Kidnapped brides in Kyrgyzstan
This is truly appalling.
More than half of Kyrgyzstan's married women were snatched from the street by their husbands in a custom known as "ala kachuu," which translates roughly as "grab and run." ... Recent surveys suggest that the rate of abductions has steadily grown in the last 50 years and that at least a third of Kyrgyzstan's brides are now taken against their will.The story of one woman who was kidnapped after escaping one previous attempt by lying about her virginity:
The custom predates the arrival of Islam in the 12th century and appears to have its roots in the region's once-marauding tribes, which periodically stole horses and women from rivals when supplies ran low. ... Kyrgyz men say they snatch women because it is easier than courtship and cheaper than paying the standard "bride price," which can be as much as $800 plus a cow.
Then, one balmy September evening, [Ainur Tairova] again found herself in a car filled with men, ostensibly on their way to a restaurant to meet other friends. But the car drove into the countryside and soon arrived at the farmhouse of her suitor's parents.Uh...Stockholm Syndrome, anyone?
By then Ms. Tairova was hysterical. The men dragged her from the car and carried her kicking into the house. She swore at her future mother-in-law. She ducked and struggled when the women tried to put the jooluk [the wedding shawl symbolizing submission] on her head. Close to midnight, she broke free and ran outside into the darkness, but the men caught her. ...
But as with many Kyrgyz women, she eventually accepted her fate. She since has reconciled with her in-laws and says she is happy with her husband now. "He says he had to kidnap me because he heard someone else was trying to kidnap me first," she said. "He's a good man."