The court regularly finds women guilty if they committed manslaughter in self-defense from their partner. At the same time, according to statistics, about 70% of women who died from domestic violence have experienced it in the past. Many of them did not go to the police. How does the law protect victims of domestic violence? What should women who are subjected to domestic tyranny do?
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: SELF-DEFENSE AND LAW
Citizens have the right to protect themselves and their loved ones. In the blog article "Self-defense: frequently asked questions", we have analyzed in detail the important aspects of self-defense: the concept of necessary defense, excess of necessary defense, and what self-defense weapons to choose. In the article "Myths about self-defense", we have analyzed common misconceptions about the use of weapons and responsibility for exceeding necessary self-defense.
When is self-defense not a crime?
Self-defense is not considered a crime if:
- the assault involved violence that was dangerous for the defender`s or another person`s life, or the immediate threat of such violence. For example, if the attack was carried out with a weapon, knife, axe, etc., if there was a risk of getting fatal injuries;
- due to the unexpected character of the attack the defending side could not assess the level of danger. It is worth noting that such circumstances can be difficult to prove in court.
In case of a non-life-threatening attack, defense appropriate to the type of the attack is allowed.
What does the court take into account?
The following factors are relevant the court: the nature and circumstances of the attack, the weapon used to attack, surprise factor, and the events preceding the attack.
The testimony of witnesses also allows to form the full picture of the incident.
If the court considers that the limits of necessary defense were exceeded, the penalty is determined by the articles:
- 108 of the Criminal code of the Russian Federation. Murder is punishable by correctional labor/ restriction of liberty/ forced labor/ imprisonment for up to two years.
- 114 of the Criminal code of the Russian Federation. Intentional infliction of serious harm to health is punishable by correctional labor/ restriction of liberty/ forced labor/ imprisonment for a term of up to one year.
What should the victims of domestic violence do?
Domestic violence is an administrative offense if it has happened for the first time. If a person has already been subjected to administrative punishment, they will be tried according to the Criminal code.
The penalty determined by the articles:
Administrative code of the Russian Federation Article 6.1.1. Imposition of an administrative fine in the amount of five thousand to thirty thousand rubles, or administrative arrest for a period of ten to fifteen days, or mandatory work for a period of sixty to one hundred and twenty hours.
Article 116.1 of the Criminal code. A person previously subjected to administrative punishment shall be punished by a fine of up to forty thousand rubles or the salary or other income of the convicted person for a period up to three months, or by compulsory works for a term of up to two hundred forty hours, or correctional labor for a term not exceeding six months, or with arrest for the term up to three months.
Victim of domestic violence needs to:
- contact the nearest police department and write a statement;
- contact the medical institution and register the wounds;
- if necessary and if it is not safe to stay at home, contact the crisis center. Employees of crisis centers provide psychological and legal assistance to women, some of them provide temporary overnight accommodation.
If violence regularly happens in the family, it is necessary to take measures to resolve this situation. Learn your rights and seek help before serious harm is done to your health.
To protect yourself in the event of a domestic conflict, use a legal, effective, and safe self-defense weapon.
For more useful information, see the blog of the self-defense weapon developer OBERON-ALPHA.
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