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“The integrity of the family? We do not have such a tradition”

«Неприкосновенность семьи? Нет у нас такой традиции»

In Russia, in a Declaration of Patriarchy are all equally powerless, says political analyst Ekaterina Shulman.

Statistics of domestic violence in Russia is disappointing — according to this indicator our country for many years and is a world leader. One of the reasons — protection mechanisms of victims today actually do not exist and their implementation is extremely slow and with great resistance.

First of all we are talking about the law on domestic violence. It’s difficult to say how many times similar bills were introduced in the state Duma — by seeking is already in the tens, but none of them came even before the first reading.

Apparently, this time still “ice was broken”. The speaker of the Federation Council Valentina Matvienko said recently that in the current autumn session of the fight against domestic violence is to senators in priority. And today in the upper house of Parliament announced that the work on the draft should be completed by 1 December. Meanwhile, on October 21, the state Duma held parliamentary hearings devoted to this problem.

Many human rights activists hope that in the end the victims will finally get the right to be protected from the aggressor. However, many of those who believed that this step is nothing less than an attack on the main unit of society — the family.

About why this law is causing such fierce debate, what the results will lead to its adoption in an interview with “Rosbaltu” said the associate Professor of Institute of social Sciences of Ranepa, co-chair of the temporary working group on the drafting of legislation on prevention of domestic violence Catherine Shulman.

— There is a strong opinion that Russian society is still very Patriarchal. Although it would seem, and the right to vote, our women received much earlier than in many countries, and they work equally with men for over a hundred years. Anyway, as you know, we are all “on women’s shoulders rests”. It turns out that we are talking about the stereotype that has little to do with reality?

— There is nothing surprising. Most of the time as stereotypes rarely reflect the real structure of a society. Society is rarely capable of reflection: routine, taken for granted just is not noticed, the “elephant in the room” of our consciousness is fixed.

Well, everything about “women’s issues” today so all concerned, with the result that the information the cloud have a lot of debris. Rarely where else we encounter in this volume or not based on what statistics and some of the fantastic claims that are repeated and reprinted.

The fact is that often called a Patriarchal society, which really just are poor and have a high tolerance for violence. At the same time, if you look closely, you can find absolutely amazing things.

For example, there is evidence that in some countries, women manage the family money. At the top of the list are Japan, South Korea, Russia, China and Mexico are not those of the state, which are associated with women’s equality. And at the bottom of the list are Scandinavian countries. Looking at this picture, and I want to say: men who support the feminist movement, it will return you your money.

— It turns out, domestic matriarchy and women’s rights are not one and the same…

— Absolutely. In countries where a woman really determines the life of the family, her rights are poorly protected — but there is generally nobody’s rights are not particularly protected. The level of violence and killings in such societies is generally high.

What we call the Patriarchal model, is a model not of omnipotence and happiness of men, and universal injustice, and diffuse violence. This is not a society in which men live is good and women bad.

The level of violence — primarily domestic — in our country is really incredibly high. Soon the state Duma will discuss the bill on domestic violence which, in theory, is designed to protect women’s rights. Interestingly, his most ardent opponents is just women. What explains this paradox?

— In fact, no paradox here. Any social norm is supported and distributed by women who are raising children and telling them what is good and what is bad. In societies with high levels of violence and generally violent social norms, women are entrusted with the duty of indoctrination of children and control over other women through the tools of gossip, bullying and shaming.

So if you intend to promote the initiative, somehow changing the social norm, don’t expect universal support for those you you think are trying to protect. So that the position of, for example, Senator Elena Mizulina or Deputy Tamara Pletneva is not surprising.

— The truth, and support the law too the most active women…

For example, the Deputy of Oksana Pushkina, the Chairman of the Federation Council Valentina Matvienko, the Ombudsman Tatyana Moskalkova. Untitled civic activist for years fighting for the rights of victims, providing refuge, telling the society that is domestic violence.

— What is the main obstacle to the adoption of the law?

— The main problem — the inertia of the legislative machine: it is very slow. In addition, around this topic wound a lot of myths. And generally in Russia are afraid of the word “gender”. Somehow, it is believed that it is about forced a sex change on eight alternative. Worse than that the only problem with the understanding of the meaning of the term “juvenile justice”.

I think that when it comes to discussions of the text itself, we their public opponents find in the camp of supporters, because nothing of what they imagined, in the text of the draft law no.

— You previously noted that the current bill is a compromise. What concessions had to go?

— Our version of the project I would call minimalist. The bill aims to eradicate domestic violence and to install in the Russian Federation the universal family happiness. It aims to introduce in law the concept of domestic violence and some other terms which do not now exist in the Russian legal field.

For example, a restraining order. This is the minimum measure which is physically “divorced” the victim and the aggressor and will give the district and magistrates to hand the instrument to respond to the message about domestic violence.

