Domestic violence

Domestic violence is a grave violation of a basic human right affecting especially women and children, but also men and elderly people in our society today. In Armenia, the issue of domestic violence is exacerbated by inherent stereotypes and unequal roles of women and men, and the need to avoid interfering with other families’ affairs. These concepts not only prevent victims of domestic violence from seeking help, but silence witnesses who are hesitant to intervene. Domestic violence can result in serious physical and mental injuries, even death, and have long-term impact on women, children and family’s well-being.

The #ViolenceInSilence campaign raises awareness about serious consequences of domestic violence, and informs about prevention mechanisms and support available to victims of domestic violence. The campaign urges everyone to take action to stop domestic violence: don’t stay silent. Break the cycle of violence. Ensure the safety and well-being of families and communities.

Domestic violence is a physical, sexual, psychological or economic act of violence, as well as neglect, within the family. The types of domestic violence are the following:

    Physical violence means any intentional act of physical violence against another person irrespective of the context in which it occurs, including one slap. Physical violence includes such acts as:

    • Battery and other forms of violent acts
    • Intentionally causing harm to person’s health
    • Unlawfully depriving them of liberty
    • Intentionally causing strong physical pain

    Sexual violence refers to any non-consensual acts of a sexual nature with a person, or forcing a person to engage in non-consensual acts of a sexual nature with a third person. This includes:

    • Violent sexual acts
    • Sexual coercion and forced violent sexual acts
    • Sexual intercourse or other sexual acts with a person under 16
    • Lecherous acts

    Psychological violence refers to actions that impair a person’s psychological integrity. Such actions can include:

    • Threats of violence against a person or someone close to him/her (stalking, displaying weapons), causing fear
    • Humiliating, insulting comments
    • Isolation, restrictions on communication
    • Use of children to control or hurt the woman (hurting children, kidnapping etc).

    Economic violence involves denying and controlling access to resources, including time, money, transportation, food or clothing. Examples of economic violence include:

    • Prohibiting a woman from working
    • Barring her from family’s financial decisions
    • Withholding money or financial information
    • Refusing to pay bills or maintenance for her and/or children
    • Destroying jointly-owned assets
Violence against women

Stalking, sexual harassment, sexual violence (including rape), physical, and psychological abuse at the hands of intimate partners, forced marriage, and forced sterilisation are deeply traumatising acts of violence. The overwhelming majority of victims are women. Adding female genital mutilation and forced abortion as forms of violence that only women can be subjected to, shows the shocking level of diversity in cruel and degrading behaviour that women and girls experience. If we consider the fact that most violence is carried out by men, it is just a small step to understanding that violence against women, including domestic violence, is structural violence – violence that is used to sustain male power and control.

It is the obligation of the state to address violence against women and domestic violence fully in all its forms and to take measures to prevent violence, protect its victims and prosecute the perpetrators. Failure to do so would make it the responsibility of the state. There can be no real equality between women and men, if women experience gender-based violence on a large-scale. Violence against women and domestic violence are a universal issue, crossing borders and cultural boundaries, which inevitably causes serious physical, psychological, financial and social consequences to families and societies.