Zeina Kanjo, a young Lebanese model from Akkar, was found dead in her home in Ain El-Mraisseh, Beirut, on Sunday, days after filing for divorce due to domestic violence.
According to her family, she was strangled to death by her husband whom she married six months earlier.
A recorded phone call between the husband and Kanjo’s sister was aired by Al-Jadeed, in which the husband revealed that he was trying to silence his wife by covering her mouth, telling the sister: “What else should I have done after seeing her with someone else in my house?”
After murdering his wife, the husband reportedly took his time to cover her body with bedsheets, organize and clean the house, and then made a contact to try to flee the country.
The person he contacted to inquire about his options to flee quickly reported him to the security forces after coming to the knowledge that he had strangled his wife to death.
On social media, the couple had been appearing completely in love, yet, reports showed that they were actually living a miserable marriage, as Zeina had already filed for divorce on the basis of domestic violence only days before her murder.
As expected, the public on social media went into a frenzy as a response to Zeina’s murder.
Many blamed the Lebanese law for repeatedly playing the role of the barrier to justice for all women, and the officials for continuously failing to protect women in instances similar to Kanjo’s case.
Zeina Kanjo is not the first victim of domestic violence in Lebanon, and if the Lebanese Judiciary System does not put a stop to that ongoing human rights violation the soonest more victims will continue to be recorded.
In fact, the Internal Security Forces reported a 112% increase in domestic violence reports by women between January and August 2020, compared to the same period of 2019.
While domestic violence has been a longtime issue in Lebanon, the crippling economic conditions and the total lockdown trapping women and also children with their “legal” abusers have been new triggers to violent men in their homes. Get to know:
- How To Protect Yourself Or Someone You Know From Domestic Violence
- How To Protect Children From Domestic Violence
If you are a victim of domestic violence or know someone who is, there are local organizations that can help. Reach out to: KAFA: +961 3 018 019, Himaya: +961 3 414 964, ABAAD: +961 81 78 81 78