Nahide Opuz was abused by her husband for years. He also beat and threatened her mother, whom he blamed for being the cause of their problems.
The violence tragically led to the murder of Nahide’s mother in 2002. She had told police that her son-in-law had threatened to kill her and her family.
There were many warning signs. Yet, at least twice, prosecutors decided not to proceed with a criminal case as there was not enough evidence.
On three occasions, Nahide and her mother withdrew their complaints because of pressure and death threats. For certain offences, withdrawing a complaint meant that a prosecution could not take place.
However, Nahide’s husband was convicted twice before the murder took place, due to the seriousness of his offences.
In the first incident, he rammed Nahide and her mother with his car, leaving them both with severe injuries. He was sentenced to three months in prison, which was changed to a fine after he spent 25 days behind bars.
In the second incident, he stabbed Nahide seven times. He was punished with just a fine.
In 2008, the man was sentenced to a life term for the murder of Nahide’s mother. But he was released from prison pending appeal.
Nahide feared for her life. Her ex-husband continued to make death threats, and she said that the authorities were not doing anything to protect her.
It was only after Nahide appealed to the European Court of Human Rights that measures were taken to protect her from her ex-husband.