Cânân Arin casually shrugs when describing the occupational hazards of being a leading women's rights advocate in Turkey. A few years ago, Arin recalls, a doctor in Istanbul survived a beating from her husband that left her spine broken in three places. When Arin helped the doctor initiate divorce proceedings, the abuser came after her as well.
"He threatened me, he tried to bribe me, he tried everything against me because there was no way to break me," says Arin, a lawyer who has pioneered the movement to provide shelter and legal services for domestic violence victims in Turkey. An unfaltering, powerful woman of 63, Arin knew she was the last line of defense for the woman; her family had turned her away and her abuser had evaded jail by paying a $2 fine.