Shelters for victims are, and the word “violence” no – why is the Church silent when families beaten and humiliated

Theoretical discussion about domestic violence, previously associated mainly with the initiative of the state Duma on the decriminalization of this violence and with the position of the Church on this occasion, this summer, got a grim factual basis. A priest killed his wife, who was going to leave him. This tragedy pulled to the surface many unanswered questions and internal Church conversation about domestic violence, which the Church diligently took a lot of years, it has become absolutely inevitable.

Misha Maslennikov/

  • How to start a domestic violence
  • Like humility, patience, and obedience became the Orthodox dictionary of the victim
  • Domestic violence usually starts with small things: raised her voice, swung, pushed
  • Is it worth it to endure beatings for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven
  • “He didn’t call me more than a fat cow” – like psychological violence kills marriage and family

Evil caricature

Irina Lukyanova

But one of the first publications on this issue, the column of father Andrew Kordochkin, although very reasonable, again turned the conversation to blame the victim and tolerate – so it is so convenient, she likes it (“Complaint victims of violence does not always mean the willingness to act towards its termination, does not always mean that the victim has a desire to change something. Looking for sado Maso, Maso sado is looking for. The rapist and the victim are in need of each other”). And worse: that the victim is ultimately responsible for what leaves a family love and respect: “Thus, the victim of his lack of will, condone violence in the family and is responsible for the conversion, ultimately, of the icon of marriage in an evil caricature”.

Further in the text of many good things to say about human dignity, about the fact that the Christian concept of “humility” and “patience” justify inhuman treatment in a marriage that the victim needs to remember human dignity and walk away from relationships that hurt both – and the rapist and the victim.

However, it turned out that the fault of the victim. Many readers were indignant: and the rapist, it turns out that sort of natural phenomenon, which can not cope? We must not sacrifice to persuade to remember about dignity, and of the tyrant to disarm. But others here said – a victim of what? – is she incapacitated? Why not refer to her self-esteem? Because of this and have to say – that she fled from destroying her relationship.

Violence is, and no words

But to appeal to reason and dignity of victims of violence is insufficient. Even if she understands that marriage destroys it, then it may not be of their own resources to get out of the relationship.

Very often a woman is nothing: neither a permanent job nor a degree lost over the years of sitting at home with children, neither their own homes nor the ability to pay is sufficient to pay for rental housing, no family support. No money for psychotherapy, which will help to restore the erased boundaries of the individual, there is no way to cope with all the complex problems that piled on her, she try to leave the house. And one of the most difficult problems in this complex is the reaction of an abusive husband: the blackmail baby to attempted murder.

Yes, some heroines cope, like Baron Munchausen, pulled himself out of the swamp. But this is the exception rather than the rule.

The victim of violence, leaving abusive relationships, many problems of different levels and very few resources to cope with them. She needs serious help.

The Church is trying to support these women by creating shelters for victims of violence. violence. But it believes the conversation about domestic violence itself is harmful – and at the highest level
objected to the use of the terms “family violence”, domestic violence, etc. the Patriarchal Commission on family matters, protection of motherhood and childhood unequivocally
said in plain text: these expressions should not exist in state regulations.

February 28 this year in the Public chamber of Russia held a round table “the Decriminalization of beating one year later: the consequences of adoption of law” on which the representative of the Patriarchal Commission on family matters, protection of motherhood and childhood Ekaterina Chistyakova read the Commission’s report “the Problem of criminalization punishment in the family”.

The report concludes that the family is the main value of the Russians and the safest place for women and children; that decisions about so-called domestic violence are implemented without broad public and professional discussion and, therefore, decisions are made, is dangerous to society and the state. The problem of domestic violence, according to the report, generally raise is that NGOs working on Western money and imposing Russian society, radical feminism and other anti-family ideology to destroy the traditional family. And to protect from violence and interference have a family.

Hence the problem is well known to every Orthodox or colorevolution publicist, who has ever tried to write about what makes the Russian Orthodox Church to help victims of family violence: at the level of parishes create crisis centers for them, organizing psychological, welfare, legal aid. And at the management level – there is not even such a term. No violence, don’t need any system for the provision of assistance, and it is necessary to protect not a particular battered husbands Thanh and Anh, and only the Institute of the traditional family from Western intervention.

Therefore, any discussion of this issue in the Church environment – it’s always a little bit illegal, always with reservations – “no words”.

That is, to see what the problem is, the real priests in real parishes can help at the ward level slowly how you have the strength and skills, but to discuss assistance at any systemic level is impossible, because there are only certain excesses, and there is no problem.

