Last Updated: Mon Nov 01, 2010 19:41 pm (KSA) 16:41 pm (GMT)

Abused husbands get men's shelter in Morocco

Dr. Nawal Hamdouna
Dr. Nawal Hamdouna

A new shelter for abused husbands is being built in Morocco after rights organizations received increasing complaints from men who are the victims of physical and verbal violence from their wives.

Nawal Hamdouna, a medical doctor at a shelter in Casablanca, told that the facility takes in twice the number of abused husbands compared to women.

She said the planned new center will help obtain accurate statistics about abused men, similar to those compiled by women's rights groups.

Husband abuse lawsuits are also on the rise, lawyer Mohamed al-Saghiri told, adding that the Moroccan penal code sentences women who abuse their husbands verbally to jail for one to three months, depending on the severity.

He said husbands can get medical certificates to prove physical abuse when injuries need more than 21 days of treatment.

Al-Saghiri said that many women get around the law by claiming they were not in a normal state when they abused the husbands or that they were mentally unstable – especially in cases of brutal attacks or attempted murder.

Psychiatrist Ali Sedjari told that wives who turn violent could be suffering from multiple problems such as financial, social, or psychological, which keep accumulating until she explodes.

"She could also resort to sexual abstention, and that is violence, too," he said.

Sedjari said the situation gets worse when the wife is the one who supports the family.

"She feels that she is being used, and violence becomes an unconscious reaction," he said.

(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid).

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