On International Women’s Day men pour gifts and praises on their wives, girlfriends and mothers. But on March 9 all Cinderellas should return home after the ball. One of the dark sides of their drab existence is domestic violence.
Belarusian police reports that a number of domestic crimes is decreasing. According to the information of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, in 2012 there were 149 domestic violence incidents, 123 grave bodily injuries being notified.
But Third Sector experts state that the fugures do not reflect the actual situation. According to international organisation Gender Perspectives, victims do not turn for help in roughly half the instances. In most cases it is the women who fall victims to domestic violence; their offenders being husbands or boyfriends.
The nation-wide problem should not be iignored. But there is no law that would prevent domestic battery. The fourth National Plan for Providing Gender Equality may well be put into practice in the country but a woman cannot notify police of threats from her husband.
“[Belarusian] society interpret such actions as a private family affair, i.e. lovers’ quarrels are soon mended,” Iryna Alkhouka, head of Gender Perspectives, told Belsat TV. The expert believes that adopting a special law is of political importance: “Most lawyers think that the current legal framework is enough to fight against domestic violence. Why isn’t raping a wife taken as a crime whereas raping an unknown woman is?”
Should our women conduct their own defence more firmly family tyrants will not strengthened their hands. ”In our neck of the woods a man’s responsibility is social relations; as for women, they are expected to care for family atmosphere. Revealing a fact of being batteres means admitting her failure to save family well-being,” Anastasiya Faleychyk, women’s hot line coordinator, said.
According to the expert, a lot of Belarusians still believe that domestic violence is a characteristic feature of all families. Moreover, a woman do not search for any way out because of her victimhood, fear for her children’s and even husband’s future.
It is noteworthy that a certain part of Belarusian society (4%) avows a man’s right to beat his wife or life partner, the Belarusian Statistic Committee says.