Domestic violence among expatriates

Muna Al Fuzai

Domestic violence between expat couples is an old problem. I have always spoken about its seriousness, but in vain. In these violent incidents, expatriate women usually find themselves alone without a bond or support from family or friends, and if any attempt of reconciliation fails, the threat of more aggressive acts will arise, which may lead to death. The dispute will send one party to the grave and the other to prison for life, and the children will be lost. This is not something that should only be painful news – we are facing a phenomenon that requires a solution, especially as Kuwait has a minority of citizens and majority of expatriates.

Earlier this week, an Egyptian man stabbed his Lebanese wife to death. Their children are now under state custody. The man was taken to the hospital, to be sent to jail later. The Hawally security directorate contacted the welfare center of the ministry of social affairs to accommodate the children, who suddenly found themselves on the street without their parents.


A security source said that after searching for potential relatives of any of the spouses, they found none in Kuwait. Therefore, the directorate had no choice but to send an official request to the social welfare center to host the children of the affected family. These poor children will never have the opportunity to see their mother again, and their father is in hospital under heavy guard.

The death of the mother means an end of an important party in the care of the children, while the father will be imprisoned for life, if not executed. The biggest losers are the children. Despite the state’s possible care and shelter, the children need a family and not just a roof over their heads. Transferring them at the expense of the state to the most appropriate place and relatives is a must, whether in Lebanon to the mother’s family or Egypt to the father’s side. These children should not remain in the country’s care home.

Although UN statistics indicate that violence against women is a global phenomenon that affects more than 70 percent of women, it remains a hidden phenomenon in Kuwait for social considerations that many people do not talk about. The United Nations has defined violence against women as “any act of violence which results in psychological, physical or sexual harm or suffering of women”.

Violence is a problem that many women suffer from in the world, even in modern societies. Despite the existence of a number of laws that do justice to women and understand their claims, the Kuwaiti society does not seem to take into consideration the importance of establishing or updating the laws to protect women, whether citizens or expatriates, against domestic violence, or find mechanisms to deal with this phenomenon from a police and security aspect.

It is necessary to establish laws that have the power to combat violence, as it is not logical for a man to suddenly decide to kill his wife and mother of his children. This must be taken into account. Firmness in the application of laws is also needed, so that no excuses are made of the killer being a psychopath or insane or under physical pressure that led him to commit such a crime.

The media and the interior ministry must also try to run awareness campaigns to enlighten the public on how to control their anger and understand the seriousness of violence and its impact on children. Otherwise, we will lose more families and more young children. After all, we are living in a society with a multitude of cultures and nationalities, and any laxity in law enforcement will result in more crimes.


By Muna Al-Fuzai

[email protected]


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