Blaming the victim common
Yet except for a small urban elite, a woman fleeing domestic violence or accusing a man of rape herself often ends up the guilty party in the eyes of judges and prosecutors."Why am I here? I'm innocent," Rukhma said, crying in a musty jail cell and cradling a baby daughter by her previous marriage whom she bore in prison. "It is cruel to have your son killed before your eyes and then to be imprisoned."
In parts of Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan, where stern social codes prevail, a woman who runs away from home is typically suspected of having taken a lover and can be prosecuted for adultery. Simply leaving her house without her family's permission may be deemed an offense — as in Rukhma's case — although it is not classified as such under
The chief prosecutor of eastern Nangarhar province who oversaw Rukhma's case suggested she got off lightly.
"If my wife goes to the bazaar without my permission, I will kill her. This is our culture," Abdul Qayum shouted scornfully during an interview in his office in the city of
His colleagues laughed approvingly. "This is Afghanistan, not America," Qayum said.
Rukhma’s case is not a stray incidence but the social condition of the women in