Because Traditional Values for today’s Church – alas, it is much more important than real people.

And is not clearly articulated overall position of the Church on the issue of domestic violence – not only at the level of compassionate parish priest while the priests begin to directly and openly to talk about it with members – I’m afraid we can’t avoid the identification of Christianity and the “Domostroi”.

The worst thing here add their valuable opinion of a humble Orthodox scraptivity or serenity the shrew, as you like. The ones that myself easily say “hedgehog – a bird proud, not pnesh – will not fly”, that call themselves “man up” and share the secrets of the family of the world – say, I the goat’s, while her husband will not let the face is not stop to get it. And Sireniki too – which “parents were beaten, but has become a man”.

And, in General, it is clear that man is struggling to rationalize and justify the ugly situation of violence, in which he fell. Even Augustine this rationalization to justify their suffering, those senseless beatings that he had suffered in his childhood for his reluctance to endure a boring and difficult study, but devotes most painful pages of your work.

It is very human. But it is necessary to understand the price of this argument.

Get a radiant crown

The priest Andrey Kordochkin rightly observes in his column: “Orthodox dictionary equips the victim with many useful terms: “we must carry the cross”, “humility-patience-obedience,” etc. the Concepts of “dignity” and “respect” it does not operate”.

On the one hand, it is absolutely true. On the other – can, in fact, the Church has agreed that we need the victim to say: run for your life, it is not marriage no, and torment! – Yes, but the victim herself doesn’t want to run because he likes bdsm, likes to complain, beat around sympathy, it is the victim itself in sinful blindness of arrogant says: no, I was just saved, carry your cross, accept and tolerate!

Maybe, in fact, we Orthodox women don’t read from year to year in the Orthodox literature and hear from many priests that in a Traditional Family the Traditional Values are told the woman to tolerate, to accept, to be saved through childbearing, self-actualization in mnogochadie, to obey her husband, to cover his on the table first – and in any case not to destroy the marriage, in Heaven, on willfulness, and selfishness.

Maybe we do not put a child in an example of Tatyana Larina – it’s like the whole “Eugene Onegin” was Pushkin wrote for the edification of the Orthodox wife to be humble and respect her husband, even unloved?

Maybe not the answer women the question “What must I do, husband is only interested in booze, friends, and a” quote of St. John Chrysostom: “think <wife>: if you’re going to endure abusive husband, will get a radiant crown, and, if quiet and meek, then God will reward you? I say this not to submit to their husbands about the atrocities, but to convince wives to bear and cruel husbands. When each tries to fulfill his duties, and the middle will not hesitate to do the same”?

Can offer us is to think about your own sins before you condemn men?

Maybe it is in fact women come up with yourself, because you are looking for in the victim status of secondary gain?

And men like and does nothing. If they are with patience and good – then they’ll become white and fluffy. And if don’t become, I think, not tried so hard.

And here the victim actually left alone with the trouble, because for the Church this trouble does not exist, unless there is an immediate threat to the life of a woman. Then Yes – then have it ready to take to the crisis center. Well, if remain alive.

And if not – will receive the crown of martyrdom.

And the rapist go to jail, Yes. And if not to death kill – the wife withdraw the statement, and all his bribes smooth. He is the type of natural phenomenon.

It would be different if we thought less “means she likes it” and “all sado Maso there own”. If I saw that my friend’s wife in tears and bruises – he would say “you’re stupid? What are you doing?” and would not close his eyes, saying “in each hut their bling”.

If there was a legal possibility to issue a protection order, escape the pursuer. I once saw that gets up to the husband, from which newly made wife left after the first slap two weeks after the wedding. He severed all business phones, watched it at the door of the office, — I even will not tell, she hid and ran away, as he filed for divorce. For her it was unthinkable to stay with a man who has raised her hand. If there is no internal ban on assault – hand rise and once, twice, and again and again.

And he hadn’t even realized that back, nothing can not play. Well struck, could not stand, but apologized? Come back! But then found a cut diamond, the wife had the determination and self-reliance to escape at the first sign of violence.

But if from childhood, she is tormented by the feeling of “I’m not, I can tolerate only the grace” (well, in fact, probably at least half of the readers of both sexes that feeling even a little bit knows)? And if she clearly explained that she withdrew, she deserve? But if she truly believes that maybe his love and patience to correct, to conquer, to heal? Who of us knows exactly where and when the love and care turn into co-dependency?

