By Nora Armani
Much has been written and said in the past few weeks, both in Armenia and in the Diaspora, about domestic violence and the urgent need to adopt a law criminalizing such behavior.
The United Nations defines violence against women as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or any suffering caused to women, including threats of such acts, coercion, or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.”
Intimate-partner violence refers to behavior by a partner or ex-partner that causes physical, sexual or psychological harm, including physical aggression, sexual coercion, psychological abuse and controlling behavior; 42 percent of women who experience intimate-partner violence report an injury as a consequence. Violence against women, whether domestic or social, can have fatal outcomes such as homicide or suicide.
No sooner had the motion to adopt a law against domestic violence landed on the Armenian Parliament agenda than voices fiercely opposing its adoption rose high in the press, in the media, and through social channels accompanied by active attempts to block it from becoming a law.
It would seem only logical to punish the perpetrator of any form of violence, specifically when exercised against the most vulnerable members of society, namely women and children, and particularly when such violence occurs under the family roof.