Photographer Noriko Hayahi spent months in villages throughout Kyrgyzstan witnessing and documenting the practice of ala kachuu, or “grab and run” where 40% of ethnic Kyrgyz women are kidnapped into forced marriages. Two thirds of bride kidnappings are non-consensual and sometimes planned as part of the elopement.

Female elders also play a key role in persuading the woman to wed her kidnapper. Once inside the kidnapper’s home, the woman is no longer considered pure, making it shameful for her to return home.

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