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Tajik Parliament Approves Law Against Domestic Violence

DUSHANBE -- Tajikistan's parliament has passed the country's first law specifically targeting domestic violence.

Lawmakers on December 19 approved the law, which aims to give greater protections to women's rights.

It sets up administrative measures to deal with domestic violence, including up to 15 days' imprisonment and fines for offenders.

The law includes a statement that the elderly should play an active role in preventing domestic violence among young families.

The advice of elders carries significant weight in traditional Tajik society.

According to official statistics, more than 200 women took their own lives in 2010 and a majority of the cases were related to domestic violence.

Tajikistan has some 30 centers for victims of domestic violence, where women can seek counseling and legal advice and, in some places, temporary shelter.