Man arrested in Saudi Arabia for 'beating pregnant wife'
A Saudi man with a history of domestic abuse has been arrested again for beating his pregnant wife with a stick, local media reported on Wednesday.
The 33-year-old public school teacher was arrested after his wife was hospitalised suffering from severe wounds to arms after being beaten with a stick, leaving her needing stitches.
There were also traces of wounds on her back and thighs, according to a medical check.
The man had previously abused her on several other occasions, including breaking her nose, throwing knives at her, beating her with other objects including metal sticks. In spite of her ordeal, the victim had never spoken to the authorities.
When confronted by her family members, the abusive husband claimed he beat her "as a joke".
"He battered my daughter several times. In Ramadan, he threw a sharp knife at her, deeply cutting her hand. When we asked him why he would do such a thing, he claimed it to be a joke," the victim's father told Saudi newspaper al-Hayat.
Last week, the United Nations called upon Arab states to analyse the economic damage caused by violence against women, as part of a drive to promote policy change in a region where gender-based violence remains a taboo.
The UN's agency on women said that only a few states in the region have laws designed to tackle issues like marital rape, honour killings and incest.
"Many countries in the Arab region still see violence against women and deal with it as a private issue and not a public issue," said Mehrinaz Elawady of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).