“He Came With A Knife”: Women Survivors In Support Of The Khachaturian Sisters

A life 2023

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“He Came With A Knife”: Women Survivors In Support Of The Khachaturian Sisters
“He Came With A Knife”: Women Survivors In Support Of The Khachaturian Sisters

Video: “He Came With A Knife”: Women Survivors In Support Of The Khachaturian Sisters

Отличия серверных жестких дисков от десктопных
Video: Дело Хачатурян: почему это касается каждого / Редакция 2023, January

"March of the Sisters" in support of the Khachaturian sisters, which was slated for this weekend, it is still not possible to agree - it is planned to postpone it to July 27. The petition in support of the girls has already been signed by about 229 thousand people. Among the people campaigning for the release of the sisters, many have experienced domestic violence themselves. We asked women who are about to go on the march to share their tragic experiences.


Yulia dudkina


(name has been changed)


I am more than thirty, I work, travel a lot and give the impression of a very brave and freedom-loving person. I don’t think any of my friends can guess that I have ever been abused. Only the closest ones know that I cannot sleep at home alone - I hear non-existent steps under the door. That from time to time I wake up from my own scream.

As a child, I was driven by a car with a driver, I graduated from high school, which my mother also graduated from. Many looked up to us as a good family. I was six years old when my younger brother was born. At this time, my mother began to beat me. I guess I was jealous of her and threw tantrums, but she didn't know how to deal with it. Mom beat me with her hands and feet, dragged me by the hair around the apartment, and when I went into hysterics, she pushed me into the toilet or the bathroom. Once she threw me into the toilet with such force that I hit my head on the toilet and fainted for some time.

At these moments, she clearly did not quite understand what she was doing. I remember once she poured hot coffee from a cup on me - she did it out of anger and did not apologize. But after a couple of weeks, she spilled hot coffee on me again - this time by accident. And, although this time the skin did not swell so much, my mother allowed me to stay at home for a couple of days to watch cartoons. She was very sorry. That such a thing had already happened, she did not remember.

There were not only beatings, but also emotional abuse. If I forgot to take out the trash, my mother would shake it out on my clothes and in bed. There she shook out the dust from the hallway. I slept on a mattress, and from the furniture I had only a bookcase - my mother said that I did not deserve more. She didn't feed me if I misbehaved. And I "behaved badly" myself almost all the time, so I could remain hungry for several days. I was saved by shoplifting and guests, where I could eat my fill. “You might think that you are not being fed at home,” the owners joked. I was too proud to admit that it was.

Not getting warmth at home, I looked for it in other places, where I shouldn't have looked for it - with family friends, in particular, adult men. They asked how my day at school went, what I dream of. It felt like a concern. Everything led to the fact that I was raped twice - at the age of six and at the age of eleven. In addition, I experienced a number of sexual harassment from one of my mother's partners (he called it "tickle at night").

I lived in a world where violence was a natural part of life, it never occurred to me that it could be otherwise. The beatings were systematic, they took place about every other day. I was always sure that I deserved everything myself, so I did not complain and did not give back. When they beat me, it didn't hurt. I did not associate myself with my body, more often I closed my eyes, recited poems and prayers.

I was about fifteen years old when, out of fear, I began to read the prayer not to myself, but aloud. And suddenly my mother, hearing this, stopped hitting me and ran away. After that incident, if she was going to raise her hand against me, I was baptized and read prayers. She was leaving. So after nine years of bullying, I found a way to protect myself from them, and soon I left my parents' house altogether.

My brother was also beaten, but we almost never talk about it. “I want to forget,” he says, and I respect his choice. He continues to communicate with his mother.

As for me, I have been working with psychotherapists for several years and do not communicate with my mother. I hope that one day I will have the strength to forgive her. Both doctors I have seen think my mom may have psychopathy. The same opinion was shared by a family psychologist who worked with my brother in childhood and saw our mother at a reception. If this is true, it means that mom is not able to feel and experience feelings of guilt. Bad if so. How can you forgive someone who is not ready to repent?

When I grew up, I began to ask neighbors and family friends if they knew about everything. If so, why didn't they react? A neighbor in the stairwell said: "I also beat my daughter, everyone beat me at the entrance, that was the time." My friends' parents say they only knew about the emotional abuse and did not know about the beatings. They did not know how to behave, they were afraid that they would take me to an orphanage and it would get worse. It was these people who allowed me to spend a lot of time with them, gave me clothes and food, in high school I actually lived with them. Their indifference saved me.

