“I should be the one who has” – how to destroy a halo of shame around the topic of violence

Why we need a new law on protection from violence, how to make it work, what is the reason for the lack of reliable data on the number of cases of domestic violence and how to break the aura of shame around this topic – says the head of the center “no-Violence” Anna Rivina.

Photo: coe.int

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The concept of “violence” did not exist in law

– Why people can’t agree among themselves and family relationships should be regulated on a legal level?

– Those who could negotiate for protection to the state will not seek. Between family conflict when people fight and are not afraid of each other, and violence when one dominates, subdues and destroys the self-esteem of another, there is a significant difference. So the law is necessary for those who agree can not and does not plan to. Domestic violence is a crime, and crime does answer according to the law.

Anna Rivina. Photo By Anna Danilova

– We now have such a law?

– What is, is not working effectively, the police and judges refuse to apply the existing rules properly. The concept of “violence” did not exist in law. But violence is not only when you are trying on the light post. It can be physical, sexual, psychological, economic. This should be spelled out in the law.

In Russia, for example, still does not exist protection orders, protection orders that prohibit the offender at the time of trial away from the injured woman. Everywhere has such an order is, because there is an understanding that the victim needs time to gather strength, to talk to a psychologist, a lawyer, to think about where to live and what school to transfer children to not go to sleep with an axe under his pillow, afraid to Wake up.

Remember the story of the eagle? The woman begged on the phone the police to help. And she answered: “a Corpse will be – come, describe. Don’t worry”. After 40 minutes, it happened because the boyfriend beat her to death. The legal system must be constructed so that the policeman could not respond to the call.

I can’t believe the police just did not respond.

Recently I was approached by a woman. Living on the ruble. Her neighbor beat a boxer. The police said: “Why do you have to write a statement? Well, I will write him for assault a fine of 500 rubles. Do you need it?”

First, not 500 rubles and 5000 rubles. And not to her, and in the state budget. And the outrageous looks on the decriminalization law, passed recently. By the way, after its adoption, even on the First channel, the comedians indulged in quips: “Thanks to the state Duma! It has now become possible to beat.”

So men go and beat their wives. Our country really needs a law aimed at protecting victims. While laws are not about protection, but about the budget.

– Are there any official statistics how many cases per year?

Official statistics poorly. You can see the dry figures, of course, the number of calls to the police by region, for example, or the statement of the interior Ministry. You can examine the data of Rosstat and various NGOs. On average, in every fourth family violence occurs. But replicated media data about 12-14 thousand women who annually kill in the family, still wrong. This figure hails from the nineties.

– Is there clarity with the numbers?

Every time we get at least some numbers – it’s luck. Know all about absence of law, which is legally and clearly stipulated the term “violence”.
Imagine the situation. Woman saves his life and in result kills abuser. Such cases police often not considered as self-defence and murder, and therefore not included into the statistics.

Photo: lawr.ru

– Why is this happening?

– For the disclosure of the intentional murder of a police officer give a completely different “thank you” than “self-defence”. They get more reputation praise, points, profit. The police is beneficial to the case was loud. And more profitable business not to have at all.

But we know that according to official statistics, 40% of all serious crimes occur in the family. We know that in 2016 more than 50 000 families of the victims, where women – an absolute majority. And we know that very many are denied help.

For example, data for the 2014-2015 year – on article about the abuse received more than 2 million applications every year, and every year more than a million cases – the refusal to initiate criminal proceedings, and the court ultimately guilty verdict in less than 30 thousand. People are turning, and the police stamp failures…

The world has passed this way

– You are a young and successful lawyer, why are you doing that is the topic of family violence?

Three years ago I read an article the journalist Anne Gavrilovic. One night she was beaten young man, with whom they decided to leave. The story was accompanied by photographs and plunged me into shock. Anything like this in my life occurred. Violence seemed to be something rare and distant. Not the problem, you need to select.

Was even more amazed by the reaction to the article. Hipster and progressive youth in the comments wrote: “my fault”, “he did a bad thing, because you are provoked”. In any case the victim is left to blame.

In the case of Gavrilovici the trial took place. The guy was convicted, but soon pardoned on the occasion of the anniversary of the Victory. Not only that, the man turned the young woman’s face into mush, have not been punished, so he also got the public support: “received, we’re in business”.

I was then in tel Aviv. If you go to Israel, excuse me, in toilet, there is a sign in several languages with instructions where to call and what to do in a violent situation. Anything like this in Moscow I have not seen not in the toilet, even on the Internet. Max – scraps of information in women’s magazines. So where to go for help, impossible to understand. Police support is not questioned.

I’m a lawyer, PhD in law on information law. All his life was a media challenge and I never thought that social issues could in any way relate to me. But the history of Generowicz, discussing it online, the fact that the violence in my country is the norm, so I was outraged and shocked, I wondered. What can I do to change this?

– Surely someone will say that in Israel, which you cite as an example, a reason in any accessible and inaccessible place there is a telephone hotline for victims of violence. Can there be violence there thriving?

