12 October 2011

Bride Kidnapping and Law

I wrote a couple of days ago that researchers haven't found any cases of a man being imprisoned for bride kidnapping.  However, there is plenty of evidence that it's becoming more common for the girl's family to either go to the police, or say they will go to the police which is often as effective.  Keeping any sort of dispute out of the hands of the police or the courts is the goal for most people in Kyrgyzstan, so threatening to get the police involved in a kidnapping is effective.  It's possibly an example of laws changing practice.

But.  That doesn't mean the law is changing what's socially acceptable here.  We are aware of a woman who was kidnapped earlier this year (not Kyrgyz) whose parents threatened to go to the police before the man would let her go.  Since then she's been isolated, maybe even shunned, by her neighborhood and doesn't feel like she has any chance of getting married.  Of course, it's only been 8 months and people might forget in a year or two, but it's hard for her right now.  Even though kidnapping is illegal and no one wants the police to know it happened, it's not necessarily acceptable to leave a kidnapping. 

Of course, this happened in a fairly conservative neighborhood in a small city in Kyrgyzstan.  But even if you pat yourself on the back for passing laws that might be changing practice, even if no one is convicted under those laws, you still haven't necessarily solved the problem.

No comments:

Post a Comment