Kyrgyzstan: President Bolsters Protections Against Domestic Violence
Kyrgyzstan has in a landmark decision adopted legislation designed to provide greater protections for victims of domestic abuse.
Kyrgyzstan already has laws in place criminalizing violence in the home, but the legislation approved by President Almazbek Atambayev on April 28 constitutes a substantial and important revision.
One fresh provision will require police to respond to every reported instance of domestic violence. This means that any member of the public can file complaints, even if they are only witnesses not direct parties to the violence.
Under the previous law, police were unable to initiate an investigation and press criminal charges until the victim had filed a report. Many victims of violent spouses are understandably afraid to pursue police action for fear of sustaining more mistreatment. Even in cases where acts of abuse had been captured on camera, police as a rule declined to take action.
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