In Kyrgyzstan, it's known as ala kachuu or "bride kidnapping". Long regarded as a traditional practice, thousands of women are abducted from their family homes each year, either by force or trickery. Although many cases of ala kachuu are actually consensual (providing willing couples a way of way of eloping without parental consent), involuntary ala kachuu remains common as well. Since it often goes unreported, the actual number of bride kidnappings is unknown although Kyrgyszstan Ombudsman Tursunbek Akun estimates that more than 8,000 young women are kidnapped each year. Despite being illegal under Article 155 of Kyrgyzstan's Criminal Code, only a handful of ala kachuu cases ever reach the courts. Not only are local police disinclined to investigate bride kidnapping cases, but families are often reluctant to take back woman who have been kidnapped. As a result, almost no ala kachuu cases have ever been successfully prosecuted and many abductees, abandoned by their families, later commit suicide.
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