Domestic violence in Russia

One in four families in the Russia experiences domestic violence according to a representative of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs.[1] Amnesty International reported in 2003 that each day 36,000 women in the Russian Federation are beaten by their husbands or partners.[2]

The situation is exacerbated by the lack of statistical data on violent crimes, which take into account the nature of relationship between the offender and the victim as well as gender breakdown,[3] and by the attitude of law enforcement officers that still do not regard such violence as a serious crime, but rather, as a "private matter" between the spouses[4][5] and avoid to "interfere with family scandals".[6]

The role of alcohol

Further information: Alcoholism in Russia

A 1997 report published in the Journal of Family Violence, found that among male perpetrators of spousal homicide, 60–75% of offenders had been drinking prior to the incident.[7] A survey conducted by the Scientific Research Institute of the Family, 29% of people responding to the question “Why are children beaten in families with which you are acquainted?” reported that the violence was carried out by drunks and alcoholics.[7]

In a 2004 study of domestic violence in the Central Black Earth Region of Russia, 77% of offenders of violent crime (towards family members) were frequent drinkers - 12% engaged in regular binge drinking (three or four times a month), 30% three times a week or more, and 35% every day or almost every day.[7]

Police response

Yelena Makkey, the legal consultant of the Yekaterina Crisis Centre in the Urals, said that when facing victims of domestic violence police frequently don't understand that they should treat the cases as a violation of human rights. Very often, they do not even register the complaints.

Lara Griffith, an AI advocate who is also affiliated with the campaign for human rights in the Russian Federation, explained: - Economic difficulties, experienced by a significant number of Russian families in the past decade, have put additional strain on family relations and have led to an upsurge in domestic violence in which women are most often the victims.[8]

Men who beat or rape their wives or harass them in other ways are unlikely to face prosecution. Law enforcement officials and society in general tend to view domestic violence not as a crime, but as a private matter. Many women who have suffered such abuses do not seek redress because they fear further involvement with the authorities.[8]

See also

External links


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