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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Report: Women Face Rampant Abuse

Thousands of women in Russia are subject to violence, including sexual abuse, domestic violence, human trafficking and crimes related to national traditions, according to a report released Wednesday.

Every hour, a Russian woman is killed by her husband or partner, while a woman is sexually abused every 30 minutes, the report said. The study was prepared by the Anna Center, which works to prevent violence against women, and released to coincide with the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women.

“Violence against women remains a big problem, but it receives little attention,” Marina Pisklakova-Parker, the center’s director, said during the report’s presentation.

The Syostry, or Sisters, call center, which helps victims of sexual abuse, received 3,534 calls in Moscow last year.

“There is no state support for victims during the first moments after an act of violence. Instead, women are interrogated for an investigation,” said Alexei Parshin, a lawyer who handles sexual abuse cases. Law enforcement agencies often treat such crimes as if they were provoked by the victim, he said.

The country has just 21 places of refuge for women facing domestic abuse, and only one of them is in Moscow.

The situation is particularly grim in the North Caucasus, where women are sometimes abducted and killed under local traditions and sharia law.

According to the report, 180 abductions were registered in Dagestan alone last year, most of which were aimed at forcing women into marriage.

“It’s easier to track down cases of violence in Dagestan because there are many organizations working there. In places like Chechnya it’s much harder because few organizations are still there,” said Yelena Zolotilova, who works at a women’s shelter in the nearby southern city of Rostov-on-Don.

Earlier this year, seven Chechen women were shot dead in a banya by their male relatives in what were reportedly honor killings. Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, a devoted Muslim, said the women were rightfully shot for their “loose morals.”

Zolotilova said law enforcement in the North Caucasus frequently ignores cases of abducted women to focus on terrorism. Prosecution of such abductions is all but impossible, she said, because there is no separate federal law that prohibits the kidnapping of brides.