Too often the response from authorities is “You must have done something wrong otherwise why would he beat you?” – staff member from Clean World

Why we care: Violence against women often goes unnoticed in Azerbaijan and women lack access to shelter and legal services, especially in rural areas. 

How we’re solving this: Introducing online legal services for women in rural and underserved areas so they can overcome abuse and demand justice.

Violence against women, particularly domestic violence, is widespread in Azerbaijan. Many men and women accept violence against women as “part of life” and rarely discuss it in public. There are very few legal services and shelters available to survivors, particularly in rural areas. Most cases go unreported. If a woman gains the courage to report violence, she may be subjected to further harassment by police. Even if a case reaches the court, many are thrown out, and survivors may be disowned by their families for having brought public shame to their family’s private matters.

Clean World is combating violence against women by documenting incidents and raising awareness about domestic violence and other forms of violence, such as human trafficking. This year the organization will train a team of lawyers to provide online legal assistance to 200 women in four rural regions of Azerbaijan (Khachmaz, Sabirabad, Ismailli and Masalli), where rates of domestic violence are the highest and access to legal services is the lowest. Clean World will create a supportive network of law enforcement and judicial officials, human rights activists, and politicians who are trained to uphold women’s rights, and who will support solicitors in each region to bring justice to survivors of violence.

Renowned for publishing in-depth research and statistical reports on violence, Clean World will disseminate awareness materials on women’s rights to change norms that justify violence against women. Through easily accessible online legal services, women’s rights publications, and a comprehensive support network, women in rural Azerbaijan will find encouragement to achieve justice.