Team 29: 🤯 An act of violence in violation of common sense

1 February 2020



Hi, Tanya Torocheshnikova here

Tell me, do you think you’ll know when you’re about to become the victim of some kind of violence? Strange question, no? But experience shows that some aren’t so sure.

This week, the bill on domestic violence is being discussed online again. Its final version was actually published late last November, but the draft law still has yet to be introduced in the State Duma.

“You won’t be in a position to spot if there is psychological violence at work. Who is going to determine whether it amounts to violence or not? Who is going to bring the evidentiary system into it? In which court will it be deliberated? Who is going to rule on the matter?” says TV host Vladimir Soloyev.

Four types of violence are provided for in the bill: physical, sexual, psychological, and economic. For Vladimir Solovev, it is not possible to detect the psychological. Another critic of the law fears that if he gave his wife 700 Euros, rather than 1,000, he would be accused of economic violence.

Our lawyers Maks Olenichev, Lera Vetoshkina and Arina Nachinova delved into these and other myths, and responded to opponents of the law. If there are also people among your acquaintances who think, “It’s all nonsense” and, “I wouldn’t call that violence”, then here are some arguments for you.

“Domestic violence is unlike any other,” says Lera, “It takes place in situations where the victim has little or no way of impacting on the situation themselves. There are a number of factors behind this, in particular, the prevailing norms of family life in Russia, in which the man is more powerful – in all senses. Therefore, for those who may become victims of domestic violence (or already have), there needs to be additional protection and support from the state.”

The draft law on domestic violence proposes introducing a system of prevention and protective measures for victims. Take a look, we have explained how this works in other countries – in Turkey, victims of violence are given electronic bracelets connecting them to a help centre, while in Georgia, policemen responding to call-outs involving violence must include at least one woman.

This week, our lawyer Arina Nachinova returned from Syktyvkar, from court, where a claim brought by Moscow municipal worker Viktor Vorobev against the Mayor’s Office was being considered. Viktor wanted to have sight of a public directive on budget allocations to civil servants, but the Mayor’s Office declared it to be a limited distribution document and refused to grant access.

Arina tells us how things proceeded at trial:

“At first, it all went smoothly: the judge granted the application, engaged the Mayor’s office and Moscow government, and even requested the directive in question. But the Mayor’s office sent no directive, and the judge, after retiring for 15 minutes, then refused to release the data. Why? So, either the court agreed that the directive was an official document, and it would have meant violating some internal regulation; or they didn’t find that Viktor’s rights had been violated, indicating that municipal workers should steer clear when it comes to the distribution of money; or it simply did not want to go against the federal authorities.”

In a way, it was also an act of violence against the judicial system and common sense. But the draft law that would have put a stop to it has yet to appear.

Oh well, never mind! Let’s just start with domestic violence.

Take care,

Translated by Lindsay Munford

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