Video of woman beating elderly husband provokes outrage in Iraq
A video allegedly showing an Iraqi woman beating her elderly husband has provoked outrage among Iraqi social media users, reigniting calls to implement strong laws to combat domestic violence.
Extracts of the harrowing footage provided by Baghdad's police were featured in Deutches Welles' Arabic-language program "Jaafar Talk". It carries a "graphic viewing warning" with both the perpetrator and the victim blurred.
In the video, the woman can be seen pinching, slapping and screaming abuse at her the elderly husband, who is seen sat passively on the carpet in a room.
Another person assists the woman in an attempt to lift up the vulnerable man, which fails and is followed by further physical attacks.
Gergis, an Iraqi content creator, appeared in the DW report to respond to the clip. He said it was emblematic of a wider issue plaguing Iraqi society.
"It makes me sad and depressed that our society remains stuck in the era of domestic violence. I've seen videos like this before. And this clip only shows what’s been recorded. What’s hidden is far worse."
Domestic violence remains a serious problem in Iraq, according to rights groups, peaking during lockdowns to stem Covid-19 transmission.
Iraq sees effective laws to tackle it stalled by conservative parliamentarians, who allege such laws are a "threat" to the family unit.
Women and children are overwhelmingly the victims of violence. But a spokesman for the Iraqi Human Rights Commission told Independent Arabia that between May and June last year they recorded a marginal increase in violence against men by women.
The footage in the DW report was allegedly recorded during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan this year, but only recently surfaced on social media.
Iraqis have commented angrily on the video, describing it as "heartbreaking" and "barbaric".
The elderly man now lives with his four children according to the DW report, which shows him visited by Iraqi police and social services, who assure him of justice.