Violence against Women in Russia A Report to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Contents 1. Preliminary Observations. Français Home Contact Us Help Search www.stafaband2.info Issue Papers, Extended Responses and Country Fact Sheets Home Issue Paper RUSSIA DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN. VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN IN RUSSIA. The law doesn't protect women. If a woman goes to the police and tells them that she is being beaten by her husband or .
The collapse of the Soviet Union in led to political, economic, and social challenges for Russians that continue to the present day. Women have been disproportionately impacted by these challenges and experience high rates of unemployment and poverty. In , the U. Additionally, a lack of dedicated, sustained government funding and support requires Russian non-governmental organizations NGOs combating violence against women to secure financial support from foreign governments, international organizations and private foundations.
The Russian Federation is a party to numerous international and regional human rights treaties that mandate the protection, respect and fulfillment of the human rights of those under its jurisdiction.
Specifically, the Russian Federation has ratified The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women CEDAW [xv] and its Optional Protocol , [xvi] which require the government to take affirmative steps to address gender-based discrimination and violence against women.
Russia also has no law guaranteeing equal opportunities for men and women in employment or education. The CEDAW Committee in also expressed serious concern about the negative impact of traditional gender attitudes in the Russian Federation, stating: The Committee reiterates its concern at the persistence of practices, traditions, patriarchal attitudes and deep-rooted stereotypes regarding the roles, responsibilities and identities of women and men in all spheres of life.
The Committee is concerned that such customs and practices perpetuate discrimination against women and girls; that this is reflected in their disadvantageous and unequal status in many areas, including in education, public life, decision-making, marriage and family relations, and the persistence of harmful traditional practices, honour killings, bridal kidnappings and violence against women.
Prevalence of domestic violence. Women in the Russian Federation experience domestic violence at an exceptionally high rate. Other research indicates that as many as sixty to seventy percent of Russian women do not report domestic abuse. In , during its review of the Russian Federation, t he U. Committee on Torture stated: Despite consistent reports of numerous allegations of many forms of violence against women throughout the State party, the Committee is concerned that there are only a small number of complaints, investigations and prosecutions of acts of domestic violence and violence against women.
It is also concerned about reports that law enforcement officers are unwilling to register claims of domestic violence, and that women who seek criminal investigations of allegations of domestic violence are compelled to participate in reconciliation processes. The Russian Federation has no comprehensive law, program or action plan to address domestic violence. The Russian Federation has no civil domestic violence laws to protect women victims of violence.
Such legislation would encompass restraining orders, emergency protective orders, and other measures to remove a perpetrator from the home and reduce the threat of domestic violence. It also limits the ability of Russian law enforcement and the judiciary to effectively intervene in cases of domestic violence.
Russian police say that if an officer did not witness a violent incident, he can only ask the batterer to give a statement, but cannot make an administrative arrest. ANNA has recommended amending the law to include specific provisions for domestic violence protective orders. In general, Russian police do not receive domestic violence training and are reluctant to respond to, or register, domestic violence complaints.
Additionally, the Russian Federation has no provisions in its criminal code that explicitly punish all forms of domestic violence. Special Rapporteur on violence against women that these provisions are adequate to punish perpetrators of domestic violence and that Russia did not need special legislation against domestic violence. However, both the Special Rapporteur and ANNA have found that these articles are not effective in addressing domestic violence. According to ANNA, most women lack the legal expertise to file a complaint, or are unable to hire an attorney to file the complaint for them.
Even if a victim is able to properly file a complaint by herself or through an attorney , the expense and difficulty of gathering evidence and the risk involved to domestic violence victims makes this procedure ineffective and dangerous for women. Department of State Country Report on Russia found that judges often referred private cases to a reconcilation process that emphasized family unity rather than victim protection.
Other violent means of torment include, for example, sleep, food, and water deprivation, cold-rooms, biting, whipping, and binding. Honor killings and bride kidnapping. Bride-kidnapping is a form of forced marriage involving the abduction and sometimes rape of a woman or girl, who out of fear and shame is later forced to marry her abductor.
Honor killings occur when a woman is murdered because her relatives, usually her male relatives, believe she has dishonored the family in some way. The Russian Federation does not maintain reliable statistics on sexual assault and has not performed or commissioned a comprehensive survey of the prevalence of sexual violence in the country.
However, as crimes of private-public prosecution, rape and violent sexual assault are categorized by Russian law as equivalent to a violation of copyright or invasion of personal privacy also cases of private-public prosecution. Additionally, victims often face intense pressure to drop a complaint soon after it was made. In the northern Caucasus region of the Russian Federation, social pressures to ignore cases of rape are even more intense, as reported by the U.
Special Rapporteur on violence against women in If they raped women come home, they would be better off shooting themselves. A sullied daughter is worse than a dead one to her father.
Russian police departments lack specialized training in how to handle sex crimes or treat victims, and often do no refer victims for a forensic medical exam. Russia also does not provide adequate protection, social services or legal assistance to rape victims. Other reports demonstrate that a major obstacle to holding rapists accountable is the low level of awareness about rape and the needs of rape victims among actors in the criminal justice system.
For example, a focus group participant told the Moscow-Helsinki Group the following about the police response to her rape report: The fact is that some of my friends and myself have also been raped.