Indifference is the only thing that can save you from domestic violence. I think if a mother hits a child on the street, you need to intervene, make a remark. Surely the mother then, at home, will give the child even more. But for him it will be a wake-up call: "Mom is wrong, there is another world in which children are not beaten." If a husband or boyfriend beats a woman, you need to tell her that you know what is happening and that this is not normal. Likewise, if several girls can be imprisoned for many years for self-defense, you need to support them - at least by reposting or going outside. The main thing is not to remain indifferent.


(name has been changed)


My dad is a man with a classic upbringing. From childhood, he told me that a woman should be able to keep silent in time, be patient, that she should “be wiser”. It is deeply embedded in me. I think that is why, when I got into a situation of domestic violence, I could not tell anyone about what was happening, I could not leave. For six years I endured and "was wiser."

Sasha (name has been changed) and I met when I was eighteen years old. He was twenty-five. Later I found out that he always chose eighteen-year-old girls and each had a story similar to mine.

It was the first serious relationship in my life. Very quickly - after a few weeks - he invited me to live together. We began to spend all the time together: I moved away from friends, we went into a joint business and did not part even at work. The first warning signs were noticeable right away - Sasha sometimes showed unmotivated aggression, pressed on me. He explained: "I just have such a character, I am quick-tempered."

For example, I once read a book about spirituality, perception of reality and managing your destiny. I liked that kind of literature then. I wanted to share, I began to show him the book. And he suddenly flared up: "Your book is complete shit, literature for the poor." I answered: "I like it." Then he completely disagreed: "You are only eighteen, you do not understand anything, you are mediocre and stupid." He tore up the book, broke down the kitchen door, tore off the blinds. I stood in the corner and watched in silence - I was in shock. Then he calmed down, asked for forgiveness. He explained everything with his "character". Such outbreaks happened periodically, and each time the explanation about the character suited me.

One day, at his brother's birthday party, he offered me drugs. I tried to refuse, it's harmful. He said: "I know all about it, don't worry, nothing will happen." He said: if we both drink a liquid that is mixed with drugs, then we will have sex, and it will be much more interesting and more fun than usual. I agreed - I was only eighteen, and he was older and smarter, I believed him. Then we really had sex, it was cute and fun, we were on the same wavelength. After that, we sometimes began to practice sex under substances.

I did not notice the moment when it all turned into a kind of sex slavery.He began to mix drugs on me and lock me in a room for a day or more. Now he directed all his aggression and rage into what happened between us during these periods. It was very hard sex, such that then I sat under the covers for several days and waited for everything to heal. Under the influence of drugs, I could not sleep or eat for several days. At the same time, I poorly understood what was happening to me and my body, I could not give a clear, conscious rebuff.

I didn't realize it was violence. He presented it as if only the two of us had "real" sex, as if he knew life like no one else knew it, and was introducing me to something special, worthwhile. Gives me a way to experience a special oneness with him. It seemed to me that we have some kind of special connection, which even I do not fully understand.

The further, the harder it became. Once or twice a month, he suggested that I use drugs. I said, "Please don't, I don't want to." But he insisted: “Do you want to ruin our relationship? We need to be together, on the same wavelength. " As a result, I drank what he offered me: first, drinks with amphetamine were used, then with cocaine. Then the "sessions" began. Thanks to the drugs, I didn't feel pain or fatigue. Sometimes I would lose consciousness, he would lift me up, put me on the bed and continue. At some point, he even began to invite some more people - men and women. When it was over, I vaguely remembered what was happening - as if it were not with me.

I knew that before me he had another girlfriend. I heard a lot of bad things about her - as if she “broke his psyche”, tortured him. Once I looked into her profile on one of the social networks and saw a big post where she described episodes of violence from their relationship. She wrote that while meeting with him, she did not understand what was happening. “If I was then asked whether violence was being committed against me, I would answer in the negative, would defend him” - about such words were in her message. I thought: "She's kind of strange." I thought she was writing nonsense. But in her message, she listed the signs of violence, and it turned out that almost all of them are present in our relationship. In the end, she kind of addressed me. She wrote: "I hope the story is over and this does not happen with his new girlfriend."

Her post hooked me. I gradually became aware of what was happening. It took me a year to understand: this is not a special connection, I am drugged and raped. I left him - I said that I was leaving for a little while, so that we could rest from each other, and then our relationship became even better. She herself blocked it everywhere and deleted it. We made friends with the girl who wrote the post - now we are very close people. She saved my life. I, like no one else, know how important mutual assistance and support are for women experiencing violence.

I will go to the "March of the Sisters" and will do what I can for the Khachaturian sisters. We women must stand up for each other. Often a girl who finds herself at the mercy of a rapist has no relatives or relatives. To intercede, to support other women in a desperate situation - I see this as my duty.



One of my childhood memories is how my father walks into the room where my mother and I sleep. He is holding a knife and a tea towel. He turns on the music loudly and says: "The disco has begun!" We start to run away from him, we try to leave the apartment, but he unscrewed the handles from the locks so that it is very difficult to open the door from the inside. Several times, when we did run away, we rushed through the park at night to the police station - right in bare feet and in T-shirts. The district policeman was returning home with us, he asked my dad: "Are you making a fight?" He, while we were away, managed to come to his senses and pretend to be an adequate, civilized person. He shook hands with the policeman, answered: "What are you, everything is all right." The district police officer, after seeing that he let us into the apartment and everything looks normal, went back to the station.

This has not always been the case. As far as I remember, I used to have a very ordinary father.When I was about four years old, he started drinking - he came home irritated, opened a bottle and drank alone. I don't know if this was due to some problems - it seems that both at work and in his personal life everything was in order at that time, and he was not inclined to reflection. Perhaps heredity played a role: there were people prone to alcoholism in his family.

He didn’t get drunk to the point of unconsciousness, didn’t get into a row, didn’t carry a drunken delirium - in general, didn’t look like drunk people are usually portrayed. He didn’t drink very much - more for courage than to forget himself. To allow yourself what a sober one does not dare to do, to be liberated. After drinking, he became cruel - he dragged his mother and sister by the hair, beat them. The sister was already an adult - she seems to have turned sixteen. When this horror began, she quickly moved away from us. After that, my father became even angrier - he constantly harassed my mother. He did not beat me - he could only hook me if I tried to intercede. In other moments, it was as if I did not exist for him. I felt like I wasn't important enough to even beat me. A strange sensation.

Now, after many years have passed, it seems to me that my father wanted first of all to scare us, to assert his power. She and her mother had a joint business, and she was responsible for the most important and difficult work in it. Dad was just the “face of the company”: he went to meetings and shook hands with influential people. He clearly had some kind of problem because of this state of affairs. He exploded when his mother tried to advise or suggest something to him. For example, I remember how we went to visit: with friends, my father praised me and my mother, he was very affectionate with us. But on the way home it began: “You hinted that I should slow down with alcohol! How can you tell me that ?! " He started right on the street to grab her by the hair, kick her.

After the fights, my mother took pictures of the beatings, filed statements with the police, and collected information. She had concussions and other injuries. She tried to divorce him, but they could not manage to divide the property: he did not agree with any option and was not going to change the apartment. Mom couldn't just leave, we had nowhere to live. In addition, for work, the parents depended on each other. She could not throw dad out of business and end all relationships with him. So we had to endure everything that happened.

When my mother firmly decided that we had to leave, she began to try to save up some money so that we would have something to live on for some time. But dad found the deferred and took it for himself. In the end, when I was seven or eight years old, my mother could not stand it - we just went to live with friends. She left her and her dad with a joint business, leaving everything to him. For a while, she and I moved to some friends, then to others, saving on everything. Mom knew that dad didn’t hit me, and from time to time she brought me to him on weekends so that I could at least eat. Very soon another woman appeared in his apartment - a pregnant woman. They both didn't pay much attention to me, but I got breakfast, lunch and dinner. There was no more help from my dad after the breakup. He did not pay alimony, and when my mother came to pick up her things, she found that he had cut them all with scissors.

Once I got very sick. Mom could not look after me, she just had a job. She brought me to my father and asked to sit with me. He opened the door for us very drunk. Without even looking at me, he blurted out: "Yes, I don't need your child for ***." I never saw him again. When I was fourteen or fifteen years old, he called me on my birthday - drunk again - and promised that when I grew up I would pay him child support for the rest of my life. Then my mother and I went to court and filed a lawsuit for deprivation of parental rights. My father did not appear at the meeting, and our claim was satisfied without question.

The case of the Khachaturian sisters really hurts me. I remember at the age of six or seven I began to constantly think about killing my father. I imagined it every day.I didn't want blood and violence, I just dreamed of how it would all end: a knife chase, a "disco started", beating my mother. Even when we parted and stopped seeing him, these thoughts did not stop. Only later, when I came to psychotherapy, I managed to deal with myself and everything was over. By the way, it turned out that from everything I experienced I have PTSD.

In psychotherapy, I learned: each person does the best in their power, based on their capabilities, mental state and the availability of other options. Mom and I had at least some resource to run. Someone does not have this resource. I wonder: what if our father also had weapons or connections with the underworld? How would it have ended then? I do not know the answer.



