Armenia adopts draft law on domestic violence

“Mediamax”. At the session today, the Government of Armenia approved the draft law on prevention of domestic violence, protection of the victims of domestic violence and restoration of family harmony.

According to Minister of Justice Davit Harutyunyan, the draft law provides for three main ways to protect the victims of domestic violence: warning, immediate interference, and decision of protection.

The immediate interference and decision of protection imply a number of punishing measures towards the abuser, such as the order to keep a certain distance and refrain from contact with the victim, prohibition to carry or keep weapons, order to take a rehab course for alcohol addiction, etc. Administrative and criminal punishing measures will be applied against the abusers who violate these terms, depending on gravity of violation.

“There is an erroneous opinion and an anti-movement that try to present certain points as key parts of the draft law, while they aren’t in the draft altogether. I state officially that this document does not provide for a new basis of limitation or termination of parental rights and cannot undermine traditional family values in any way,” said Davit Harutyunyan. He added that forceful placement of minors in shelters is ruled out and that is clearly indicated in the draft.

Two institutions are required for execution of the law: social support centers, which already exist in Armenia and only need some changes and additional authorities, and shelters where survivors of domestic violence can live and recover for up to 12 months.

The victims of domestic violence will receive free-of-charge legal advice.