In Russia came into force a law abolishing criminal liability for the battery committed for the first time. Opponents of the law expect the number of victims of domestic violence will rise, as the adopted law “unleashed” the brawlers.
The Russian state Duma in late January adopted a law on the decriminalization of domestic violence, which entered into force upon signature, on 7 February, Russian President Vladimir Putin. Now for the battery against close relatives committed for the first time, instead of a prosecution relies on the administrative penalty of a fine of up to 30 thousand roubles, arrest till 15 days or 120 hours of community service. Criminal liability arises if the violation is committed again within a year. In the first two days after the entry into force of the law in one of the Russian cities where it has been observed, the number of calls to the police has increased 2.5 times.
A bill introduced by deputies from the party “United Russia”. Before the battery can be punished more severely — by deprivation of liberty for a term up to two years — than the beatings in other circumstances. Now the deputies decided to eliminate the imbalance.
“Criminal liability for assault in the family is contrary to the basic legal principles. If the single mother finds the son in the table of drugs and will give him a slap, it on this the current act becomes a felon, and someone else put on him a black eye in the street, — no, — quoted the first Deputy Chairman of “United Russia” Andrei Isayev, radio “Echo of Moscow”.
The idea of decriminalization was supported by the Supreme court of Russia. “Deputy Chairman of the Supreme court Vladimir Davydov admits that decriminalization including beatings will greatly to relieve the courts. I think to decriminalize anything solely based on the state of crime in the country, and not from a desire to unload one or another Agency” — outraged Alexander Koshkin, lawyer, Foundation for the support of victims of crime.
As a result, the law on decriminalization voted 380 deputies, against — 3. Among the last — writer Sergei Shargunov, known for his conservative views.
“The law leaves a very strange impression. Some argue that otherwise the juvenile justice system will be to remove the child from the family “for a slap”. But there is no law about “slapping” it never happened. It is a real beating. With traces. They need to prove it, fix it and then brought the case before. To contact the police regarding the beatings you usually need a good reason. Up to 90% of such applications and so I take it back. There was no reason to revise the previous rules, after all, how many women and children suffer from domestic sadyugi… the Second treatment may not happen,” wrote Shargunov in your account in Facebook.
Despite the fact that in the Duma against the adoption of the law voted only three members, enemies he had many. At the stage of consideration of the bill has caused serious public outcry in the media. Against the law was made by many human rights defenders, activists, journalists.
Incorrect the law
Associate and head of the project “Violence.No” Anna Rivina considers the adopted law is a mistake, as the article that was in the law, taking on a preventive task that is to prevent more serious crimes. She predicts that now the number of women victims of domestic violence, will grow.
The view was echoed by the mayor of Yekaterinburg Yevgeny Roizman. Two days after the entry into force of the law on decriminalization, the official wrote on his page in the social network, previously Yekaterinburg police responded to a domestic conflict, and family violence 120-130 times a day, immediately after the adoption of the law the number of calls increased to 300-350 a day.
“That is, the decriminalization of articles 116 and 117 of the criminal code (beatings and torture) took: it Was impossible, became possible! Those who work with it on the ground, predict an increase in the number of cases and weighting the consequences”, — said Evgeny Roizman.
While the January poll on the decriminalization of beatings in the family, showed that the Russians are in the majority condemn domestic violence, but I support the initiative to mitigate the punishment for the first case of beating. Idea of commutation was supported by 59% of respondents, and only 33% of respondents were against this approach. Moreover, many of who took part in the survey believe that this measure will reduce the number of family beating.
According to official statistics of the Ministry of interior, in 2015, the number of crimes involving violent acts against a family member, amounted to about 50 thousand. The vast majority of victims were women. Moreover, this figure reflects only the number of applicants to the police. “As a rule, about 30% of cases of domestic violence fall into the statistics of the interior Ministry. Of these, only one-tenth became the basis for excitation of criminal case. Only 3-7% of these cases reach court,” explained Rivina.
Opponents of the law indicate that if the offender will be obliged to pay the penalty, be paid it is likely to be from the family budget, but not at the expense of the offender. And if it is an arrest, then upon return it will be a furious person, not limited to any mechanisms.
Need a separate law against domestic violence
The activists, including the independent charitable Center of the help survivors of sexual violence “Sisters”, the Center for prevention of violence “Anna”, and lawyers, among them Alena Popova, Anna Rivina, Mari Davtyan, for several years sought the adoption of a special law against domestic violence. They filed more than 10 bills to the state Duma, but to no avail. The last time an attempt was made in 2015, but again the bill was ignored. Now lawyers and organizations prepare a new document.
“In January this year, when lawmakers considered a bill on decriminalization, we appealed to the Chairman of the Federation Council Valentina Matvienko to freeze the document before the adoption of a special law on domestic violence, but we have not heard” — said Rivina.
Such a law operates in more than 140 countries, including former Soviet countries like Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova and Kyrgyzstan, but in Russia it did not take hurry. In this country every 20 minutes from home domestic violence affects one woman, according to a report by the Ministry of labour and social protection of the Russian Federation.
“I more than ten years in marriage with my husband, we have two children. The last few years family life became my hell, — said the 35-year-old resident of Vladivostok Anna. — Husband got into drugs. […] He started having terrible psychological problems, […] and when one of these attacks he was holding under the gun gun me and my parents, broke into the apartment of a neighbor with threats. I’m not able to hide from it. And except to the police to ask for help nowhere, there are no state institutions or for women suffering from domestic violence or for drug addicts, where they can be treated violently. Several times I wrote statements to the police, but her husband was held for several hours and released. And as horrible as it sounds, but my salvation was the death of another person. My husband got into a fight with a friend, who died from his beatings, and eventually my husband got 9 years for murder. Only then did I sigh with relief”.
Experts cite the example of the experience of Belarus, where a law on domestic violence. If domestic violence, the aggressor is isolated, and the victim issued a restraining order, she’s trying to protect life and health. For offenders have different rehabilitation programs, through which they change their behavior.
“A special law [against domestic violence] do not need to put as many people as possible, and to ensure that violence was not the norm,” explained Rivina, stressing that the key point of the law is that every person has the right to feel safe and in terms of life and health. But in the Russian context, the lawyer, the bold women are often those who just manages to get out of the relationship and get away from the aggressor. However, they pursued after leaving, they have taken the children, they set fire to the house, beat up ex-mothers-in-law. And in the end, these women defending their lives, sometimes end up in jail, on counts of intentionally causing injury or intentional homicide, although they repeatedly asked the state for help, but the government ignored them.