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Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the country of Kyrgyzstan has had an unprecedented jump in bride kidnapping. The number of occurrences has skyrocketed and with that so has the severity of the violence. In this time women are taken, with no prior indication of when or how, and forced to marry their kidnappers. This non-consensual practice has morphed for reasons unknown. To stop the increasingly abysmal state of women’s rights in Kyrgyzstan, and in countries all of over the world, we must discover why people turned towards violence and lack of consent in the 1990’s.

To determine the cause of the rise in bride kidnapping, I reviewed ten social science journal articles. These articles varied from topics on the bump in bride kidnapping to the nature of familial relations in Kyrgyzstan prior to and after the rise of the Soviet Union.

I found that after the Soviet Union fell from power, the Kyrgyz people sought to define and reclaim their Kyrgyz identity by clinging to practices they believed were inherently Kyrgyz. The Kyrgyz men believe bride kidnapping to be a traditional Kyrgyz practice that not only reaffirms their Kyrgyz background but also their masculinity as they impose their will over women. However, contrary to the beliefs of the Kyrgyz people, bride kidnapping has no substantial history of being a tradition of Kyrgyzstan. This means that the Kyrgyz people have defined their identity and committed crimes against their own women due to an incorrect assumption about their traditions. In order to reverse the trend of increasingly violent and non-consensual bride abduction, further research must be done on why the Kyrgyz people believe that kidnapping women for marriage maintains Kyrgyz heritage.

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Asian Studies | Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Sociology of Culture

Current Academic Year


Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Dr. Faye Prichard


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The Increase on Nonconsensual Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan