The lives of women in Dishmok suffering from domestic violence end in flaming suicides.
Dishmok is a small and remote village in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province in southeastern Iran. This village has become well-known due to the rise in suicides among women tired of the domestic violence to which they are subjected. They feel they have no choice but to set their bodies on fire.
Forced and early marriages lead to suicide
Forced and child marriages are among the leading causes of women’s suicide and self-immolation in these areas, especially in Dishmok. Girls in Dishmok rarely make it to the sixth grade. Despite their high academic talent, most girls get engaged in the fourth grade of elementary school, get married in the fifth or sixth grade, and become pregnant immediately. Frequent pregnancies and multiple children are common among women in Dishmok. The city of Dehdasht is about an hour and a half away from Dishmok, but most of the girls from Dishmok have never been there.
“Every year, in the cities and villages of Kohgoluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province and Dehdasht city, in places such as Tampradi, Zeilaei, Banari, and Baramshir, 10- to 13-year-old girls marry adult men without even having their marriage registered. Innocent 14-year-old girls are also married to 60- to 70-year-old men for a small payment.
“According to the Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Civil Registry Office, 9 girls under the age of 10 and 458 girls under the age of 15 were married in this province in 2017.
Domestic violence is the leading cause of self-immolation among Dishmok women
Tayebeh Siavoshi, a former member of the regime’s parliament, cited informed sources in saying that in 2019, 24 people committed suicide in the small, remote area of Dishmok. Eight of them ended their lives with ropes, scarves, shawls, pills, or medicine. Of the 24 suicides, 3 were single women; the rest were married. There were also 3 unsuccessful self-immolations; these are not included in the 24 suicides.
A young psychologist working at a newly established mental health center in Dishmok has provided documented statistics.
According to Saheb Divan Moghadam, “Between 2018 and 2019, 34 people took their own lives. They ranged in age from 16 to 23, and most of them were married women” (The state-run Tabnak website, July 19, 2020).
Additional statistics, published a year later, are as follows:
Soraya, an 11-year-old who married a 12-year-old boy, was living in such terrible conditions that she eventually set herself on fire using oil.
Masoumeh, a poor woman who was twice saved from suicide, was the mother of two little girls.
Kafi set herself on fire and burned to death after her husband and his family beat her repeatedly. She died after a 20-day hospitalization.
Ziba had only 7 days left in her pregnancy when she set herself on fire and died. According to reports, Ziba already had two children aged 4 and 7. They were both at home when their mother set herself on fire.
In Dishmok in August 2019, two 14- and 17-year-old girls set themselves on fire in May, and a 17-year-old girl set herself on fire.
The fate of women who are saved from suicide
Several women in Dishmok have attempted suicide several times but survived. They spend their days alone. Some of them have attempted suicide three times. In many cases, the people who rescued them beat them and locked them in a room.
These women have been forced to live in their husbands’ homes.
“In the last two decades, the suicide rate in Iran has changed,” said Salar Kasraei, a sociologist.
“According to statistics, from 1982 to 2005, the figure has almost quadrupled, and among women, this figure has doubled” (The state-run ILNA news agency – November 5, 2019).
Mohammad Mehdi Tondgoyan, Deputy Minister of Youth Affairs of the Ministry of Sports and Youth, announced on August 19, 2018, that the number of suicides in Iran during 2017 was about 4,992.
“In the whole country, the suicide rate was about two-thirds among women and one-third among men,” he added.
Ilam, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, Kermanshah, and Lorestan provinces all have high suicide rates.
Suicide has become one of the most common social ills in Iran under the rule of mullahs. This statistic is rising exponentially every day.
Iran has the highest female suicide rate in the Middle East.