The Human Rights Activists

A.

My name is Marina Pisklakova. In 1993, I first had to encounter the first domestic violence hot line. I was quite alone and answering calls as usual. Of course, I was a counselor, and I had to counsel so many of my colleagues, women. One day, while coordinating some national survey on women’s issue, I received a response, which I did not know how to classify. The response had to describe the pain and suffering of a woman at the hands of old husbands. Shocked, I began to show it to my colleagues who were quick in responding that I was reading a case on domestic violence. Astonished since I had not heard such a term before, I decided to learn more about the inexplicable phenomenon.

I had to encounter darned many strange stories from various women explaining their horrible experiences thy have had with their husbands. First, I encountered the mother of one of my son’s classmates, who had severe bruises. She feared telling me what she had to encounter until when she later called to me after a few days. The whole story was a shock to me. I wonder how husbands who are smart can take a shoe and start slapping his wife in the face. I saw many women apart from this one who had decreased self-confidence and low self-esteem. It was at this point that I started thinking what help to provide. This is where I became helpless, not to mention hopeless, as there was nowhere to go. I later came to realize why the phrase, he beats, that implies he loves, is common in Russia. This is the time also that I had to start the hot line. Some woman then called in one of the cold January day, who was full of tears.

Having tried all the possibilities from the police to provide help, I had to decide to go for the lawyer in order to devise and help the woman with some divorce. That is where the husband began to give her threats, and I had to keep calling her always to ascertain whether she was alive. Though the situation took many turns, the whole scenario eventually came to some standstill when the woman and the husband got the divorce with the help of the lawyer I had to seek. Her friends followed suit and had to start legal precedents their ex-husbands and they won the apartments. I became elated and encouraged. Though few legal preceding exist in Russian society, a woman might stand for her rights and win. I passed all the smutty moment on the way, including receiving death threats by men, who were calling to hot line, some very late at night and asking me to stop. I became scared to the core, but I never became afraid of anything in my quest for human rights.

Vast estimations exist of domestic violence in Russia. Many women have had to die due to the domestic violence. Domestic violence in the Russian …
Posted by: Audrie Durrell

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