Domestic violence in Russia
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Domestic violence is a serious issue in Russia. Despite many years of discussions, domestic abuse is still not recognized as a crime and this hampers help for the victims.
Thousands of women in Russia die each year as a result of domestic violence, according to official estimates. Statistic relating to men and children are not available. Furthermore, the debate over the issue of domestic violence in Russia is still rather one sided, which concentrates on the issues facing women, over men and children.
Domestic violence against women
Gauri van Gulik, a Berlin-based women’s rights campaigner at Human Rights Watch, Russia is behind when it comes to legal protection for women It doesn't have the basic parameters that women need to be protected from domestic abuse. The economic costs of domestic violence are incredibly high, so it’s not just important for women, it’s important for the development of the country itself.”
Domestic violence against men
While domestic violence against women is contentious issue, domestic violence men in Russia is almost non existent. Determining how many instances of domestic violence actually involve male victims in Russia is difficult. Male domestic violence victims may be reluctant to get help for various reasons. Some studies have shown that women who assaulted their male partners were more likely to avoid arrest even when the male victim contacts police. Another study examined the differences in how male and female batterers were treated by the criminal justice system. The study concluded that female intimate violence perpetrators are frequently viewed by law enforcement and the criminal justice system as victims rather than the actual offenders of violence against men.
Research has suggested that gay men are at higher risk of domestic violence than their heterosexual counterparts.
The role of alcohol
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. 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.
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.
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[neutrality is disputed]. 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. Although men suffering from domestic violence may be more reluctant to report such incidence due to societal expectations.
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