There’s little talked about the abuse which took place during the 1915 Armenian genocide,especially what happened to the women who survived & how they survived.

For me the Armenian women who were taken & used as sex slaves is bad enough, but to humiliate them further… they were branded like cattle !
Their faces & hands were tattooed, leaving no doubt what their status was.The only two areas of their bodies exposed to the public were stamped as belonging to a ‘master’.

To this very day many Armenians have trouble finding out why their grandmothers had these strange markings.

How utterly humiliating it must have been for those women, my own mother always said ‘there are worse things than death’. I think she is right.
For those who did not see the documentary shown recently there are many versions of it, I have chosen Al Jazeera hoping you will see it is unbiased……. here is a sample of this cruel time:


Further reading:

“Some of those individuals who were kidnapped and integrated into Muslim family life, over time forgot about their Armenian ethnicity and even lost the ability to speak their native language. In order to save their own lives and the lives of their loved ones many Armenian women forcibly to adopted Islam.

They eventually were married off to Muslim men and in keeping with local tribal customs, were marked with specific tattoos. Tattoos were extensively used as amulets in the Middle East and Islamic countries, with the wearers believing that the mark imbued them with magical powers. These tattoos were often in the form of dots or a small “x” and provided protection, strength or fertility. These new markings represented new belonging and a marked change in their life.’

As a woman,  for every day that passes I am grateful for my freedom.

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