To reason and the dignity of the victim to appeal, of course, necessary. But we have that others do not turn away, considering that it is an internal family matter. So the police took a statement but did not hand over the entire family back to the hands of the abuser on whom they came to complain (as it was, judging by the publications, in tragic case, with many years of domestic violence, Khachaturian) and didn’t say “kill, then come”. To the victim was where to go and how to escape. The rapist, if he did ever feel guilty, could go somewhere to learn to cope with their feelings and interact with others, not beating them. Women who do not know how not to beat their children, could also somewhere to learn how to educate them without whipping – and to come with the request “I beat my child” without fear that the child will be taken away.

And then we all say – run for your life, and no conditions for this. And the rapist walks funny, happy and unpunished, he is the type of the element, know the Council is not and cannot be.

Non-resistance to evil by violence

But what can you do? “What do you suggest?” asked me when I said I blame the victim – not an option.

About organizational solutions will better tell professionals.

“World experience in this area is quite specific on this issue: an integrated approach. Attention to showing the violence. Training its regulation of affect, albeit forced. Protective orders. The economic component. Asylum. And just at the level of society – an understanding that relationships build at least two, and when someone raises a hand is violence. And the discussion should start, not with the “host” responsibility/guilt in the victims,” said therapist Marina Travkovo.

What can the Church, in addition to crisis centres in the parishes?

Yes, at least a coherent conversation about what if a person day-to-day beaten, insulted, deprived of communication and money, forbidden to work, warned that he will take the baby, go insane and violent scenes of jealousy, punishing multi-day silence, change if husband drinks and comes out of the house last family values, no Family Values here are already out of the question. Here the person is obviously ruining a marriage, and this is not the situation that is treated by humility, patience and love for a suffering side. You can say that the desire to escape from this situation is not the betrayal of Christ, not a mortal sin; that a marriage is terminated, not when the couple split up physically, but when his love goes away and starts the violence.

You can even try to talk to the laity about the complex issue of non-resistance to evil by violence and resistance to evil by force, which so tormented the Leo Tolstoy and Ivan Ilyin; to try to discuss where the boundary beyond which not only the victim of domestic violence, but the dumb Balaam’s ass has the right to scream: “What have I done that you beat me these three times?”

To try to understand where, how, in a moment of humility, patience and love go into condoning the rapist, and – before you blame the victim in connivance and appeal to her sense of self-esteem – clearly and consistently explain how to define their borders, giving to understand what is possible and what is impossible, what to do if these boundaries are violated (not only spouses, but also against children).

The priests in the surveys conducted by Prawira, said that if it came to confession a woman with such trouble, it is not necessary to moralize and teach her how to calm my husband down – it is necessary to take under protection: to leave the temple to help her cope with the difficult situation – financial, household, work; for it to seek shelter. Her instructions are not really needed, she needs human help and participation.

Broken children

The same women who seek refuge from their abusive husbands to shelters, may raise a hand against a child. One of the most common queries on the parent forum which I administer many years, “how to hold back and not to hit the child when he is angry” (interestingly, one and a half decades, I have never seen request “how not to hit the boss when he enrages”). And that’s another problem, which does not want to see the Church: family violence is not always a harmless “slap” for educational purposes. But not necessarily these are the times when it comes to criminal cases and crime news.

Family violence is generated, on the one hand, the feeling of its validity in relation to those who depend on you, and on the other – the inability, unwillingness and inability to cope with their emotions: he pisses me off.

Family and domestic violence at the level of “belt wanted” while making lessons and generously paved children cuffs in hot family quarrels – it is almost the norm in many families. And society is actually not consider as violence. And to take away the child in this situation, the beating of parents, placing it in a shelter or an orphanage and subjecting it to the violence even worse and more – of course, senseless and ruthless solution to the problem. But other solutions society has not.

And the only available Church’s decision to demand the closure of the family from any interference. Although a reasonable solution would be demanding the abolition of a system that punishes more violent for less, to create a system that helps families raise children without violence.

But this concept seems to be incomprehensible to citizens.

In our society really do not understand that children could be educated as something different.

In our society normally, when stronger humiliate and insult the weaker. The head – slave, rich – poor, husband – wife, mother – child, owner – pet.

The level of aggression in our society – over-the-top; moreover, aggression is not even recognized as aggression or considered a norm of communication, the norm of education, healthy self-defense, and this seems to be also one of the Traditional Values. And broken children grow up to be beating adults, and violence reproduces itself.

Speaking of values

Even half a century ago was considered the norm shackles on criminals, the whipping of peasants in the stables, the gauntlet in the army, the cane at school. By the way, when the society began to talk about the abolition of physical punishment and to justify this requirement of the Christian commandments demand respect for God’s image in man, Metropolitan Filaret (Drozdov) in his note “On corporal punishment from a Christian point of view” (1861) detail to substantiate the validity and dushepoleznoe corporal punishment.

