Jordanian woman speaks out over alleged 'family abuse' in coronavirus lockdown viral video

Jordanian woman speaks out over alleged 'family abuse' in coronavirus lockdown viral video
In a viral Facebook Live broadcast, a Jordanian woman claimed that she and her son were expelled from their family home, despite Jordan's coronavirus lockdown.
2 min read
31 March, 2020
A Jordanian woman tearfully described her family's alleged abuse in a Facebook Live broadcast [Facebook]
The plight of a Jordanian woman who claims she was abused during a Covid-19 lockdown with her family went viral on Sunday, sparking a renewed debate about domestic violence in the kingdom.

In a nearly 20-minute long Facebook Live broadcast, Eman Al-Khateeb, 36, tearfully alleged that she was subject to physical and emotional abuse by her mother and brother.

Al-Khateeb said she is divorced with a 13-year-old son, having lost her retail job amid Jordan's novel coronavirus outbreak. Her ex-husband, she said, lives abroad and does not pay alimony.

Despite Jordan's lockdown, Al-Khateeb said her brother Ayman kicked her and her son out of their home, without money or their personal belongings.

She said she was told never to return to the home unless she brought cash with her, and alleged that her brother threatened to kill her.

Al-Khateeb decried gender-based violence and stigma against divorced women in Jordan, adding that her two sisters married and moved to Dubai to escape their family.

At the time of the broadcast, she said she was staying with a friend.

Suad Abu Dayyeh, Middle East and North Africa Consultant for women's rights organisation Equality Now, told The New Arab Al-Khateeb is safe in a shelter "away from her abusive family".

Social media users widely shared Al-Khateeb's plea, denouncing violence against women in Jordan and expressing outrage at commenters who shamed Al-Khateeb for publicly criticising her family.

"When will domestic violence crimes end?" one user tweeted. "Arab societies are a curse for every Arab female!"

"When a story like Eman Al-Khateeb's happens and you read 'Don't listen to one side' and 'Look at what she is doing' and 'It is possible she is looking for attention', it turns out to be one of the thousands of cases of our filthy, cruel and vile society," another posted.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay connected.