On October 17, in the RA NA Session Hall on the initiative of the RA NA Standing Committee on European Integration parliamentary hearings on the preliminary debate of the draft law on Domestic Violence Prevention and Protection of the Persons Subjected to Domestic Violence were held, where the RA NA deputies, representatives of the RA Government, political forces, the RA Human Rights Defender Office, local NGOs, international organizations and clergymen took part.
The Chair of the RA NA Standing Committee on European Integration Naira Zohrabyan welcomed the guests and noted that the goal of the hearings was to comprehensively debate the necessity of the adoption of the draft law on Domestic Violence Prevention and Protection of the Persons Subjected to Domestic Violence, giving an opportunity all concerned parties for presenting the viewpoints.
“During recent years the number of the domestic violence (17% of the murders) and its grave consequences become more and more concerning,” the key speaker, the RA Deputy Minister of Justice Vigen Kocharyan said. According to the Deputy Minister, the law in force is not able to adequately answer the challenges: it does not provide necessary and legal constructive orders for the protection of the persons subjected to domestic violence.
The Head of the Human Rights Educational Research Centre of the RA Human Rights Defender Office Lusine Margaryan in her word has underlined that the response of the state is necessary and important for the families’ protection.
The member of the Chamber of Advocates, lawyer Artashes Khalatyan has stated that the social necessity of the law adoption is not substantiated.
The Head of the Juvenile Department 3rd Department of the RA Police Criminal Investigation General Department, Police Colonel Nelly Duryan presented details, figures and data regarding the domestic violence.
The Head of the Shirak Diocese, Bishop Mikayel Ajapahyan in his word said: “Having a law should not disturb, but help; otherwise we’ll grope in the indefiniteness, without understanding who to apply. We need systemized approach. We should prevent the sadism hidden in the family. In general, this law is for reconciliation and solidarity in the family, and no legal intervention can solve any problem, if there is no love in the family. The family should not be a structure being based on the legal plane. It is a structure formed with love, it is not a language theatre stage of legal relations.”
The survivor of domestic violence Hasmik Khachatryan has told the attendees the story of her life, underlining that the bill under debate is necessary.
The deputies of the RA NA Tsarukyan Faction Gevorg Petrosyan, Vardan Bostanjyan, Vahe Enfiajyan and Sergey Bagratyan, the Chairman of the NGO Pan-Armenian Parents Committee Arman Boshyan, the Founder member of the Pan-Armenian Parents Committee Lia Avetisyan, the Founder of Mayrazor Organization Ruzan Asatryan, the member of Armavir Development Center Naira Arakelyan, the Head of the NGO International Humanitarian Development Arman Ghukasyan, the representative of the Armenian Children’s Association Varuzhan Sedrakyan, the representative of the Women’s Support Center Maro Matevosyan, the Chairperson of the Initiative for the Christian Family Karine Yesayan, the representative of the World Vision-Armenia organisation Aida Muradyan, the social worker Anna Hovhannisyan, the Head of Verelk (Rise) Scientific-Educational Centre Sasun Saribekyan also delivered speeches.
In their speeches and interpellations the RA NA deputies and other participants of the parliamentary hearings presented the problems concerning them on the draft law under debate.
In his final speech Vigen Kocharyan underscored that there was no compulsion by any organization connected with the adoption of the draft law. According to him, the goal of the draft law is to protect the Armenian family ‘from the evil called violence.” Vigen Kocharyan thanked the Chair of the RA NA Standing Committee on European Integration Naira Zohrabyan for organizing this comprehensive debate.