Again, does this mean that women are viewed as being less worthy than men in the United States?”}

      Women in US in general and the female voters in particular outnumber men, by a comfortable margin.
      Presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton crashed and burned when pitted against an African-American man, Barak Obama.
      Even with the tremendous advantage of name recongition.
      (I note the race of President Obama, because US is about 75% white).
      If women in US wanted a woman to be POTUS, we’d have had female Presidents since August 18, 1920, when the 19th amendment guarantees all American women the right to vote.

      Obviously, what radical feminists imagine is not what overwhelming majority of women want.

  25. Would you say that women who don’t leave a violent husband want what he does to them, just as women who elected Obama, according to you, wanted a man to rule America, or women who attend church love being treated as second rate Christians forced to promise to obey their husband/mprd/owner by that very church? What if women love the church, but could do with a little modernity and a lot of equality? Incidentally, America is the most powerful country in the world but other countries do exist and several of them, including large ones, have female presidents. Asking for equality is radical feminism, OK, asking for restitution and compensation from Turkey is radical nationalism, etc, etc. OK, OK, and that solves everything.

    • Actually, as bizarre as it might sound, there are many women out there who are turned on by the violence inflicted upon them by their abusive husbands. In the vast majority of these cases, the reason is probably because these particular women happened to grow up in homes where they frequently observed their mothers being subjected to beatings by their fathers. And, I’ve also heard that young ladies for whatever strange reason, often feel attracted and attached to men who remind them of their fathers. Anyway, exactly what do these women who can’t get themselves to abandon their abusive husbands have to do with all those women who chose President Obama over a female opponent (Hillary Clinton) in the 2008 democratic party nomination? These are two totally separate things. And in terms of Armenian women being forced to obey their Armenian husbands, that’s absolute nonsense. If an Armenian woman truly feels miserable in her marriage, she can get a divorce. And once again, if Armenian women are being treated as second rate Christians, then what explains the reason that there actually happen to be more of them attending the Armenian Apostolic Church as compared to the men?

      On the subject of female presidents (heads of state), it’s true that there are several countries within this category. However, out of a total of 195 officially recognized countries throughout the world, only nine of them happen to have female presidents: Kosovo, Brazil, Argentina, Liberia, Malta, Lithuania, South Korea, Chile, and the Central African Republic. This therefore means that the remaining 186 officially recognized countries have male presidents.

      In terms of demanding equality, such as equal pay in the workplace, equal voting rights, equal civil rights, and equal human rights, these list of things certainly do not come anywhere close to radical feminism. On the contrary, these things should be entitled to every female. However, accusing the Armenian church of encouraging Armenian men to beat their Armenian wives, as well as accusing the Armenian church of viewing Armenian females as less worthy than Armenian males, and even going so far as to encourage Armenian women and girls to boycott the Armenian church, is definitely the meaning of radical feminism. In addition to all that, you’re now going to try and say that demanding restitution and compensation from Turkey for the extermination of 1.5 million Armenians, the destruction of over two thousand Armenian churches, and the theft of the Western Armenian provinces, constitutes radical Armenian nationalism? Well, this is actually the exact sort of thing that a nationalist Turk would say.

    • {“ just as women who elected Obama, according to you, wanted a man to rule America,”}

      Show me where I wrote “…wanted a man to rule America”
      ‘Rule’ America ?
      Really ?

      And it is not according to me:
      Do you dispute the cold, hard fact that there are more women voters in US ?
      Do you dispute the cold, hard fact that Hillary Clinton lost – very badly – when she ran against Barak Obama in the primaries ?
      Are you alleging that American women who voted for a man, Barak Obama, are suffering from some kind of a psychological condition similar to what women of violent husbands suffer ?
      You have that much disdain and contempt for millions of adult women in America ?

      {“ Asking for equality* is radical feminism, OK, asking for restitution and compensation from Turkey is radical nationalism, etc, etc.”}

      When radical feminists resort to comparing whatever violence they have been subjected to, to the victims of Armenian Genocide, then it exhibits for all to see what their real agenda is. You placing DV on the same moral plane as the AG clearly indicates the warped world-view of radical feminists.

