UKRAINE RECOGNIZES SEX WITHOUT CONSENT AS RAPE, CRIMINALIZES DOMESTIC VIOLENCE by Oleg Sukhov

The following report represents a refreshing instance of Ukraine charting a better course for itself than Russia with regard to human rights in general and protections for women and children in particular. For contrast with Russia see, for instance, On “Orthodox” Wife-Beating and Decriminalisation of Domestic Violence in Russia Leads to Fall in Reported Cases. The Russian Orthodox Church supports the weakening of women’s protections in Russia.
Note also Mr. Sukhov’s reasons for leaving Russia in his bio below.
verkh

Verkhovna Rada (Supreme Council, Ukraine’s Parliament). Kyiv.

Legislation that redefines rape as sex without consent came into effect in Ukraine on Jan. 11. The punishment for the crime remains unchanged: three to five years in jail.

Previously, Ukrainian legislation defined rape as sex by force, by threat, or one where perpetrator used the victim’s helpless state. Under the new legislation, seen as more progressive, consent to sex must be given.

The law specifies that consent must be “given by a person out of free will” and adds that “circumstances must be taken into account.”

The same legislation also introduces an increased punishment of five to 10 years for non-consensual sex when the victim and perpetrator are spouses, ex-spouses, or when they are or used to be in any close relationship.

The legislation enforces the Council of Europe’s Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. The law was approved by parliament and signed by President Petro Poroshenko in December 2017, but only came in force a year later.

As of April 2018, only eight countries in Europe recognized sex without consent as a crime, according to Amnesty International, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Cyprus, and Sweden. In Europe, mobile apps allowing partners to give consent before sex have been launched.

The expectation is that the new legislation may prompt the victims to report sex crimes more often. Today, rape often remains unreported in Ukraine, according to activists. in 2018, fewer than 2,000 rapes were reported in Ukraine, where at least 42 million people live. It means the rape rate in Ukraine is approximately five per 100,000 people, which is considerably lower than in other European countries, where it can get up to 50 per 100,000 people, according to Eurostat.

The same piece of legislation also criminalizes domestic violence in Ukraine.

Domestic violence is defined as “systematic physical, psychological or economic violence against a spouse, a former spouse, or another person that the perpetrator is or used to be in a family-like or close relationship that leads to physical or psychological suffering, harms the victim’s health, causes disability, emotional dependence, or impairs the quality of life of the victim.”

Domestic violence can be punished by two years in jail, but the law also envisions an option of community works as punishment.

This report appeared earlier today at the Kyiv Post. Republished with permission.
Photo credit: Vadim Chuprina.
See the extensive Ukraine and Sexuality and Gender sections in our Archives by Author.

Oleg Sukhov is a former Moscow Times editor and reporter and a graduate of Moscow State University. He also used to teach history and the theory of knowledge in English at the European Gymnasium in Moscow. He moved to Ukraine in 2014 due to the crackdown on independent media and on the opposition in Russia.

Orthodoxy in Dialogue seeks to promote the free exchange of ideas by offering a wide range of perspectives on an unlimited variety of topics. Our decision to publish implies neither our agreement nor disagreement with an author, in whole or in part.
Click here to consider becoming a Patron of Orthodoxy in Dialogue.

One thought on “UKRAINE RECOGNIZES SEX WITHOUT CONSENT AS RAPE, CRIMINALIZES DOMESTIC VIOLENCE by Oleg Sukhov

  1. Pingback: DECRIMINALISATION OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN RUSSIA LEADS TO FALL IN REPORTED CASES by Marianna Spring | ORTHODOXY IN DIALOGUE

Comments are closed.