New study on court practice to help judges fight domestic violence more effectively

May 26, 2014

At the times when Ukraine undergoes dramatic transformations, domestic violence may be overshadowed by seemingly more important issues.  In fact, although domestic violence might be indeed less visible, it still poses a serious problem for hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian women, children and the elderly.  According to the official statistics, the number of domestic violence cases registered in Ukraine is increasing by 10% annually and has reached more than 160,000 in 2013. Women, elderly, and minors are especially prone to become victims of domestic abuse. According to available survey data, 68% of women in Ukraine suffered abuse in the family, but as the result of the low trust to the law enforcement and judicial systems only one out  of four women sought support from the legal or law-enforcement agencies.

In order to analyze how the judicial system addresses the issue of domestic violence, the Office of the Ombudsperson and UNDP conducted a study
Monitoring National Court Practice in the Criminal, Civil and  Administrative Cases of Domestic Violence.” The study provides a comprehensive analysis of the court practice in the criminal, civil and administrative cases related to domestic violence and identifies bottlenecks in the legal protection of those suffering of domestic abuse. Among the key recommendations presented in the study is the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention) bringing national legislation into compliance with international law and human rights standards. Along with the necessary legislative changes, training programs for judges, police and social workers, dealing with domestic violence victims and perpetrators remain relevant.

“The study presented today is a very timely and important contribution to reforming Ukrainian legislation and ratification of the Istanbul Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence,”- underlined Aksana Filipishyna, Representative of the Commissioner on the rights of the children, non-discrimination and gender equality.

“We hope that results of today’s discussion will make a valuable contribution into a more comprehensive national dialogue and ideally an action plan to make the system of domestic violence prevention and response more effective. UNDP together with other UN agencies stands ready to provide our support to all the national stakeholders joining efforts to combat domestic violence”- noted Inita Pauloviča, UNDP Ukraine Deputy Resident Representative.

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