CNN: Domestic violence is on the rise in Turkey, as over 42 percent of women reported being the victim of physical and/or sexual abuse by their partners. Lack of comprehensive laws, shelters for women add to the problem--often putting the women back in the hands of their abusers.
"In fact, according to a 2009 Turkish government report, 42 percent of women surveyed said they had been the victims of either physical or sexual abuse by their husband or partner. The report concluded that one in four married Turkish women had been injured by partner violence. Meanwhile, one in ten Turkish women were injured by such violence while pregnant.
Some Turkish activists fear the real statistics for violence against women may actually be much higher.
"In all domestic surveys there are 'shadow figures.' That is because women are not willing to tell about the violence, it's a very sensitive issue," says Pinar Ilkkaracan, a co-founder of the Istanbul-based group Women for Women's Human Rights.
"We think it's much higher than 42 percent."
Domestic violence against women is not confined to economically-depressed, rural regions of eastern Turkey. According to the Turkish government survey, the statistics for physical and sexual assault were roughly the same in the countryside as in the most developed, fast-growing cities in the western part of the country.
Over the past 15 years, Turkey has adopted several progressive pieces of legislation to protect women, including a 1998 Protection Order against Domestic Violence. Reform of Turkey's Civil Code in 2001 gave women legal equal status to men in the family.
Meanwhile, changes to the country's Penal Code in 2004 criminalized marital rape. But critics argue that the Turkish state has lapsed far behind in implementing these laws."