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15 May, 2020 14:06

‘We were totally helpless’: Russian woman jailed for SLAPPING 'abusive' Californian husband, mother tells RT

‘We were totally helpless’: Russian woman jailed for SLAPPING 'abusive' Californian husband, mother tells RT

What looked like an intercontinental fairytale romance turned into a story of domestic violence, when a Russian woman was arrested for slapping the American husband her mother says abused her.

When she married a Californian man last year, 30-year-old Krasnodar native Alina Alipatova couldn’t have imagined that the line between romance and fear could be crossed so fast. She met her future husband while holidaying in Miami and quickly fell in “big love” with him, the woman’s mother, Elena Gertsog, told RT this week.

Once engaged, the happy couple spent two months at the Californian’s house in San Luis Obispo. The man, who goes by the name of Anthony, was caring and romantic – he even called his fiancee’s mother to secure her blessing for their relationship. The pair got married last year, Gertsog recalling that it was a “joyful event” for their family.

But the honeymoon period soon came to an end when the Californian allegedly physically abused his new wife. “They had some kind of conflict in a car when driving from San Francisco on December 19, and Anthony rammed Alina into the dashboard,” Gertsog said.

Police arrested him, but he was promptly released on bail after spending just a day behind bars. “Anthony then tearfully begged her to forgive him,” the mother recalled, which she “unfortunately” did, unaware of what would happen next.

This week, the story took a dramatic turn, when she spotted the man flirting online with another woman. Jealous, Alina “lost her temper and slapped him in the face,” making him “run away somewhere.”

Just as the woman was relating this latest twist in the tale to her mother, the doorbell rang and the police entered. “She thought it wasn’t serious, but they brought her into custody at the request of her husband,” Gertsog told RT, adding that she was taken to the San Luis Obispo county jail.

Bail was set at US$50,000, but “we don’t have such money,” the shocked 52-year-old mother explained. Her daughter was allowed to make only a one-minute call to her mother and was then left entirely in the dark about the charges she faced, according to Gertsog.

As the day went on, someone called her and demanded the lower sum of $4,000 to release her daughter. She didn’t know if this was a scam, as she doesn’t speak English, and when she called them back, a call-center operative answered. Regardless, even this was a price too high for the older woman.

I am shocked now. I don’t know what to do, how to help my daughter. I don’t have any money – a big amount or a small amount – I’m a retiree.

"We are completely helpless,” Gertsog said in despair.

As the mother hastily scrambled for a solution, some good news came from across the Atlantic this Thursday. As she told RT, her daughter was finally released from custody: “She was set free today; she is awaiting trial at a local hotel.”

Looking back on the drama, the woman says she should have sounded the alarm when the first cracks showed in the romance. Her daughter sometimes complained that her husband was “rude” and “aggressive” – that he would grab her by the hand during an argument, for example.

“I didn’t think this was important at the time, as we Russian women are used to it,” the mother acknowledged with a grim smile.

Also on rt.com The Covid-19 lockdown is a death sentence for many women. Not from the virus, but from being stuck indoors with a violent partner

This story comes on the heels of a worrying spike in the number of victims stuck indoors with a violent partner due to Covid-19 lockdowns. From China and India in the East to Ireland and the UK in the West, authorities have been receiving many more helpline calls from women suffering from domestic abuse since the pandemic began.

In the US, more than 10 million men and women every year are physically abused by an intimate partner, according to some estimates. This amounts to nearly 20 people falling victim to domestic violence every minute. 

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