Home / Video / Domestic Abuse ‘Only Needs Reasonable Intervention,’ Republican MP Says During Discussion on Adoption of Domestic Violence Law

Domestic Abuse ‘Only Needs Reasonable Intervention,’ Republican MP Says During Discussion on Adoption of Domestic Violence Law

“There are more urgent problems in Armenia today than the issue of domestic violence,” “No law in Armenia operates properly; what would passing a law against domestic violence change?”, “We do not want gender equality” – these and other statements were used by passers-by on Thursday to express wariness about the need of introducing a law on domestic abuse in Armenia as the “Coalition to Stop Violence against Women” NGO held a protest action in front of the RA Government building to mark National Day to Combat Domestic Violence. 

Women's rights activists, however, are confident that the adoption of the law is important: the Armenian state would thus recognize domestic violence as a crime, and it would no longer be viewed as an “inter-family problem” but as a human rights violation. Additionally, the law would create a victim protection mechanism obliging authorities to provide social and psychological assistance to domestic violence victims. 

After the protest action was completed, human rights activist Lara Aharonyan took part in a discussion on the matter of adopting a domestic violence law in Armenia. Distrust and disregard toward the issue, she said, is common not only among regular passers-by, but also statesmen who have ex officio obligations to prevent violence. The head of the Department of Juvenile Affairs of Kanaker-Zeytun police division, Aharonyan added, has said in a conversation with her that he “sometimes beat my wife, and you can't turn my wife against me.”

“In addition, when we were notifying the [Yerevan] municipality about today's action, we were told there was no such issue in Armenia, that we were making it up. Then they added there was no man who did not beat his wife. One of them even said 'I beat my wife; are you empowering her to turn against me?',” the activist stated.

National Assembly Republican Party faction MP Karine Achemyan expressed her indignation at the women's rights organizations' working style.

“We've folklore, we have movies in which women say if the husband does not beat [the wife] then he is indifferent. We love that folklore. I don't want to connect this with your statements because I myself am against violence, I think a strong man would never raise a hand on a woman…after all, this man was raised by a woman,” Achemyan said.

The exceptionally cruel cases, for example, those with fatal outcomes, the lawmaker stated, must be punished, and the Code of Criminal Procedure provides that opportunity.

“However, there are incidents that only need reasonable interventions to return the family to their normal course. [You shouldn’t] raise awareness in a manner that makes the woman not want to communicate with her family. This is a delicate issue,” Achemyan stated.