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07.12.2023

If one of the spouses has committed domestic violence, reconciliation measures will not be taken

The Committee on Youth and Sports recommended that the Verkhovna Rada adopt as a basis, taking into account the Committee’s proposals, the draft Law on the improvement of the mechanism of prevention and countermeasures against domestic violence and gender-based violence No. 10249 , which provides:

– to make changes to the legislation in order to demarcate powers between the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine and the National Social Service Service of Ukraine in the field of prevention and countermeasures against domestic violence and gender-based violence;

– to introduce amendments to the Family Code, the Law of Ukraine “On Mediation”, aimed at establishing the impossibility of applying reconciliation measures if one of the spouses committed/is committing domestic violence, as well as conducting mediation in cases of domestic violence and gender-based violence;

– to remove from the legislation the wording “call center for the prevention and counteraction of domestic violence, gender-based violence and violence against children”, replacing it with the wording specialized “hotline” for the prevention and counteraction of domestic violence, gender-based violence, in particular sexual, related to armed conflict and violence against children;

– to provide for the provision by specialized services of support to persons who have suffered from domestic violence and/or gender-based violence, the provision of assistance to persons who have suffered from physical or sexual violence or gender-based violence, in particular sexual, related to armed conflict.

The members of the Committee emphasized that despite the fact that almost 6 years have passed since the entry into force of the Law of Ukraine “On Prevention and Combating Domestic Violence”, the country has not yet created a call center for the prevention and combating of domestic violence and gender-based violence and violence against children, nor the Unified State Register of cases of domestic violence and gender-based violence, which the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine had to implement.

Therefore, the members of the Committee were doubtful about the proposal to replace the term “call center for preventing and countering domestic violence, gender-based violence and violence against children” with the term specialized “hotline” for preventing and countering domestic violence, gender-based violence, in particular, sexual violence related to armed conflict and violence against children.

In fact, in this way, the Ministry of Social Policy is trying to hide the long-term failure to comply with the requirements of the Law. After the adoption of the Law, the call center was supposed to play the role of an “emergency service”, which immediately responds to reports of domestic violence and ensures immediate response by units of the National Police of Ukraine, services for children’s affairs to cases of domestic violence, and not the role of only psychological assistance.

The “hotline” proposed by the project is deprived of the status of a budgetary institution and territorial branches, and will operate on the basis of the provision on the Unified system for processing appeals, approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, which will make it impossible for it to be a real and effective participant in preventing and countering domestic violence and gender-based violence.

In this regard, it is proposed to keep the current term “call center for preventing and countering domestic violence, gender-based violence and violence against children”.

It is also unclear the removal of the powers of the Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, regional, Kyiv and Sevastopol city state administrations to exercise constant control over the timeliness and appropriateness of taking measures in the field of prevention and countermeasures against domestic violence, which weakens the state’s control over the mentioned issue. According to the members of the Committee, it is expedient to keep the specified norm.

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