      About female presidents, PMs, etc.
      UK has had one – one – female PM, Margaret Thatcher.
      France has had none.
      Are there countries in Europe (fully democratic, unfettered feminism,..) that have had female PMs ? Sure: but how many.
      For example, Sweden, one of the Nordic feminist paradises, has had 33 PMs: all men.
      Again: what has stopped Swedish women from electing an all female Parliament, and which would appoint all female PMs.

      Finally, about that ‘dreaded’ patriarchy that Armenia’s radical Sorosista feminists so despise and are working to destroy.
      Here is a quote for you feminist ladies to chew on: “If civilization had been left in female hands we would still be living in grass huts.”
      You remember who said that, right ? A very famous, bona fide American self described ‘dissident’ (honest) feminist, Camille Paglia

      Ms. Paglia wrote an interesting article recently @WSJ in 2013: [Camille Paglia: A Feminist Defense of Masculine Virtues
      The cultural critic on why ignoring the biological differences between men and women risks undermining Western civilization.]
      Read it. Your might see the light.

      —-
      * I am 100% for equality: here in the US and in RoA. Feminists in US can start by volunteering to serve in the US Armed forces at 50% participation rate, same as their share of the population. Same with RoA: Armenian armed forces do not draft, but allow women to serve: and many do. But how about real ‘equality’: why don’t feminists ask for 50% female participation in the armed forces ? Why don’t feminists demand to be drafted ? Why should Armenian men be KIA at a casualty rate of 99%+ vs women ? Why should young Armenian men be killed every month at the LOC, while Sorosista feminists hold endless ‘protests’ against men in the safety and security of Yerevan ? How about ?

    • “Why should young Armenian men be killed every month at the LOC, while Sorosista feminists hold endless ‘protests’ against men in the safety and security of Yerevan”

      Why should Armenian women be killed, only to have their husbands get off free? I see nothing from you Avery that objects to this outrageous injustice happening in Armenia.

      Again, you’re dragging the soldiers killed on the loc into this. You keep doing this whenever this topic is discussed. It’s emotional blackmail and it’s disgusting.

  26. “Why should young Armenian men be killed every month at the LOC, while Sorosista feminists hold endless ‘protests’ against men”

    Great point, Avery. Every Armenian in and out of Armenia needs to learn what these foreign institutions are up to which supposedly want to “help” Armenia.

    I’m all for women’s rights, but one thing I do know for a fact is, they can take their “American” style “feminism” and shove it. ‘American Feminism’ is about greed and male hatred, more than it is about “equal rights”. They already managed to destroy the American family, now they are starting to head out to Armenia. These phonies, along with other cults like the Jehovah’s Witnesses need to be kicked out of Armenia for good. The reason is simple. As any Armenians worldwide one day choose to repatriate, we want to be on the land of our culture and heritage, preserved in all its beauty and tradition, and not another decadent western cesspool.

  27. {“Why should Armenian women be killed, only to have their husbands get off free? I see nothing from you Avery that objects to this outrageous injustice happening in Armenia.”}

    (Random Armenian // October 5, 2014 at 12:32 am //)

    In United States only about 60% of murders are actually solved: about 40% go unsolved.(‘solved’ means a suspect is identified, arrested, and bound over to court for trial).
    Conviction rates vary by state. In California it’s about 80%.
    So less than half of murderers in CA actually get caught, are convicted, and serve time.
    More than half of the murderers get away with murder in US.

    So, how many DV murders were committed in Armenia in 2014, as of October ?
    And how many of those DV murders, the murderer allegedly “got off free”.
    Note that the relatives of the victim, Maro Guloyan, alleging murder does not constitute proof of murder.

