14,000 wives are killed by husbands in Russia a year

Every year 14,000 Russian women die not from diseases or accidents or acts of terrorism, but from their own husbands', lovers' and relatives' hands. This happens not only in our country, as it is not accidental that the UN has declared the 25th of November an International day of for the elimination of violence against women.


Strange it may seems, yet there is not such thing as "domestic violence" in the criminal codex of the Russian Federation. The lawmakers still can not classify the terrible outlaw happening in many families. Hence it is difficult to make the offender pay back, especially if a victim can not fight for herself. Usually the wives take kids and run to neighbors, relatives or friends to wait until the storm will seize. Then come back – until the next storm.


In last years it became possible to hide from the "storm" in special crisis centers, both state-owned and private, which were opened in many big cities. It is much worse for women living in small towns and villages. There is no way to escape from insanity of husband. Militia has long been disregarding such events, counting it a "private business" of the family.


"Violence against females is a painful topic for our city", told us Svetlana Kanischeva, managing director of the Astrakhan center for crisis rehabilitation. "Each year we provide shelter for 500 women and their children. Here they can get not only a room and food, but also free psychologist and lawyer consultation".


It is not only drunk husbands who hit women. The center staff told us about a 90-years old granny who came here after being hit by her granddaughter. "Old people come to us relatively often. Very frequently they are being beat by relatives, especially sons: alcoholics and drug addicts"

How can one help, apart from expressing compassion, to a woman who risks being under fire everyday? Psychologists teach humiliated women how to behave in court, how to talk when left one-on-one with the offender. Recently one young female, who was beaten up terribly by her husband, decided to divorce. "But only a small proportion of the cases ends up in the court. In all years of our work, I can not recall more than ten", says Kanischeva. 


Statistics says every fifth Russian woman knows what it means to be beaten up by husband or lover and more than 60% of them did receive as a result physical traumas.


"Violence in our country is the beginning of all beginnings. It is a style of state governing, and one of the most popular forms of "communication" between people. Not surprisingly, ordering takes place in families too", thinks Ludmila Svistunova, director of Irkutsk crisis center for women.


"Teenage guys often copy their father's behavior to the mother, which they had observed in childhood. So the main reason of sex discrimination lies in bad upbringing" , claim consultants of Saint-Petersburg crisis center.


Even the developed countries can not yet end domestic violence. However, society can find means to stop the villains. And one of them is to speak about this a lot, and everywhere. Not only on the 25th of November.


Marina Ogorodnikova
Novye Izvestiya

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