Blackmailed for 20 years: Haia ends Saudi woman’s ordeal
The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (Haia) has freed a woman from a person who had blackmailed her for 20 years.
Turki Al-Shulail, the spokesman of the Haia, said the agency solved the case in one week. He said the 30-year-old woman had been blackmailed from the time she was a child.
The situation had even prevented her from getting married because she was afraid the blackmailer would contact her husband, said Al-Shulail.
Al-Shulail said the Haia is taking measures to ensure people are protected from blackmailers. There has recently been an increase in cases involving men and women abusing each other. There have also been cases of women abusing their female friends, and men abusing men, he said. He said the law must be enforced, regardless of gender or age. He did not reveal any statistics about the extent of blackmail cases, but said all complaints are investigated before being passed on to branches for action.
The Haia was collaborating closely with other government agencies to protect citizens and expatriates, he said.
According to the commission, cases have more than doubled in the past eight years. However, there was considerable underreporting because of shame and fear, according to social worker Haya Al-Obaid.
Recent studies show that women and girls are behind 88 percent of blackmail cases, said Al-Obaid. She urged the Haia and other agencies to hold a conference with religious, social and psychology experts to find solutions to these issues.