ArmInfo.On December 13, the Armenian parliament passed a package of laws aimed at preventing family violence in the second and final reading.
Introducing the draft law "On preventing family violence and protecting persons subjected to family violence and reconciliation in the family," Deputy Minister of Justice Vigen Kocharyan noted that the law has three goals: to prevent violence, protect persons who have been subjected to violence and restore harmony in the family.
In general, as the deputy minister explained, the package provides for the application of three basic mechanisms for the protection of persons affected by domestic violence - prevention, urgent intervention and decision on protection. The decision on the application of the second mechanism is made by the relevant specialist of the Police, and the decision on protection by the court. "In the case of" urgent intervention, "the will of the victim is not required, since very often the persons who have been subjected to violence can become a victim of repeated violence if this is declared, which limits the will of that person." It will be enough to make a decision by the relevant police officer, "explained Kocharyan, adding that only in case of making a decision on protection will be requested the will of the victim.
A corresponding unit will be set up in the RA Police, whose employees will be trained and retrained. Even the form of the employees of this unit will differ from the traditional form of policemen. According to the Deputy Minister of Justice, with regard to the person who committed violence, it is planned to apply restrictive measures - to keep distance from the person who has been subjected to violence, not to come into contact with him, not to store or carry arms, to undergo treatment, for example, from alcohol dependence . As part of the protection measures are proposed restrictions.
Depending on the severity of the violation of the last two mechanisms of protection, there are measures of administrative or criminal liability. In order to solve this problem, it is envisaged to create a telephone hotline. According to Vigen Kocharyan, the bill regulates the work of two other institutions: social protection centers, which will be transformed, the second - shelters, where the person who has been subjected to violence will undergo rehabilitation and will be able to find shelter for up to 12 months.
The Deputy Minister once again stressed that the law does not have new grounds for depriving parental rights. "There are no provisions that destroy the foundations of the family," he stressed, adding that the document was repeatedly discussed at various venues. As a result, from the original version to the present one, it underwent significant changes, the points of concern were clarified, for example, whether it is possible to remove an underage child from the family and transfer it to a shelter. "We strictly fixed that - no, it is impossible, to stop the unfounded criticism that often sounds to the initiative," Vigen Kocharyan concluded, adding that the issues of family violence will be dealt with by a special commission, which, in addition to representatives of state structures, will include and representatives of public organizations, as well as the Armenian Apostolic Church. As the deputy minister assured, more than 120 countries, including European ones, adopted a similar law. Such a law has already been adopted in Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Ukraine. The fact that Armenia is aimed at adopting a bill on preventing and combating domestic violence became known a few years ago. Almost immediately, the public was divided into two opposing camps. Without going into various conspiracy theories, we note that those who opposed the bill, primarily in the "promotion" of the law, blamed the West, claiming the loosening of the foundations of the Armenian family.
Advocating against the adoption of a law condemning domestic violence, it also saw a threat of widespread application of the practice of the withdrawal of children from families. According to experts, the practice of applying a similar law in other countries was condemned in the Council of Europe resolution of April 24, 2015: the EU recognized the ineffectiveness of the methods that lead to the creation of corruption schemes. From a position "for" victims of domestic violence acted - mostly women, who periodically acted with shares, demanding the adoption of the bill.
Meanwhile, according to statistics, violence against women is a serious problem in Armenia. According to a UN study, 60% of women in Armenia were at least once subjected to this or that kind of violence. In 2015, 645 cases of domestic violence were recorded in Armenia, compared to 575 in 2014. According to the investigation committee of Armenia, for the first half of 2017 in Armenia, there were 215 criminal cases for domestic violence. Of these, 127 were cases of beatings, 5 family members were killed, 11 cases of sexual violence against children.