None of my friends reported to the police but I did and I regret it to this day. I have never been more humiliated, insulted, and condemned than back then. It turned out that I was to blame for what had happened to me. My mother saved me from suicide whereas the police almost encouraged me to commit it. Some prosecutors exhibit similar attitudes. The CEDAW Committee in raised concerns about a recent amendment to the statutory rape provisions of Article 1 , which prohibits sexual intercourse with a minor under the age of Russian law prohibits rape and sexual assault and contains no exceptions for rapes committed by spouses or relatives.
Committee on Torture in also found that police were reluctant to intervene in cases of spousal rape. The Russian criminal code does not specifically prohibit sexual harassment. Similarly, sexual harassment is not a prohibited form of discrimination against women in employment, education, the military or any other public sphere in Russia. It is not recognized as a health or safety issue by government officials in regulation, or otherwise. Women who are sexually harassed may pursue general civil damages in Russian courts; [cxxxiii] however, only two women have successfully sued on the basis of sexual harassment since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and as of , no woman had won a case since In fact, many women simply leave their place of employment if sexual harassment occurs.
In , women organized protests in Moscow against widespread sexual harassment in Russia. It is also not clear how effective the proposed law will be in stopping sexual harassment. Proving that any harassment occurred will be difficult for most women. There are few specialized services to assist victims of sexual harassment. Russia is a significant source, transit and destination point for trafficked men, women and children. Individuals are trafficked for various exploitative purposes, including commercial sexual exploitation, forced labor, illegal adoption and street begging.
After five consecutive years on the U. In May , Russia ratified the U. Convention on Transnational Crime. What is Domestic Violence? Resources for Domestic Violence and Housing Issues. Surveys of National Laws U. Law Sample Orders for Protection. Duties of Prosecutors Duties of Judiciary.
What Is Trafficking in Women? What is Sexual Harassment in the Workplace? Civil Law Criminal Law. Sexual Harassment as Discrimination Enforcement and Oversight. What is Sexual Assault? Sexual Assault as a Form of Sexual Violence. Marital and Intimate Partner Sexual Assault. Council of Europe European Union.
Acts of Retribution and Intimidation. Prosecutor Protocol Regulations and Administrative Provisions. Parental Alienation Syndrome and Confidentiality of Address. Research and Reports Treaties New Developments.
Research and Reports Treaties. Guidelines for Developing a Training Program. Why Undertake Human Rights Documentation? Sample Methodologies and Guidelines. What is Advocacy and Why is it Important? How is Advocacy Defined? Defining Your Advocacy Goals: Complaint Mechanism Additional Resources. Reporting Mechanism Additional Resources.
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Anya has a lot on her mind. In a small, sparsely-furnished room, she is trying to get her two boys, aged four and seven, to take their afternoon nap. It is not the easiest of tasks at the best of times, and is even more difficult in her temporary home - a room in a shelter for women victims of domestic violence. Her story is typical. During her seven-year marriage, she was frequently beaten or verbally abused.
She lived in fear, not knowing where to seek help. When at last she decided to lodge a complaint with the police, several years ago, she was told little could be done about her husband as "it was his home". Then I was waiting for the children to grow up, so they could confirm to the police what had been happening. Then I started to make recordings, I taped what was going on. Once, a policewoman came in and said: Anya divorced her husband two years ago, but, unable to afford her own home in Moscow, continued to share the family flat with him.
The last rounds of beatings came in mid-January: The room refuge on the edge of Moscow is the only option for her and many others who find themselves in a similar situation.
No-one knows exactly how many Russian women need a shelter like this. Despite almost two decades of discussion and debates, domestic violence is not classified as a crime and there are no national statistics. But according to estimates, based on studies in a few selected regions conducted by the Russian interior ministry, a shocking , women in Russia are facing physical and verbal abuse at home every year.
Out of those, 14, die from injuries inflicted by husbands or partners. That is almost 40 a day. Given these figures, demand for safe houses like the one Anya went to must be very high. Yet, in Moscow, a city of 12 million, there is only one state-funded refuge. It is surprising to hear its managers say that capacity is not a big issue. During their time in the shelter - each visitor is allowed to stay for two months - the women have to find a way out of the crisis they face, while dealing with often complicated legal procedures.
But it comes as no surprise that, while trying to find justice, abused women are left feeling bewildered or powerless. Victims say that, very often, instead of registering a complaint for assault, officers will ask the woman to "think it over" to ensure she does not withdraw it a day or two later, following pressure from husbands or relatives.
But police inspector Andrei Levchuk disagrees, saying that he and his colleagues follow all procedures. Domestic violence, along with burglary and car theft, is one of the most common issues in the area. Capt Levchuk says that typically, not witnessing violence at the spot, all policemen can do is to caution the presumed offender. This caution does little to prevent future aggression. He thinks the now defunct Soviet system of cautioning, which allowed courts to remove offenders for up to two weeks for a form of community service, would serve as a good deterrent.
The inspector admits that in a majority of cases the injuries sustained by victims of abuse are not sufficient to launch criminal investigation and the best the police can do is to advise a victim to file a petition for a private case. Cases of domestic violence only become criminal cases if the police are able to establish that injuries have been serious or severe - or that death has occurred: Slowly, the public perception of this issue is changing, says Ms Pisklakova: There has been a change in the mentality, she says: But years of campaigning for a law which would recognise domestic abuse as a specific crime have so far brought no result.
After more than a decade of discussion, the draft law on domestic violence has still not been introduced in parliament. Ms Pisklakova hopes the Duma may start discussing it this year. US senators pass a bill that would mark the most sweeping tax cuts since the s.
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