FAS–War starts at home: domestic violence over anti-war stance
Alas, we couldn't help but notice that headlines like this are increasing in the news: In Novosibirsk a mother tried to turn her daughter into the police and subsequently assaulted her or My father wrote a denunciation about me or A resident of the suburbs of Moscow denounced his wife to police. She criticised the 'special operation' in Ukraine Many of these news reports are accompanied by the heroines' stories that the aggression in the family and violent situations started long before the war, and the anti-war stance of the victims was just another factor justifying the violence against them in the eyes of the aggressor. Snitching, beatings, threats, calling the police - now the aggressor can justify all this by saying that he is acting in the “interests of his country”. This is how violence officially becomes a spiritual staple and a traditional family value. The situation of domestic violence in Russia was very grave even before the war, despite the many years of feminist campaigning. The Russian Federation still has no law on domestic violence prevention, no protection order (prohibition of approaching), and not enough qualified shelters for victims. Since 2017, beating has been removed from the Criminal Code and transferred to the Administrative Code, i.e. decriminalised: the aggressor is likely to get nothing, he will get off with a small fine. The police are not good at dealing with situations of domestic violence and often do not respond to calls or only respond when a murder has already occurred (“if there is a body, we will come and take on the case” was the infamous retort of a district police officer). It is interesting that while the police rarely respond to calls reporting rape, they seem to respond instantly to such denunciations from vigilant relatives. This is not about the potential murder of women or children, it is about catching a traitor who opposes the war. Perhaps this will come in handy for all women in Russia as a bitter tip-off: if you get beaten up and the police don't want to come, you should apparently report that your abuser is against the war in Ukraine. The topic of the intersection of militaristic and domestic violence is a very important and as yet little studied topic in the Russian Federation, we all have yet to deal with how war affects the level of violence in Russian families. If you have experienced physical, psychological or economic violence because of your views and anti-war stance and are ready to tell your story anonymously, please email us in the bot @femagainstwar_bot. We express our support and are ready to give you a platform to speak out! Remember that despite everything, there are still organisations working in Russia to help victims of domestic violence. You can contact the Anna Centre, the Consortium of Women's NGOs or the centre "Violence.net" for free counselling.