Now we blame the law enforcement agencies in that they “unfold” all claims and do not take complaints of domestic violence. But the problem is that they now have not many possibilities to react properly: statements under article 116 of the criminal code in 75 cases out of 100 will be taken by the claimants within three days.

The law on domestic violence will allow to solve many dramas at an early stage.

In addition, the law introduces the concept of providing temporary shelters for victims. On the one hand, it imposes some financial burden on regional administrations, which they will equip. However, if such a thing appears, it will give the opportunity to compensate for the expense of budget grants expenditure and social NGOs that are already helping victims of domestic violence.

In this minimal form, the law will work?

— His decision in any case will be a large step. I will say again, domestic violence is not a social phenomenon that can be totally eradicated.

But if in the legal field at least appears relevant concepts that, firstly, it will affect the public consciousness, and secondly, in the hands of law enforcement will be a necessary tool for responding to something that they now respond to nothing. Of course, they need to learn to use it.

We hope that the number of grave and gravest crimes will eventually be reduced. The experience of some post-Soviet countries that have already adopted a similar law, the positive: the introduction of protective orders and restraining orders, creation of a system of temporary shelter reduces the level of crimes against the person. Violent crime in General mainly occur between acquaintances, and a considerable percentage of them — between living together. That is often the killer and the victim live together and are relatives.

And while the number of murders on 100 thousand population we continue to occupy the first place among developed countries. With this need to do something.

But domestic battery in our country for two years as decriminalized. Does one not contradict the other?

— Not be a contradiction. Decriminalization of the 116th article just assumes the next step the adoption of the law on domestic violence. Otherwise, the decriminalization becomes meaningless.

My position on this issue is quite different from the views of most activists and supporters of the adoption of the law on domestic violence. Partial decriminalization of the article 116 of the criminal code continue to consider the right step. Criminalize her back not necessary.

It is necessary to adopt a separate law criminalizing domestic violence and to eliminate the fines from penalties according to article 116 of the criminal code. This is all mockery: for violence is impossible to pay money. The penalty can be written for illegal Parking or violation of tax reporting. It is impossible to pay off because you did something with a live person.

— And what punishment then can be called the best, when it comes to domestic violence?

— Administrative detention from three to thirty days. This is the same physical separation of the aggressor from the victim, which gives him time to think, and she was to leave or file for divorce. A few days of administrative detention not desocializing as two years in prison, but it is quite frustrating that people did not want to go there again.

— But after the decriminalization of home-beating the number of complaints of domestic violence increased. Isn’t this alarming?

— So this is a good sign and not bad as many people think. Beat more not steel more to say.

After all, the main curse of crimes of this type — latency, invisibility. The more of them climbed out, the better.

That’s exactly what was bad in the history of decriminalization of domestic battering is a public health initiative. Words that have been uttered, was directly opposite to the legal meaning of the measure.

In particular, actively talked about some tradition of the sanctity of the family — Yes, we have no such tradition, found also a “house-fortress”. But most importantly, the text of the law, all these conversations have nothing to do. And the people who lead them in the public space, is a huge responsibility for the way in which they have submitted.

— By and large, the institution of the family — at least in words — many Russian politicians generally put above the rights of the individual, and even if we are talking about security…

— People often say the first thing that comes to mind. Yes, the family is valued, and children — overvalued for almost any companies. Historically, the assumption that the family is better because it is easier to survive together. Is it fair is it? Of course, this kind of basic wisdom which is justified by the cumulative experience of mankind.

The contradiction begins when the family becomes a protection, a source of danger. But the fact of the enormity of the crimes against life, you violate a basic law of existence and turn reality inside out. Normal man supports his family. In abnormal situations, situations of violence, to help must society.

If the family doesn’t save you, and kill you then you need to escape. And this should be legislated protection measures.

— I have to ask: why in recent years the “female” theme increasingly comes to the fore in many countries of the world — although the feminist movement has a long history. The reasons for this increased attention?

— Thanks to modern means of communication and a more active presence in the social space began to hear those who have always been voiceless.

This circumstance are women. Despite the fact that they were always a little more than men, they were less visible and had good opportunities to speak and be heard. Now this has changed.

To some extent, we are talking about the same process that broke the electoral system in many countries. More recently, there was masses of people who formally had the right to vote, but not particularly enjoyed them. But thanks to the Internet and social networking and also the opportunity not only to consume information and opinions, but to produce them — this de facto existing qualification collapsed in political life came to people that weren’t there before.

As a result, we see many so-called unexpected electoral results. Someone says something about the populist wave, someone on the crisis of democracy — everyone is frightened as he can. But the reason is that people seemingly were not, suddenly appeared on the social stage and in public space.

Mute talked, the invisible revealed, the disenfranchised demanded a right. This turbulent process, largely destructive, but in the process democratising and humanistic.

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