I do not live in Moscow, so I cannot come to the march. But we will also have rallies and pickets in support of the Khachaturian sisters in Ukraine, and I am going to participate in them. There was violence in my family too, albeit not so harsh. I understand what it is like when you are under the influence of a person with whom even the police cannot do anything.

The family has always believed that my dad and I have a special emotional connection. So I thought myself: from childhood it was he who was involved in my upbringing and I saw authority in him. Mom also lived with us, but she seemed to exist in the background - she was more involved in serving than raising and making decisions.

Whatever I did, I was afraid to disappoint my dad. The simplest example: he loved music and knew about it, and we often listened to something together. But as a teenager, I developed my own musical interests. Learning what I like now, he winced: "I did not expect this from you, this is for cattle." I was very upset. Only later did I realize that he was trying to make me an extension of himself, to mold me into a daughter-comrade-in-arms, whom he wanted to see next to me. Sometimes it seemed that he perceived me as a partner and not as a daughter.

From the outside, it seemed to everyone that we were the perfect dad and daughter. He is a businessman that the whole city knows. I am an active, creative girl. Nobody saw how we really lived. At about eleven years old, he began to comment on my appearance in a very strange way, for example, he noticed how much my breasts had grown. He also bit me and licked me. When I asked why he was doing this, he said: "I just love you so much that I cannot contain my emotions." He said the same when he touched my buttocks. I didn't like all this, it was unpleasant to be with him. But I didn't know how to resist. I began to dissociate with the body - this is when it seems to you that what is happening is not about you, but someone else. All this led to serious psychological difficulties - they still prevent me from building relationships and having sex.

At the age of fifteen I started to get depressed. If before I studied well, now I graduated from school somehow. If I tried to talk to my dad about what I feel bad, anxious, he said: "So hang yourself or kill yourself." In general, he often mimicked me and did not take seriously what seemed important to me, but not to him.

He drank often. Once, when I was in school, late at night he burst into my room and started singing songs. I started filming it on my phone to show it later. He got angry: “You’re on the phone again at night!”, Snatched it from me and smashed it. If he was unhappy with me, he would come up and step on my feet with all his weight. He could hit his head in the forehead.

My father said many times: "If you don't like something, pack your things and leave." But where was I to go? In a small town, where everyone knows each other and where not even get a job? I was still in school. And even if there was somewhere to go, I felt dependent on my dad, as if I was not capable of anything without him, an inferior personality.

Once, when he offended me greatly, I could not stand it and called him a goat. He pounced on me, began to beat. It hurt me in the head - so that I felt dizzy and vomited.I called the police. But my application was not accepted - after all, everyone in the city knows my father. They talked to me and, upon learning that I was drinking antidepressants, said: "You probably provoked yourself, from these pills people become inadequate."

Soon after that, I still left him - fortunately, at that moment there was already where. Besides, I turned eighteen years old, I graduated from high school. I was lucky: I had a young man, his family accepted me, I was able to go to a psychologist. And yet, even now, when I think about my father, I want to do something bad, beat him badly. But the Khachaturian sisters could not do anything, they did not have such an opportunity. I know that violence is not an option. But if neither justice nor court works, then is there a way out at all?



I think my mom has always had mental problems. People with mental disabilities are often portrayed as violent and out of control. But my mother seemed to be a very sweet and polite woman to everyone with whom she communicated. Only I knew what was happening at home.

Mom gave birth to me by accident - she didn't have time to have an abortion. She told me about this since childhood. I don't think she ever had maternal feelings. At two months, her milk disappeared, and she took me to live with my grandmother, and took me only after more than a year. Our life with my mother was divided into periods. I call them exacerbations and remissions, although I don't know exactly how correct this is - she was never given a specific diagnosis. During periods of "exacerbations" it was impossible to communicate with her. She slapped me in the face, locked me in the closet. For any mistake in the notebook she made me ask her for forgiveness on my knees, and then she said that I was asking wrong and I had to start again. In the heat of the moment, she could splash boiling water at me or throw me with a chair - I always successfully dodged, if it flew at me, then in the leg, and not on the head. Although sometimes I was unlucky. One day my mother splashed very hot tea on me, and a bright red mark remained on my cheek. Mom wrote a note to the teacher - they say, I feel bad. I didn't go to school until the burn was gone.

But, it seems, more than all physical punishment, I was influenced by the incident with the cat. We had a cat, and I treated him well. Either because of health problems, or because of a broken psyche, he sometimes went to the toilet in the wrong place. Mom punished him: she took him by the front and hind legs like a sack, swung and beat him against the wall. The cat first yelled, then began to wheeze. I was six years old, I looked in horror. On the one hand, I was taught that my mother is always right, if she punishes, then it must be so. On the other hand, it was unbearably sorry for the cat. I cried and did not know what to do - against my mother I was helpless. Dad by that time no longer lived with us and did not see anything of this. We were alone with her.

