Research Project into Domestic Violence Homicides

From October 2018 URU Connect worked with the Crisis Centre for Women and Children “Ekaterina” tocarry out research into domestic violence homicides committed by women in Sverdlovsk Area, Russia.

The development of the research framework has been informed through the expertise of the British DV sector. In December 2018 a group of Russian professionals visited the UK to share knowledge and experience of working with female perpetrators of DV. The programme started with the visit to the Child and Women Abuse and Study Unit at the London Metropolitan University to meet the legendary domestic violence researcher Elizabeth A. Kelly CBE, professor and director of the Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit (CWASU), London Metropolitan, the former head of the Women’s National Commission, and co-chair of the End Violence Against Women Coalition. Ms Kelly gave practical advice on the approaches and methodologies for carrying out this type of research.

During the visit the delegates visited the Centre for Women’s Justice (www.centreforwomensjustice.org.uk) where they have learnt  about processing the criminal justice cases of women who killed their partners.

The Police Officers Rani Gundhu and Katherine Stock shared with visitors the outcomes of the evaluation of CARA – Cautioning and Relationship Abuse programme, which has been launched by the West Midlands Police to facilitate early interventions and change offending behaviour before it reoccurs or escalates to reduce victimisation.

Nina George, Research and Development Manager, European Network for Work with Perpetrators (WWP EN) delivered a session on elements of a successful programmes for perpetrators of domestic violence. Further, European good practice was shared though the work of the WWP EN network.

In October 2018 two training programmes for psychologists of the Federal Penitentiary Service FSIN prisons of Sverdlovsk Area, Russia were carried out entitled “Comprehensive approach to solving the problem of domestic violence: the basics of counselling victims and the specifics of building anger management skills and reducing aggression for those convicted of domestic violence crimes.” The training programmes were attended by 36 psychologists who also helped interviewing women convicted of domestic violence homicides. During November 2018 thirty nine in-depth interviews with women were conducted in one of the prisons of Nizhny Tagil. The research finding will be summarise and presented at a domestic violence multi agency conference on 28th March 2019 in Ekaterinburg.

The Crisis Centre “Ekaterina” also carried out various activities to support the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign, which is an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls. The campaign runs every year from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day. The action “Tell Your Story” was launched and promoted on the “Ekaterina” website and in the social networks:

“TELL YOUR STORY – Knowing how few women and children want to talk about their family misfortune and even fewer who are ready to seek help from the police or social institutions, we ask you to anonymously share your stories, how you were able to solve a difficult family problem and change your life for the better. Hopefully, your experience will help other people find a way out. Email: kcekaterina@mail.ru”.

The real stories of women who have been through domestic violence and managed to rebuild their lives without fear and humiliation, are the strongest support for those who have not yet found a way out. The stories will be published on the website kcekaterina@mail.ru and in social media https://vk.com/public91333889.

On November 27th, 2018 a scientific-practical conference “Actual Issues of Crime Prevention in the Sphere of Family and Domestic Violence” was held at the Pedagogical University, Ekaterinburg. British expertise was shared with stakeholders from the government sector and the Russian NGOs through developing a short film about the best British practice of working with perpetrators of DV.

The pioneering research findings on domestic violence homicides committed by women in Russia will be published and distributed in March 2019 to include conclusions and recommendations for agencies involved in order to improve support for victims and perpetrators of DV. The project was funding by CAF Russia.