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Police Investigate Bridenapping After Woman Jumps From Balcony

In many countries, marriage by abduction is considered a sex crime, but it is still practiced in certain parts of Central Asia, the Caucasus and in some African countries.

Police in Stavropol are investigating the circumstances behind the suspected bridenapping of a 19-year-old woman who leaped from a fourth-floor balcony in an alleged effort to escape her "groom."

"A young man committed the abduction of a girl with the aim of marriage, in accordance with his ethnic traditions," police claimed in a statement issued by the regional branch of the Interior Ministry on Wednesday.

On Oct. 23, a 29-year-old native of Dagestan allegedly forced the victim into his vehicle and then took her to an apartment in the southern city of Budyonnovsk, the statement said.

The victim was held in the apartment until Oct. 31, when she jumped from a fourth-floor balcony in an apparent bid to escape her captor, according to the statement.

A neighbor who happened to be standing on his third-floor balcony at the time of the incident saved the kidnapped bride, catching her by her clothing as she fell and then letting her into his own apartment before calling police.

An investigation is still under way into the incident. If the suspect is tried and convicted of the crime of abduction, he could face up to 10 years in prison.

It was unclear whether the victim was also a native of Dagestan, and if not, whether she was familiar with the phenomenon of bridenapping, where men abduct their intended brides and force them into marriage.

In many countries, marriage by abduction is considered a sex crime, but it is still practiced in certain parts of Central Asia, the Caucasus and in some African countries.

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