After finishing the punishment, my mother threw the cat into the bathroom and locked it there, leaving him without food. I came to look for him and found him under the bathroom - he was huddled in a corner. I soaked cookies and fed him secretly from my mother, and then brought him water in my palms. All this went on for about a year. Then my mother put the cat in a bag and took it to my father. He tried to treat him, the cat lived for some more time, but, it seems, not for long.

At some point, I started to stutter. Mom even took me to a speech therapist. But it didn't help, and I can guess why. When my mother and I walked down the street and she was holding my hand, she painfully squeezed my fingers as soon as I stumbled on a word. Of course, this made me stutter even harder.

I consider Dad a rather soft person. He helped with money, took me on weekends, but did not intercede for me. Maybe he didn't know how bad it was. But after all, he could not at all not be aware of what was happening. I think it was easier for him to close his eyes.

For a while, he paid his mother child support, but then he realized that she was spending it on beer. Then he said: "I myself will buy you food with this money." Mom didn't like this move very much. She regularly made me call my dad on the phone.She herself turned on the speakerphone, sat down next to me and wrote on a piece of paper what I needed to say. There were phrases like "We have no money", "We are starving." If I didn't want to say something, she kicked me under the table or dug her nails into my neck. Once she wrote on a piece of paper: "You are no longer my father." I was afraid of my mother, but I could not say out loud what she wrote. She beat me.

Many years have passed since then, and in general I stopped stuttering. But when I'm on the phone, the stutter comes back - so I prefer to correspond with people or meet in person.

Because of my mother, I had to say terrible things to my father. He didn't seem to understand that she was manipulating me - he thought we were really at the same time. However, he regularly continued to bring us food. Later I asked my dad: "Why didn't you do anything?" He replied: "You could have left her, if she tormented you so, why didn't you leave?" But the thing is, I didn't know if I could leave. I was a child. No one explained anything to me, my father did not call me to go with him, did not show any will.

There was another reason why I was afraid to run away from my mother. From childhood she told me that I was bad, stupid, ugly. That she does not torture me, but punishes me for the cause. Deep down, I believed it. I thought: what if, if I go to my dad and grandmother, they will find out how bad I am? I became emotionally dependent on my mother.

Sometimes she said: "Get off to your father on ***." She gave me packages to pack. In tears, I shoveled clothes and toys into the bags. She came and dumped everything on the floor: "You can't take anything, I bought it all."

Between "exacerbations" she had "remissions". During such periods, she could hug me, she could buy clothes or toys. Arranged birthdays and invited my friends. I hoped every time that this calm was forever. But I have never been calm. Despite all my hopes, I understood that "remission" could end at any moment. And then my new things will fly out the window, and the children's party will end in a scandal.

When I was fifteen or sixteen years old, we had another quarrel. Suddenly we grabbed each other by the hair and started to fight. I was terrified. I asked myself: "What if I am the same as my mother?" By this age I was already more or less independent - I left home and lived with my dad for a year. True, in the end he moved to his beloved and told me: "I want to rent this apartment, you can no longer live here." But I did not return to my mother - I lived with my grandmother, then moved to a young man.

Since then, I have stayed with my mother only once - for about six months. I tried to discuss with her what had happened between us since my childhood. Something she denied, about something she said that I forced her. When it came to the cat, she said that there was nothing like this at all. I felt bad, it seemed that I was going crazy. After all, except for me and her, no one saw these events. I even broke down, started shouting: "Tell me what it was!" Useless. She never admitted anything. But she filed a lawsuit against me for not paying the rent for housing, where we are registered together. Now she says she is going to collect child support from me.

There was a time in my life when I wished my mother death. For a long time I did not allow myself to get angry, but then, after psychotherapy, I let myself go, and it turned out that there was a lot of anger in me. Now everything is better - I drink antidepressants and feel fine. After everything that has happened, I know that victims of domestic violence cannot be blamed for “not leaving on time”. It's impossible. If you are beaten and humiliated for years, it changes your consciousness. The story of the Khachaturian sisters is close to me, I do not believe that they are to blame for what happened. They could not leave, they had no one to turn to. And I know from myself - even if formally you have ways to retreat, in reality it is almost impossible to break out of the circle of domestic violence. It took me many years to free myself and start my own life.

By the way, I now have my own cat. He knows that he can go to the toilet anywhere, and I will never punish him for that.

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