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Her ex kidnapped and tortured her, so her brothers retaliated... Should we sympathize with revenge violence?

Her ex kidnapped and tortured her, so her brothers retaliated... Should we sympathize with revenge violence?

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Life Women’s Rights

Monday 19 June 202304:31 pm
إقرأ باللغة العربية:

طليقها اختطفها وعذّبها فسحله إخوتها في الشارع... هل نتعاطف مع عنف الانتقام للضحية؟


The fate of a 3o-something Jordanian woman, who suddenly gained widespread attention in Jordan earlier this month, hangs in the balance as doctors assess the extent of her injuries. She had spent the last week awaiting a decisive answer from the doctors overseeing her health condition, about whether her retina has been damaged, or if there is still hope that she won't lose her vision.

Pictures of the young woman – whose name has not been disclosed at her family's request – have been circulating on social media, showing clear signs of mutilation, torture, and beating on her face and most of her body. The severity of her eye injuries and the great amount of swelling in her eyes, resulting from being stabbed with a scalpel, have left doctors unable to provide a definitive answer as to whether she has completely lost her eyesight or not.

According to a relative who spoke to Raseef22, also choosing to remain anonymous, the victim's ex-husband is responsible for her abduction and torture, which aligns with statements given by the victim's siblings and were reported by various news outlets in Jordan.

The victim was surprised by her ex-husband ambushing and kidnapping her at gunpoint in her own vehicle. He proceeded to assault her with sharp objects, including a scalpel, on various parts of her body, then took her to his parents' house against her will

He kidnapped her at gunpoint

The victim's relative added further details about the incident, stating that on Monday, June 5th, while the victim was returning from work, she was surprised to find her ex-husband stalking her, then ambushing and kidnapping her at gunpoint in her own vehicle. He proceeded to assault her with various sharp objects, including a scalpel, inflicting serious injuries on various parts of her body, including her eyes and thigh. He also tore her clothes and took her to his parents' house against her will.

The relative added, "While the victim was being forcibly taken to her ex-husband's parents' house, she managed to contact one of her brothers, who, in turn, heard her ex-husband threatening to kill her over the phone. To ensure her safety, her brother dealt with him calmly and resourcefully in order to find a way to locate his sister's whereabouts. When he arrived at the location, he found her unconscious in the back seat of the car, bleeding from the torture she had endured. This led to her brother calling the rest of his brothers and a confrontation between her brothers and her ex-husband took place on the street, which was captured on video by witnesses present at the scene and later shared on social media."

The victim's relative affirmed to Raseef22 that the family agreed to not disclose the victim's name and family's name, hoping that their daughter would receive justice through the legal process

Due to the spread of the video of the altercation and the victim's images revealing the extent of the torture she had endured, the Jordanian Public Security Directorate (PSD) swiftly issued a statement, stating: "On Monday evening, a complaint was filed with the security authorities in Jordan by an individual claiming to have been assaulted by his ex-wife's three brothers in the Shmeisani area of the capital Amman. He was taken to the hospital and was in a stable condition."

According to the statement, the ex-husband lodged a complaint against the people who "attacked him inside his vehicle following a family dispute, alleging that he had assaulted their sister (his ex-wife), who also filed a complaint against him upon her admission to the hospital, accompanied by medical reports documenting her injuries as proof of her torture at his hands. The security authorities took his statement, and the case has been referred to the relevant judicial authorities for necessary actions against all parties involved."

While she was being kidnapped, she managed to call her brother, who heard her ex-husband threatening to kill her. When her brothers came to rescue her, they found her unconscious and bleeding from the torture she endured, so they resorted to "street justice"

The victim had previously filed complaints against her ex-husband

The relative further stated that her family had filed a complaint against her ex-husband due to her abduction, torture, and disfigurement, but she chose not to delve into the details of the complaint to protect the victim. However, she clarified that the victim had been subjected to beatings and torture by her ex-husband since the early stages of their one-year marriage. She had previously filed a complaint against her husband with the Family Protection Directorate for physical abuse. However, she dropped the complaint after her husband convinced her that he was remorseful and would not repeat his actions. But every time, he would repeatedly beat and humiliate her. The last incident involved him deceiving her and selling her mother's car – which she was using at the time – without her knowledge. In order to ensure he could sell the car that was registered under her mother's name, he sold it as "spare parts". This created a major problem with her family, leading the victim to file for divorce and seek compensation for the value of her mother's car, a claim that was upheld by the Jordanian judiciary.

"What happened to my relative is a reflection of the mentality of male dominance and authority over women in Jordanian society"

After the decision was issued for her ex-husband to compensate her for the price of the car, he proceeded to follow her as she returned home from work, kidnapping then viciously assaulting her, resulting in disfigurement, fractures in her body, including three fractures in her jaw, facial deformities, and retinal damage that has yet to be determined due to the size of the swelling in her eyes.

The relative says, "What happened to my relative is a reflection of the patriarchy and mentality of male dominance and authority over women in Jordanian society. Her ex-husband is an example of many men who believe that women are their entitlement, that they own them, and the incident that occurred with my relative happened because her ex-husband felt that she had stepped out of the boundaries of his possession of her. As a result, he granted himself the authority and right to torture and disfigure her."

She indicated that anyone who sees the victim currently lying on a hospital bed becomes certain that her ex-husband had intentionally disfigured her, and that he hadn't beat her or used the blade randomly or out of anger, but out of a determination to harm her, based on the belief that "she should not belong to anyone else."

"Her condition is bad, very bad, and very heartbreaking," the relative concludes. She adds that the family is suffering from severe psychological distress and extreme anxiety for their daughter's health, and they are awaiting justice from the judiciary.

He's just one of many men who believe that women are their entitlement, that they own them, and he did this because he felt she stepped out of the boundaries of his possession of her. So he granted himself the authority and right to torture and disfigure her

A legal standpoint

To obtain a legal opinion on the incident, Raseef22 contacted lawyer Leen Khayyat to inquire about the potential punishment for the ex-husband. She explained that we are talking about a kidnapping crime, which carries a penalty of up to three years according to Article 302 of the Jordanian Penal Code.

Khayyat adds, "We are also talking about a repeated abuse and assault crime, which carries a punishment of up to seven years according to Article 334 of the Jordanian Penal Code." She further notes that the highest penalty would be if the victim suffered permanent disability such as blindness, which carries a maximum penalty of ten years under Article 335 of the Penal Code.

The Feminist Movement in Jordan issued a statement criticizing the failure to take women's complaints of violence seriously, the lack of protection provided to them, and the leniency of the legislation towards the abusive man, giving him mitigating excuses

Khayyat also pointed out another issue related to the incident, which is the initial reaction of society. She said, "The initial reaction of society to such incidents is usually condemnation, but the reaction does not include following up on the judicial procedures. In other words, ordinary people do not follow the court's verdict unless the media sheds light on it, which unfortunately does not contribute to turning it into a general deterrent for society. On the other hand, society tends to deal with the incident later by asking questions directed at the victim rather than the perpetrator, including questions like 'What did she do to provoke him?' as we are accustomed to in these types of cases."

She added, "Society still needs real awareness that even minor violence is a gateway to more serious crimes, especially with the power felt by the abusive husband and acknowledged by the wife who experiences violence from her husband. The repetition or intensity of the crime in society means that it becomes an existing phenomenon, despite being condemned. This necessitates the presence of a larger protection system for abused women, along with empowering them to have a dignified life."


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