When adopting a domestic violence law, Armenia will take into account its “national peculiarities,” instead of “blindly imitating” foreign experience, Armenia’s deputy justice minister Vigen Kocharyan announced today at an international conference organized in Yerevan by the Council of Europe. He added that the law on the prevention of domestic violence is currently being discussed at an interdepartmental level and will soon be put up for public debate.
“The draft defines the term ‘domestic violence,’ its types, and the institutional foundation on which we plan to build the fight against domestic violence. It draws up the functions and responsibilities of relevant authorities, and provides for the protection of victims… All by taking into account our national peculiarities and not blindly imitating foreign experience,” Kocharyan said.
According to the deputy minister, the future domestic violence law “will not wreck Armenian families but rather strengthen them.” “We have issues with public perceptions of the future law; false and baseless allegations have been made [by the public] about it subsequently destroying families or taking children away from their parents. I take it upon myself to claim that the draft does not provide for any such mechanism.”
Siranush Davtyan, a psychologist with the Yerevan-based Women’s Resource Center non-profit, in turn, stated that the adoption of the law was essential as it would finally criminalize domestic violence, whereas in the past, abusive partners would be able to avoid a prison term by simply paying less than 500 dollar fines.
“The law is also important from a psychological perspective. I will finally be able to tell an abused woman that her state has a law to protect her; that the public realizes – [domestic violence] is a crime,” Davtyan said.