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08.03.2007

Ukraine needs to toughen sentences for domestic violence against women

   

Amnesty International in Ukraine [AI in Ukraine] is calling for legislative measures to increase liability in cases of domestic violence. The head of the Ukrainian Association of Amnesty International Natalka Dulnyeva spoke of this today, 8 March [“International Women’s Day”] at a press conference in the UNIAN agency.

She said that the organization’s specialists were presently drawing up a draft law which, among other things, involves stiffer punishment for men guilty of crimes of violence against women in the home. The draft law envisages, for example, allowing men in the case of a first such reported act of violence to be detained for up to three days and not as at present 3 hours.

AI in Ukraine stresses that state-funded refugee centres are needed for victims of domestic violence. Natalka Dulnyeva said that at present there are only psychological rehabilitation centres for victims, but no refuge centres.

She also expressed concern that the Ukrainian Government was basically completely disregarding the recommendations of the Council of Europe to create such refugees and to appoint a coordinator for implementing the requirements of the CE on protecting women’s rights. According to Ms Dulnyeva’s information, the Government does not consider it expedient to create such a post. “If this continues, we will be formally raising the issue of the Government’s non-fulfilment of the demands of the Council of Europe”, she said.

As far as domestic violence against women was concerned, Ms Dulnyeva said that there were no exact statistics. She said, however, that in Russia such statistics were kept, and that in the Russian Federation each year 46 thousand women die as the result of domestic violence.

At the same time, according to statistical figures from the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs, just in the first half of last year over 82 thousand reports to the police were registered regarding unlawful acts against members of the family. 90% of these statements came from women.

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