The rape of a 7-year-old girl in Vinnytsia, a 9-year-old girl in Prykarpattya, a 12-year-old boy in the Lviv region, a high-profile sexual murder of 11-year-old Daria Lukyanenko, and now the tragic story of 7-year-old Masha Borisova - these are just the first lines of Google to a request for cases of sexual abuse of children in Ukraine. How many more children have to die at the hands of pedophiles until effective mechanisms for combating crime rampage finally start working in Ukraine?
The difficulty in identifying pedophiles lies in the fact that such people are often perceived simply as very caring. They may also be among your friends - according to the statistics of the National Police, approximately 70% of children affected in 2017 (more than 4.5 thousand were recorded) became victims of people from their inner circle.
It is impossible to learn about a person's traumatic experience of sexual abuse, which further contributes to the development of unhealthy inclinations, and about sexual dysfunctions without his desire. Not every person who has discovered unhealthy inclinations in himself turns to a psychotherapist. Especially in Ukraine, where going to a psychiatrist is still considered something shameful. This means that in most cases it is almost impossible to prevent sexual crimes in advance.
A completely different matter is pedophiles, whose guilt has already been established. The suspect in the murder of Masha Borisova had previously brutally mocked a little boy and raped him. If his guilt is proven, then the failure of the preventive police is obvious. Why weren't law enforcement officers able to prevent this?
News about the next victims of pedophiles on social networks is often accompanied by comments about the need for chemical castration. And after the high-profile case of the murder of Dasha Lukyanenko in June 2019, a petition on the introduction of an appropriate punishment in just a few days after the tragedy gained more than 17 thousand votes. Isn't it paradoxical? People were forced to petition the MPs to pass a law that could at least partially prevent further sexual crimes.
However, chemical castration for pedophiles, following the example of Germany, Poland, Canada, Israel, the United States and other countries, was never allowed. They decided to abandon such a rule due to the imperfection of Ukrainian justice and significant risks for innocent citizens.
A two-year discussion of legislators and experts has notably "cut down" the document, which was called "the law of Dasha Lukyanenko", softening its norms. Despite the fact that a register of persons convicted of pedophilia was eventually created, the law did not solve the problem on a global scale.
First, it aims to restrict access to work with children for persons who have committed sexual crimes against children under the age of 14, and does not apply to violations of the sexual freedom of minors (from 14 to 18 years old).
Second, the new registry is not a panacea - it doesn't work the way many of us would like. It turned out to be "half-closed" in order to avoid violation of constitutional human rights and lynching. And only representatives of government agencies and heads of educational institutions can get access to the data of the Register upon request. It is noteworthy that the law also does not prohibit the employment of persons represented in the register in child care institutions.
According to lawyer Rostislav Kravets, registers and laws will not give the efficiency that Ukraine needs in preventing cases of pedophilia. We need control and preventive measures, because an increase in punishment will not bring the child back and will not diminish the pain for his parents.
Why was little Masha Borisova not saved by a vigilant district police officer who was supposed to monitor the reliability of persons who in the past encroached on the sexual freedom of children?
The answer is simple. In Ukraine, the precinct system was destroyed long ago.
"Now we practically do not have this system, it has been reformed. I believe that for every such crime this Georgian teacher (Dekanoidze - ed.) should be blamed, who changed her citizenship from Ukrainian back to Georgian," says Kravets.
A qualitatively reanimated and financed system of precinct police as a crime prevention tool is extremely necessary for Ukraine. After all, it will be able to control not only issues of sexual abuse of children, but also a number of other offenses. The main thing is to find funds and prioritize correctly.
“There is money for this - we can remove special squads, not buy gyro scooters or bicycles, postpone the purchase of new cars for the patrol police and transfer everything to the creation of a system of precinct police. You just need to redistribute funds. After all, the Ministry of Internal Affairs is the biggest expense item in Ukraine. So there is money, you just need to use it for its intended purpose, and not buy stun guns 5 times more expensive, "notes Kravets.
Another high-profile death of a child and another heartbroken family. I have only one question - what else needs to happen so that in Ukraine, where every fifth child is faced with violence, mechanisms for combating criminal rampage can start working?