By the way, that is the Great Russian Literature, which is now considered to be the stronghold of Traditional Values, strongly protested against the use of physical punishment and violence and cruelty to animals and the spanking of children, and family violence, and public corporal punishment and the death penalty; that is the Great Russian Literature called for the softening of manners, charity towards the persons under investigation and prisoners. Then you can pour to the names and texts, but each reading he remember Chekhov and Gorky, and Tolstoy, and Garin-Mikhailovsky, Korolenko, and Dostoevsky, and Turgenev…

Now at the top of the Church it has become customary to say that the Russian intelligentsia of the NINETEENTH century became interested in pernicious Western ideas, and hence, they say, the whole tragedy of Russian history of the twentieth century. And again, the rapist is innocent. Not the one to blame, who Rob, oppress, rape, tortures, – that is to blame, who resents this and rebels.

However, the long historical gap in our society the point of view of the great Russian Literature prevailed over a serious and detailed justification of St. Philaret. We are now, thank God, spared from public Vice, and I think no one will come to mind to demand the return of corporal punishment to the criminal or administrative code as useful and relevant to Traditional Values.

Now even the dogs have learned to train without whipping, and lines of the children’s poem “A poodle – a whip and a copper collar” now seem outdated and cruel.

Now in our society is not made to break stones for adultery, and crucified for undermining the foundations of the state.

And that the world has changed so much, there’s an echo in one long-standing public executions, the echo of a long-standing flagellation, spitting, saulene.

This penalty would be remembered every day – and with it to verify all their Traditional Values. Remember that Traditional Values and Christianity are two different things. That Grace is above the Law. What the Lord wants mercy, not sacrifice. What adultery don’t need to break the stones that unfair trial is that the victim should be compassionate and not to mock her: Oh, are You the King of the Jews? – Well, that’s a crown of thorny branches!

Plus archaism of the entire country

The world is changing. In our society not only crucified and not castigated, but, as a rule, do not marry by force for the rich – not to speak of specific regions with a more archaic Traditional Values.

These values – the tribal, very old: we must be many, and we must be strong. We must be strong warriors, many children (future soldiers and mothers of future soldiers), and if anyone will live to old age – to honor and respect. The tribe is ruled by a leader, he is subject to princes, are subject to them army, husbands submit wives, wives, children and servants, and all obey slaves. Upper care lower and are responsible for them, bottom right serve the top and delegate to them responsibility for themselves.

This hierarchical pyramid, perfectly described in the Domostroi, in Russia ceased to operate already in the XVII century – when, in fact, the Domostroi was written. Already then it became clear that it even happens when the top does not care about lower and pushed around by them, that the bottom suffer in vain, that the suffering is not sin, and unjustly… And then came the big change – and there was a seditious idea that society can be arranged unusual – not hierarchical, pyramidal and horizontal-all brothers, all bear an equal share of responsibility; manages others not he, who by birth, and one who is better capable and selected other…

Traditional is this idea? No. The Christian idea that all people are to each other brethren – it is his time a new defiant, rebellious, lawless. It goes against the archaic Traditional Values.

Over the past two thousand years the law has changed many times – and if you look back, the changes go in the direction of easing of manners and reduce violence. In the direction of the spirit of the law, which remains unchanged: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.

Honestly: I can’t imagine that Christ looked at Anya Pavlikov and said Yes what can I say, 18 years is an adult, understand what to do, let him sit, that another nepovadno was!

Can’t imagine that Christ remained silent, knowing that people are being tortured in the FSIN, or said offender for his crime, deprived himself of the image of God (this is one of the arguments of Metropolitan Philaret, by the way), so it is impossible to talk about the insult of the image of God in his physical punishment.

Family violence is only one link in the chain of violence. And like in the official document “the basic teaching of the Russian Orthodox Church on dignity, freedom and human rights” clearly States: “Every person is endowed by God with dignity and freedom. However, the use of freedom for evil will inevitably lead to the derogation of one’s own dignity and the dignity of other people. Society must establish mechanisms, restoring harmony between human dignity and freedom. In public life the concept of human rights and morality can and must serve this purpose.”

But there are no official statements about the fact that you can not humiliate the dignity of others.

But it should be.

However, I think the official statement any Commission on the occasion of Balaam’s ass would say that God created animals without a soul and mind, so to beat them acceptable and even useful for obedience and their own benefit.

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