12 May 2020
by Valery Borshchev
The Moscow Helsinki Group is seeing an increase in reports from the public about domestic violence under coronavirus self-isolation conditions, Moscow Helsinki Group co-chair Valery Borshchev has told RIA Novosti, adding that lawyers are dealing with these issues.
“The complaints coming in really show that self-isolation has intensified domestic violence. Such complaints have increased. But we are acting on the principle of a targeted approach and analysis. We pass cases on to lawyers who can deal with these matters using the relevant structures already in place, as the issue is delicate… Coronavirus has shown that the problem is critical and requires a serious solution,” Borshchev told RIA Novosti.
He believes the pandemic has exacerbated the problem because women suffering from domestic violence have nowhere to go. “I think that law enforcement agencies need to seriously intervene here, where there are such reports. But there aren’t many people who can bring themselves to make such a report. The cliché persists that “it will turn out all right.” But I think that if a person raises their hand to you… If this happens constantly, then you can’t live with this person,” said the human rights activist.
As well as this, according to Borshchev, there should be education and training, and human rights defenders and journalists need to join forces.
“Because these clichés that “I can live with this”, “that’s love” and “everything will work out” interfere with the fight against domestic violence. In general, I’m glad about the direction our society is going in. There are more and more opponents of domestic violence and there are many men taking part in this fight. This is an important direction for our society, for our human rights, and I think we will win. It is necessary to pass a law on domestic violence,” he added.
Translated by Verity Hemp