Since Kyrgyzstan gained its independence in 1991, there has been a revival of the ancient practice of Ala-Kachuu, which translates roughly as “grab and run”.
More than half Kyrgyz women get married after being kidnapped by the men who become their husbands. Some escape after having endured violent ordeals, but most yield to tradition and fear of scandal. Although the practice is said to have its root in nomadic customs, it remains at odds with modern Kyrgyzstan.
Although Ala-Kachuu was outlawed during the Soviet era and is still illegal nowadays, the law is rarely enforced.