Little over three weeks ago, a 20-year-old Armenian woman named Zaruhi Petrosyan was killed by her husband and his mother. Zaruhi’s death ended her 2-year ordeal of domestic abuse and will – one hopes – be the start of finally passing the domestic violence legislation. Armenia has promised the latter since November 2008, when Amnesty international issued a report on domestic violence in Armenia (my very first Global Voices Online post summarized reactions to it) stating that more than a quarter of Armenian women are victims of physical brutality in their own homes. The government of Armenia was reminded of the need for legislation this week through a petition signed by 3,196 individuals.  Below is an email I sent to the signatories of the petition after closing it:

Dear Friends:

Thanks to you, Armenia’s Prime Minister has received a petition signed by over 3,000 individuals calling for justice in the death of Zaruhi Petrosyan – a fair prosecution of her abusers and expedited passage of domestic violence punishment and prevention legislation.

The email to the Prime Minister’s office consists of a two-page introductory letter (in Armenian) to the petition, the petition results (a .pdf document with your signatures and comments mostly in English), and the draft law on domestic violence (in Armenian) that was submitted to the government earlier.

Many of you signed the letter because of your justified anger over Zaruhi’s brutal murder. Hopefully, you will continue fighting domestic violence in Armenia and everywhere around the world. To stay informed about developments on our petition and future action on domestic violence in Armenia, you may check my website at or email me at [email protected]. Finally, I’d like to thank key individuals and organizations who helped with the petition, including Susanna Vardanyan, president of Women’s Rights Center in Armenia, for her guidance and support; Hasmig Tatiossian for co-managing the signatures and organizing the “Zaruhi Petrosyan is my daughter” Facebook campaign; Adrine Akopyan for creating the “Please Sign the Petition for Zaruhi and Other Victims” Facebook event; and bloggers and journalists for covering the petition in their reports and posts (including at EurasiaNet, MediaLab (in Armenian), Tert (in Armenian), Panorama (in Armenian), The Armenian Weekly, Global Voices Online, Ditord, ArmeniaNow (Armenian version), Hetq Online,  ArmTown (in Armenian), 168 Hours (in Armenian) etc.). Again, thank you for taking the time to sign the petition.

If I receive correspondence from Armenia’s government on the petition, I will post it here.