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/ 29 Nov 2021

Dying to Divorce

‘Dying to Divorce’ is a sobering documentary, highlighting to its viewers the issues with Turkey’s gender-based violence crisis.

Hazel Kent


Family & Divorce

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At a glance

More than one in three Turkish women have experienced domestic violence and the number of femicides is rising. ‘Dying to Divorce’ is a sobering documentary, highlighting to its viewers the issues with Turkey’s gender-based violence crisis and the increasingly difficult political framework within which lawyers must struggle to work around to attempt to get justice for their clients.

Dying to Divorce: Turkish women’s campaign against domestic violence

Filmed over five years, the documentary follows Ipek Bozkurt, a courageous lawyer whose determination to ensure that the perpetrators of her clients’ endured misogynistic attacks are convicted, is nothing short of awe-inspiring. The documentary focuses on the cases of two survivors of horrific violence: Arzu, married as a child bride at the age of 14 to a farmer, ten years her senior, who loses both her legs and the use of her arms when her husband fired seven shotgun shells into her after she asked for a divorce. Kubra, a successful and glamourous Bloomberg TV presenter who suffered a brain haemorrhage after being hit viciously at the back of her head by her husband, just two days after giving birth to their daughter. Both women, from very different backgrounds, must try to rebuild their lives and get their children back following the brutal attacks.

Following Turkey’s attempted coup in 2016, the film highlights an increasingly repressive government looking to crack down on opposition and severely eroding democratic freedoms for women. The documentary gives a unique perspective on the struggle to be an independent woman and Ipek’s fight against a legal system which regularly gives light sentences to male perpetrators. The film questions whether real change can be achieved by changing the law alone but importantly gives a platform for the women filmed to tell their own story.

The film has received numerous nominations and prizes, including being selected to represent Britain at the Oscars as the official entry in the Best International Feature Film category.  The film presents itself to be a real tool for change and education on the issue of domestic violence and women’s rights both in and outside of Turkey.

Nobody should endure domestic violence, and if you feel that you or your children are in any immediate danger then urgently call the police. To ensure that you are safe from domestic violence in the future, you can apply to the family courts for an injunction which will prevent your partner or ex-partner from harming you or threatening you with harm.

How can we help?

Our family team believe that family & divorce requires a rather different approach to many other areas of the law. We pride ourselves on our high level of client care and communication and will handle your case in a sensitive and professional manner. If you want to find out more about how our team can help you, please contact one of the Family Law team on 02072280017.

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