– You know, problems are solved where they are spoken. And in Israel talking about it. There, out on the street, you will see not only people with additional needs, but people with different skin color, women who dress the way they want… And in our country the problems are hidden and hushed up, and they say that “you were raped because the dress is too short and the gait of the causes”.

Remember the post-war USSR when they began to hide those in the war have lost arms, legs. Domestic violence is the same picture. We do not have any violence. More to say, 70-80% of cases remain in the shadows, they are not reported. People do not seek help because they fear the aggressor, fear of police, fear of the consequences for the family, afraid of condemnation and oblique views.

Finally, the problems at home need to keep to yourself, because “to wash dirty linen in public – the last thing”. To talk about violence feel ashamed. Especially for the elderly. And older people, incidentally, one of the vulnerable categories. Well as the mother will tell you that her son is a drug user long ago brought home everything I could, and knocks fists retirement?! Is it possible your own child to jail?

– You have decided to tackle the problem of domestic violence. Where with this go?

– Took a long time to get to know who does such things. They turned out a little bit: center “Sisters” (helps women victims of sexual violence) and educational center “Anna” (who initiated the country’s first line helpline), plus a few shelters. The consortium of women’s non-governmental associations, which is where I found Mari Davtyan, which I started to help and learn from her. It became clear to me that the activities of these organizations don’t know everything, who needs them, so I decided to work in the information sphere.

The study of international experience, which clearly sets out: where, why and how to act to the injured woman. Realized that reinventing the wheel is not necessary. The world has passed this way. Did not expect that someone will offer a job or falls on my grant. Just started to do this volunteer initiative and created a project “no Violence”. After three years of systematic work, we have grown to NGOs.

Photo: socialist.news

But we chose to decriminalize the beatings

– How NGOs can make a difference with domestic violence?

– First of all, we do everything to the theme of violence has ceased to be taboo. Try to break down stereotypes from the “my fault.” Alas, without government support socio-cultural model of behavior change is very difficult, but we do everything in our power, we have big plans.

Understand if children from an early age to talk about personal boundaries, which violate not allow anyone, if you explain that the attack on these boundaries – not in the order of things, the situation will move from the dead point. To say this need not only in school but also at other public venues. The state has opportunities to educate a lot more, we hope to reach out and organise this work, but not yet.

With our work we want to increase targeted assistance (although do legal and psychological support of victims), it is more important to fill the information space to each victim knew where to run to in a situation of violence.

We collect all Analytics, planned to set up a national network of assistance for victims of domestic violence, combining into a single professional community crisis centres existing in the country.

Finally, we deal with the issues of legal regulation, because Russia, as I said, the last (together with Uzbekistan) without the law on prevention of domestic violence. The Caucasus, so far as Patriarchal, but even there passed laws. And only Russia is proudly waiting for something.

– You are talking about enlightened Europe, but for a long time whether there are such laws?

– In different ways. The most advanced is Sweden. The unacceptability of physical violence against children, and then about family violence there is forbidden by law in 1979 . America passed a law in 1994 when the U.S. Congress considered domestic violence a criminal offence, providing for the prosecution.

In Europe the laws on violence against women was taken by the waves. In France a few years ago (in 2010) in the criminal code a new crime of “psychological violence.” The law protects women from abuse non-physical nature. Israel is chosen to ensure that at the legislative level to punish economic violence.

The former Soviet republics began to adopt similar laws five years ago. Ukraine, for example, has signed such in January 2018. He begins to act from 2019. But Kyrgyz people managed to the law on protection from family violence several times to make contemporary amendments.

Even if Russia adopted such a law today, not much would have lagged behind Europe. But we chose to decriminalize the beatings. Beating Russia is not a crime but a misdemeanor, which is placed in series with the illegally parked car.

Social advertising against domestic violence. Photo: sostav.ru

Violence takes place where rights mean nothing

– Again, everything depends on the statistics? It is not that scary, both in America and advanced European countries?

– It’s more about Patriarchy in our society that a woman seen as a mother and wife first. And only secondarily as a person with interests, desires, including the desires of professional development.

– Is it bad?

– How to say it. The woman, in order to not look in the eyes of others a failure, we need at least some man. And when childhood you used to hear: “hurry to get you married,” and with age occurs more and more social pressure, then go on to marry anyone, just not to be considered a spinster. Globally the pressure is poured out upon us from the movies, TV shows, advertising, speeches, public speakers, books, Newspapers…. We plunged headlong.

And only a progressive minority understands that saying “no” – a right, not a disadvantage. Those who can say “I don’t want to get married”, “not yet ready to give birth” – units.

But marriage should not be an indicator of demand for women. You can not drive in the marriage. Family should be a conscious choice and not the result of social pressure. Because it is in the context of marriage remains vulnerable woman. If she gives birth, for example, a sick child, in the vast majority of cases the average Russian goes and gets himself a new family. If a woman is seriously ill, the man leaves again and starts a new family. If for some reason she is in prison, the man’s gone, too. But if a man sits in prison, the woman writes, calls, carries products and reports socks with cookies.

– A woman decides to be a cog and that there is violence in the family?

– In our country, it seems everyone decides to be a cog, not that woman. Here’s the story sisters Khachatryan. Imagine girls did not go to school. Why is nobody bothered? They were not homeschooled. They just didn’t come to class.

