The concept of “child witness = child victim of domestic violence” was introduced into Ukrainian legislation with the entry into force in 2018 of the Ukrainian Law “On Prevention and Counteraction to Domestic Violence”. According to the provisions of Law, a child, who has witnessed domestic violence must be recognized by law enforcement bodies as a victim of domestic violence.
Such changes in legislation were related to the implementation of the provisions of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (hereinafter – the Istanbul Convention). According to the National Police of Ukraine data, there were 209 thousand complaints about domestic violence in 2020, including 3,400 complaints from children, which is 1.63% of the total number.
However, according to our research, these data do not fully reflect the situation with the number of children victims of domestic violence, as they relate only to those cases, where the child reported committing domestic violence. However, in most cases, if there is domestic violence in the family, at least one child is a witness and, accordingly, must be identified as a victim of domestic violence.
The JurFem Analytical Center monitored the case law on bringing perpetrators to administrative responsibility for committing domestic violence against a child (Article 173-2 of the Code of Administrative Offenses).
Read the monitoring report here (ukrainian).