A Jordanian man beat his wife to death in the couple's hometown of Al Rasifa in Jordan's Al Zarqa'a governorate over the weekend. The woman was hospitalized on Friday night after she was horrifically attacked by her abusive husband but succumbed to her injuries hours later.
General Security spokesman Amer Al Saratawi explained that Al Rasifa's Family Protection Unit (FPU) was notified of the case when the woman arrived at a local hospital.
"The victim told medics she was beaten by her husband. He was then arrested and admitted to physically assaulting his wife," Al Saratawi said before confirming the victim's death on Saturday morning. "Her body has been referred to the coroner's office in order for her cause of death to be determined. Investigations into the case are still ongoing," he added.
News of the woman's murder sparked outrage in Jordan after it circulated online. Many called on authorities to immediately refer the man to public prosecution, while others expressed worries over the fact that legal loopholes are often implemented in such cases and could end up being applied in this one.
Some criticized local media for headlining the victim's death without directly stating that she was violently killed by her husband.
Twitter user Hadeel A. Aziz highlighted this specific point in a tweet in which she called out media outlets who often downplay violence against women in the region.
"This headline is wrong. The correct one is: A man killed his wife after beating her to death," she wrote in her response to one such headline.
The way the crime is being framed by some media and online users is infuriating many Jordanians
"The problem is some people are defending the husband saying that if he intended to murder his wife he would've used some sharp object or a 'quicker way' to end her life!! So you're basically making excuses for him, that the fact he was beating her is OK and that one of his blows killed her by mistake!! Do you even know what you're saying?! There's nothing that gives him the right to beat her. Wake up!!"
"They make you feel as if it's OK that she was beaten and that it's her fault she died"
Others just prayed for the victim
"May God have mercy on her soul."
Domestic violence is on the rise in Jordan
Domestic violence is a huge problem in Jordan but often goes unreported due to the social stigma that deters victims from reporting abuses. However, some victims have been coming forth in a bid to free themselves from this form of abuse in recent years.
In the first few months of 2019, over 7,000 cases of domestic violence were reported to Jordan's Family Protection Unit which runs under the country's Public Security Department. In a statement to The Jordan Times, the unit's director, Fakhri Qatarneh, explained that this number is expected to double by the end of the year.
In 2018, the unit dealt with more than 11,000 cases of domestic violence affecting women and children. The FPU has been working to protect women and children in Jordan since it was first established in 1998. In its first year in service, the institution recorded 275 cases of domestic abuse.
The rise in the number of cases reported over the years can be attributed to the fact that more women have been speaking up against violence and reporting it.