    Zaruhi Petrosyan’s husband was sentenced to 10 years in prison, the maximum for that type of crime, equivalent to voluntary manslaughter here in US. In US, time actually served for manslaughter is average 6 years. It is interesting that honorable Major Mensoian failed to mention that another woman, the criminal’s mother, participated in years long terrorizing and the beatings of the victim. She is the one that got off free: could it be because she was, you know, a woman ? Neaah. The author also failed to mention that the husband is in jail.

    Diana Nahapetyan’s husband Volodya Muradyan was promptly arrested and is currently on trial for murder.
    The honorable Major failed to mention that also.

    You give me RoA DV murder numbers I can verify independently, and we’ll take it from there, Random.
    Meaning, how many DV murders and how many husbands walked away free after committing those murders.
    Also give me the US DV murder rates, what percentage of DV accused are convicted, what percentage end up in jail, length of time served.

    Then we’ll see if in RoA “husbands get off free” or there is “outrageous injustice happening in Armenia” to which I am supposed to object to.

    btw: in 2010, there were about 1,800 DV murders in US. In 2013, there were about 1,300 DV murders in US.
    But homicide rates have been steadily going down since 1990, so the reduction of the DV murders is part of the trend.

    Now a question for you all: which country’s per capita DV murder rate is higher: Armenia or US ?

    • So easy of you, as a male living in the US to be telling women in Armenia how things really are over there Avery. Who should I take more seriously? You, or the experience of the women who live in Armenia?

  28. I feel that there is some probaganda here. Domestic violence is a problem in Armenia, but why make it a men versus woman issue? There were cases where mothers killed their children, sons killed their parents, woman killed his husband etc. Why only those cases are being reported? I grew up in Armenia and did not feel I was discriminated or my rights were violated by men in general. Armenian society is very family oriented meaning that family comes first. That is why both husbands and wifes can put up with a lot of things to save the family. Domestic violence in Armenia is household-based rather than culture-based. Most of those beatings happen when men are drunk or in some rare cases under drugs.

  29. I am a Brazilian girl who met this armenian guy while travelling to lebanon. We got in love and togheter for 2 years before decide to get engaged. He came to Brasil and met my family 2 times, and I met his family always, when we decide to engage and I moved to lebanon. I got pregnant and my life became a hell. He start beating me up every single day, prrventing me from food (because I would get fat) and many times keep me locked inside the flat to not let people outside see my bruises. He used to say a slap is not violence. He said his father teach him to marry a foreign woman bcs she would not have family to defend and she would have to obey. His father teach him that, to know if a woman is good for marriage, beat her up- if she runs away from home she wont be a good woman for marriage, but if she goes somewhere inside the home cry in silence and beg forgiveness, yes, she is good for marriage. He terrified me saying the kid was from satan bcs we were not officially married and said the kid would born idiot like me. Also when he knew it was a girl not a boy, he hit my face. Fortunatelly I managed to escape back home with 6 month pregnancy but my child have serious health issues, mental retardation, autism and the latest issue I found is a 2cm cyst inside her brain. I deal with it all alone with my 80 year old mom and dad, and the father refuses to help. He sent me something like 200usd 3 or 4 times in life to keep my mouth shut. Now he is married with a romanian girl, have 2 kids, living in yerevan, but my kid is taken like dead. I suffer too much and as I am in Brazil, I cant sue him or ask any help. Take care with these man, foreign ladies!

  30. I wish I have been warned of what is written in this article before being an innocent stupid woman who believed a lier, we should never mix this type of different cultures. Anyway Im glad me and my kid are alive despite our life is finished, damaged forever.

  31. There is an issue of domestic violence in Armenia, however, quoting this from the article, “There can never be a situation that can ever justify a man striking a woman.” I can think of one million reasons why that statement is wrong.

    Let’s not forget, there are just as many crazy women our there that hit, strike and physically abuse their spouses. Every human being, man or woman has a right to protect themselves, which may mean striking or striking back, man or woman.

    Funny how people who say comments as the one I quoted are the ones who always say we are made equally, but then don’t want equal treatment when it’s not in their benefit.

    Domestic violence is not perpetuated because of conservatism nor it being a patriarchal society. It is rather one that is rooted by the lack of education.

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