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Ukraine's law against domestic violence would not punish the perpetrators

Author : Andrey Kokotiukha

The law "On preventing and counteracting domestic violence" signed by President Poroshenko presupposes from six months of arrest to three years in prison for committing this violation
09:50, 9 January 2018

Read the original text at 112.ua.

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The situation with domestic violence in Ukraine was simple: if someone beats his relatives - it means, he or she does it deservedly. From now, it will change: if he or she beats means he or she will be punished. The law "On preventing and counteracting domestic violence" signed by President Petro Poroshenko presupposes six months of arrest for committing this violation, and three years in prison if it is very strong. Despite the fact that this idea is quite right, in practice the law would be unlikely applied. After all, we live in Ukraine, where the adoption of the law does not mean its observance.

Related: The war does not end: domestic violence in the ATO soldiers families

A fresh example is the speed limit imposed for cars up to 50 km/h from January 1, 2018. As early as January 2, social networks and experts in TV news broadcasts lamented: there is a fairly large number of Ukrainians who are against this restriction and, interestingly, do not see any problems in violating this law. An older story is with a restriction for smokers in public places. They immediately announced the violation of their rights, because they do not see crime in public smoking. And not a single fact of punishment of malicious offenders was given.

Against the backdrop of non-observance of these and many other orders of the authorities, it is very strange, even amusing, to conscientiously implement the law, which restricts the sale of alcohol at night. Personally I have faced it more than once. The sellers took a principled position, not yielding to persuasions and even pleas. Apparently, the offenders were severely punishedseveral times.

Related: Ukrainian parliament to toughen responsibility for violence against pets

But it seems that the real effect of restrictions on night alcohol is the only legislative victory in our country. And the law on preventing and counteracting domestic violence will remain only a piece of paper with a presidential signature. At least because assaulting in Ukrainian families is the same norm as domestic corruption. This is when tired passengers in the buses accuse the corrupt authorities of everything, and after leaving the transport, they think how to thank the official for the performance of his duties, which he considers a paid service.

Related: UN recorded 203 cases of sexual violence in Donbas

Ukraine is still far away from open society. The long absence of institutional practices leads to manipulation. For example, in the West, domestic violence as one of the problems is openly discussed and reflected in fiction. Only in the last few years, almost simultaneously, the Polish writer Zygmunt Miloshevsky in the novel "Anger", Norwegian Chris Tvedt in the "Dangers of Recurrence", Swedish Mari Jungstedt in the drama "The Fourth Victim", placed the problem in the storyline. The classic American counterculture Charles Bukowski in the mid-1980s described in detail the family brutality in "Bread with Ham". And what about us? Initiated two years ago on Facebook flashmob # I'm not afraid to say, the participants of which shared sad practices of the experienced violence, including the family one. However, soon the revelations came across the equally aggressive rejection of other social networks users, which revealed both the unwillingness to hear about this and the manipulative nature of the part of the confessions.

Related: Poroshenko signs law on creation of Unified Register of Domestic Violence Cases

The inability to apply such a law in practice in Ukraine is related to the direct dependence of the members of each family on each other. A woman who is beaten and raped by a husband does not have the opportunity to leave him and live separately, because іhe cannot properly provide herself. Or she convinces herself of this, being afraid of real changes. On the other hand, family scandals, accompanied by the sounds of beats that we hear behind the thin walls of our apartments, continue to be a private matter for everyone. By reporting to the police, we run the risk of making enemies among neighbors who rightly demand not to get involved in their affairs. Finally, the law cannot be a means of curbing family aggression, but a method of pressure and blackmail. To avoid endless red tape, law enforcement will simply ignore such statements. Consequently, the law and domestic violence in our country will not intersect.

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