Woman Plus...
  N 2, 2002


(information of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Republic of Karelia)

Family, which for a long time was considered a reliable shelter and support of a man, more and more becomes arena of conflicts, place of psychological relaxation from the tension, accumulated through social economic disorder.

Problem of violence in family is many-sided social phenomena, displayed in different forms. Every day a list of victims of family violence is enlarged. More and more often family conflicts result in serious crimes against individuals.

In the period of the first 9 months of the year of 2001 in Republic of Karelia there were registered 1306 crimes of everyday life (in the same period of the previous year - 1434 crimes), the decrease made up 8.9%. But the number of serious crimes of everyday life increased, in the period of the first 9 months of the year of 2001 there were committed 220 serious crimes (in the same period of the previous year - 191 crimes), the growth constituted 15%: 5.6% increase in tortures, 8.9% increase in crimes against individuals (from 2010 crimes in 2000 up to 2189 in 2001). As a rule, half of the crimes of everyday life were preceded by long family quarrels.

Very often victims of family violence do not address to a law-enforcement organs even when the violence has a clear physical character. In cases of prolonged psychological violence the victims even do not come to a conclusion to draw official organs to solving of the conflict. As a result the family violence is registered only when the crime was committed. Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) of Karelia takes some preventive measures to prevent crimes of everyday life, but imperfection of the legislation in this sphere hinders the realization of preventive measures to the full extent. So, in accordance with amendments to the Criminal Law, legal proceedings of the so called cases of particular accusation, which include cases of light injuries, beating, insulting, are attributed to the competence of Justice of the Peace. But in Karelia the institute of Justice of the Peace was not yet established, district militia officers do not investigate the cases of particular accusation but only render assistance to the citizens in drafting of their writs. Local militia (police) stations of the Petrozavodsk Town Branch of the Department of Internal Affaires ordered their district militia officers to be on duty for answering the calls in case of family scandals.

Analysis of the crimes of everyday life proves that a considerable portion of the crimes is committed after joint drinking, as a result of quarrels or hostile relations. Today we can talk about criminalization of a family, where women, the old and children more and more often become victims of violence.

The vital necessity of a proper care and proper control over children very often is ignored by the parents. The consequences of a deep penetration of violence in the family life are the following: collapse of family and lowering of family upbringing in general. They give rise to children homelessness and stimulate under-age crimes. Teenagers are involved in hard drinking, drug addiction, commit serious crimes. Deterioration of moral and psychological atmosphere in family results in the growth of cruelty towards children. In the period of the first 9 months of the year of 2001only 9 parents were put on trial for non-fulfillment of their obligations in children upbringing, connected with cruel treatment of them; the number of trials do not correspond to the real criminal situation.

Quite often we come across the facts when the criminal law, applied against parents in cases of cruel treatment of their under aged children, includes undetermined questions and, thus, the real punishment of criminals is avoided. For example, in April 2001 in the town of Belomorsk a district militia officer found Masha Starkova, a girl born in 1993, to be sitting in a kennel at night time. During investigation it was established that the girl always starved, very often had to spend the night in the street, and her mother had no permanent dwelling, abused alcohol drinks and did not bring up her daughter. The court refused to institute a criminal case against this woman, referring to Article 5, Part 1, Paragraph 2 of Criminal Code of Russia, since notion "cruel treatment" was not clarified in the criminal legislation. Psychological violence against children, humiliation of his honor and dignity, insulting, swearing, threatening can be followed by such consequences as suicide of teenagers. In the period of the first 9 months of the year of 2001 in the town of Petrozavodsk five teenagers committed suicide.

Every year organs of internal affairs forward suits for deprivation of parents' rights to Federal Courts. In the year of 2001 74 suits were forwarded to the court. Only during operation "Teenager" 110 children were withdrawn from families because of the threat for their life and health. 233 homeless, under aged children were lodged by the officers of the organs of internal affairs in the establishments of social guardianship. Quite often soon after deprivation of parents' rights the parents are completely released from any responsibility for their children, but their anti-social way of life is not followed by real punishment from the state.

Recently the reverse side of the problem of violence in family draws our attention: the share of women among criminals, using violence in achievement of their goals, is increasing. Every year the number of women, who committed grave and very grave crimes, increases. In a current year 39 women were made answerable for crimes, connected with drug smuggling, and 6 women - for murders, connected with everyday life.

The problem of violence in family is not a local one and typical only for Karelia. One of the methods to solve the problem is a timely disclosing and making answerable the persons, who violate the law in their family conflicts. But it is hampered by the absence of a Federal level legislative basis, allowing the officers of the organs of internal affairs to take efficient measures against persons, who break the law in the sphere of family and everyday life relations. The practice proves that preventive measures, taken by the officers of the organs of internal affairs in the families of social risk, realization of purposeful preventive operations, disclosing persons who break the law in everyday life, are efficient measures of prevention of the grave crimes of everyday life.