Princess To Slave

Interview by Anahit Hayrapetyan

A women and a mother of two children took drugs not to feel pain while her husband was going to pluck out her eye. Fortunately a child came in and her husband stopped doing it.

Sculptor Heriqnaz Galstyan's childhood photo where she is a little princess. When an Armenian woman is born she becomes a princess, the family's princess, since the father considers her as such. When she gets married she becomes something like a servant.


When you are under psychological press sometimes like drug addicts who don't understand what's going on this psychological abuse is so strong that is affects not only your subconscious but conscious also and you slowly surrender and you don't understand how you gradually degrade. I did not look like myself and only after this I realized why I had not looked at myself in the mirror because I could see that it was not me. She was the woman he saw but it was not me.


My mother in law would tell me to do my laundry with black soap and if I wasn't done with it in two minutes she would beat me constantly afterwards. She would use the rolling pin, her work tools, and the metal ladle that eventually broke my nose. She would stand me in front of the mirror and tell me to look at myself, how I looked like the devil


They hit my head so much that I could feel my head vibrating, it was like a balloon and when I did it like this it was like there was water in my head moving this way and that way.


There have been many bad days. It hasn’t been one day or two days. It was six years of those bad days everyday. Can you imagine there wasn’t a day that I would go to sleep with dry eyes. And the last thing was that he beat me so badly that my hipbone broke, my nose broke and I got a concussion. In other words I wasn’t able to get out of bed for four days so that I could even go to the doctor. And he wouldn’t let me out of the house so that no one would see what he had done to me. He was afraid.


Marie's mother and siblings.

My mother said that her child was still small. I was in 6th grade. The woman said that she would take me even if my mother didn’t give her to me. The next day they kidnapped me and took me to her friend’s home. The tradition of our village is that when a girl leaves the house, the parents don’t take her back. My children have my name, my last name and they are wholly mine. They are my only possession, the one thing that I own. I have nothing else.

All this time I didn’t tell Ano. I am telling her today. She would beat me with the floor boards. I don’t have a piece of my body that hasn’t been beaten. I am hurt. She beats me wanting money, but where can I find money from? Give me money and I will go give it to him. Who will give me money? Look at these clothes. Floor boards! She beats my face, my head. Look at what he has done! There is not a piece of my body that hasn’t been beaten. I am hurt. It’s like I running way from the front lines of a battle. What is this?


A young pregnant woman Maro Guloyan's funeral. Her husband's family insists that she committed suicide, but her own family insists that it was a homicide. There were bruises on Maro’s neck that were not mentioned in the medical investigation.


Maro Guloyan's funeral. Maro was a mother of one child and was pregnant with her second child.