Where was the teacher, Director, psychologists, social workers, guardianship, so that everyone is afraid of? Why none of them attracted the situation in this family? Yes, because people used to live according to the pattern and the principle “my business”.

Each teacher decides whether or not to track the situation in the family of the student. Pass by or stop if kids are in trouble. Every teacher, Yes, each of us constantly faces a choice whether to be a man.

In Israel the attitude towards children is completely different, they are not shouting on the street, they are all business. I was very moved by one story: the mother of one girl told the teacher that my daughter had cancer. The girl went through radiation, bald and has to go back to school. The mother asked the teacher to the child was not hurt. When the girl entered the classroom, all the students were bald, including the teacher.

Why are there parents, the children, the teacher realized that their act will support the child in such a sensitive situation, and we have people worried that the area will be Laundry for the homeless?

You know, violence happens where rights mean nothing.
We know that more than twenty times the neighbors complained about the situation in the family Khachatryan. The girls ‘ mother contacted the police station where he was immediately beaten. But the police remained inactive. That is, we again rested in a legal context and the human, of course.

Anna Rivina. Photo By Anna Danilova

– Want to say that in America and Europe, all these problems surfaced before?

– In America, changes in legislation including carrying wave feminism. Feminists first began to talk that the woman who stays home with children, caring about the comfort of cooking a meal – not an empty place. And to be in the kitchen – it is also work that needs to be respected. The women are asserting their rights. They a lot of effort spent to get the opportunity to vote and to work not only secretaries.

Soviet women, by the way, it never struggled. Our mothers and grandmothers was one of the first in the world gave everything on the plate.

We never knew to fight for the right to lead the plant or to control the mixer, not to mention war time when women did everything. Soviet woman was a man. And the fact was very different from the average American woman of the postwar period, which had martinis and a dinner of five courses to meet the husband from work in an evening dress and with the hair. In the USSR the woman had been sitting in the kitchen, but that doesn’t mean there was gender equality, it is.

An international phenomenon that men and women are paid differently. As a consequence, women who are in economic dependence. But violence is not necessarily the head about the battery. Violence is when you don’t want to deal with her husband sex, and he makes, because conjugal duty. Or do you want to work, to learn, to grow, and it is forbidden to get an education, because your place is in the kitchen. And it turns out that these things are interrelated. The violence begins when you are afraid to defend their interests, rights, afraid to talk about what’s important and care about you.

Our goal as an information resource – to destroy the aura of shame around the topic of violence. Should be ashamed not to, whom they beat, and one who has. I’m sure if a woman will write on the fence, on Facebook, tell your friends, call phone support and say “Bob did it” and the answer is: “It’s not your fault,” then very much in our country will change.

If a man will know that the act prohibits the battered wife to take a statement about the beatings from the police, he will think a hundred times to dismiss any hands. Because it would mean that the government is ready to protect victims.

Social advertising against domestic violence

We need a law were not just and worked

– What “Violence.no” can do in legislation? What opportunities, in addition to informing the population, do you have?

– Our law lies in the Duma. It was developed by brilliant lawyers: Mari Davtyan and Alexey Parshin. Even the law in the sixth convocation was laid on the table of the “Fair Russia”. His promotion is actively engaged in Alena Popova, as a public figure, and Oksana Pushkin (the Deputy of the State Duma and Deputy Chairman of the Committee on family, women and children). But yet, alas, the bill didn’t even come from the relevant Committee before the first reading was not reached.

– Why is this happening?

Because we are experiencing tremendous resistance from the other side. Sitting in the Duma Slutsky, who was accused of harassment, and he and those who with him believe that “girls are to blame”. Our members – such as representatives of companies advocating “ beats – means loves”.

To say exactly when the law is passed, I can’t, but he admitted he will be exactly. Every time there are some scary stories, pop-up publicly, as sisters Khachatryan, in the Duma each shall be responsible for the decriminalization of beatings.

Recently in Orekhovo-Zuyevo was the case. The man humiliated wife by night, unable to bear the beatings, linking sheets, she and her child got out of the apartment. But failed. Every time in such cases we say that it is a personal responsibility Mizulina and Batalina, who initiated the law on decriminalization of a beating.

Another thing is that the proposed bill can take, throwing it all efficient. We need to not just being, but also worked.

We wait, hope for the best, continue to do our projects. Recently released videos in which told how to understand what over you violence and what to do, how to behave in the hospital, police, court; how to behave in the context of sexual violence; what to do if there is violence against children.

Our videos involved psychologists, lawyers, lawyers, representatives of the police. We believe that in a country in which there is a total ignorance of their rights and where there is no law, such how-to videos and map of the crisis centres is a universal mechanism that can be used by women from Kaliningrad to Khabarovsk.

Fund “Pravmir” opened the collection for administrative costs and salaries of employees of the center “of VIOLENCE.NO.” Let’s help the center to provide quality and professional assistance to victims of domestic violence and their families. Victims of domestic violence can be anyone, but together we can say “no violence”.

Go to the page collection at the Foundation’s website

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