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Law on Social and Legal Protection against Domestic Violence (2003)

Unofficial translation

The Kyrgyz Republic
Law
“On Social and Legal Protection against Domestic Violence”

Passed by the Legislative Assembly of the KR Jogorku Kenesh (Parliament) on 31 January 2003

The Law shall regulate relations in the area of social and legal protection of individuals who have suffered from domestic violence.
Measures of social and legal protection against domestic violence as established in this Law shall be deemed an unalienable part of ensured safety of an individual, family and society.

SECTION 1. GENERAL

Article 1. Main definitions
The following concepts and terms used in the Law shall have the meaning attributed to them below:

Family constitutes individuals who are spouses, relatives or live-in partners and live together. Force of the Law shall also extend to (a) a family based on the marriage unregistered with the bodies of civil registration (common-law marriage), (b) individuals who have entered family relations as a result of (i) child adoption, tutorship and patronage when tutors and trustees live together with individuals in ward, (ii) children placement in a family to be fostered as per the procedure established by the KR legislation; (c) individuals who constitute members of a family based on marriage, if they continue to live together after the marriage termination; and (d) relatives who live together as family members.

Difficult family is a family where assaults or threats of violence take place regularly.

Dependant family member is a family member maintained due to their age, disease or disability, and dependant on other members of the family.

Difficult life situation is a situation, which objectively impairs activity, as well as moral and psychological condition of a family member due to conflicts and (or) abuse in the family.

Family violence (domestic violence) is any deliberate action of one member of a family against another, if that action infringes legal rights and freedoms of the family member, causes him/her physical or psychological suffering and moral loss or poses a threat for physical or personal development of a minor member of the family.

Physical violence in a family takes place when one member of a family deliberately tortures or practices battery to another, causes loss to health, deliberately deprives another member of the freedom of movement, shelter, food, clothes and other normal conditions of life, coerces to hard physical work; when parents of minor children, as well as their tutors and foster parents deviate from their duties of care-giving and solicitude re health and personal safety of the minor child, while this can cause (i) damage to dignity and honour of the child’s personality as well as loss to psychological, physical or personal development of the suffering child, or (ii) death of the family member;

Psychological violence in a family is a deliberate humiliation of one family member’s dignity and honour by another family member, or coercion (compulsion) of thereof by threats, insults, blackmail to commit offences or acts, which pose threat to their life or health and/or cause impairment of psychological, physical or personal development of a minor member of the family.

Sexual violence in a family constitutes a family member’s act, which threatens sexual integrity and freedom of another member of the family, as well as acts of sexual nature towards a minor member of the family.

Social support is a set of services of social and economical, social and legal, social and medical, social and psychological and other nature, provided to the victims of family violence.

Social and legal protection against family violence is an activity of relevant agencies to (i) solve the difficult life situation within a family via social support to the family members having suffered from the family violence, (ii) provide assistance to the family in restoration of normal family relations, development of measures targeting correction of behaviour.

Social restraint on family violence is an immediate social support provided by a relevant facility, when an immediate threat to life and health of a dependant family member takes place, in order to eliminate the threat, ensure safety of the endangered family member in an urgent situation, as well as prevent individuals from committing illegal repetitive and systematic acts, which cause continuation of violence.

Protection order is a procedural legal document (i) providing for a state protection to the individual, who has suffered from family violence or threat of thereof, and (ii) warning the person who has committed an act of violence or threatened with thereof, the warning to take form of correctional measures identified in this Law.

Article 2. Objectives of the Law
This Law aims at establishing a social and legal system of protecting life and health of family members against violence and shall provide such protection to the victims of family violence, which is based on compliance with the international standards in human rights.

The Law aims at establishing conditions for full-value and healthy family relations; protection of minor members and elderly of the family being a particular concern of the state.

Article 3. Legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic re Social and Legal Protection against Family Violence
The Kyrgyz Republic legislation on social and legal protection against family violence shall be based on the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic and consist of the given Law and other regulatory acts of the Kyrgyz Republic as well as the norms included in the international covenants and other acts ratified by the Kyrgyz Republic.

Article 4. Principles of the Law
The Law shall be based on the following principles:
- compliance with the international norms of human rights as regards family;
- legality;
- humanism;
- protection against religious, cultural and other customs, which can cause damage to family relations;
- criminal liability for the committed violence in the family;
- confidentiality of the information about the exercised violence;
- preventive nature;
- community and civil society institutions involvement in establishing social and legal system of the family members’ life and health protection.


CHAPTER II. LIST OF INDIVIDUALS WHO CONSTITUTE VICTIMS OF FAMILY VIOLENCE

Article 5. List of individuals who constitute victims of family violence
Victims of family violence shall constitute the family members as well as relatives living together with the family members.
A person shall be deemed a victim of family violence if a physical, psychological or another type of damage has been caused to him/her.

Article 6. Rights of a family violence victim
A victim of family violence shall have a right to:
- file an application in the state or official language with the bodies of interior or with the prosecutor to establish the fact of committed family violence or threat of thereof;
- be transported to a medical institution and get first medical aid;
- be accommodated in a safe place or a specialized facility of social service (at will);
- get information about protection of personal safety, as well as legal aid and consultations;
- address the court of elderly (aksakals) within the area of her/his residence to ensure communal censure of the person who has committed the act of violence;
- get a protection order or apply to relevant bodies for instituting criminal proceedings against the perpetrator or making the latter answerable in another appropriate way.


CHAPTER III. ENTITIES TO RESTRAIN AND PREVENT FAMILY VIOLENCE, PROVIDE SOCIAL SUPPORT TO FAMILY VIOLENCE VICTIMS: LIST, RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Article 7. Entities to restrain and prevent family violence, provide social support to family violence victims
Entities to restrain and prevent family violence, provide social support to family violence victims shall be:
- judicial authorities;
- prosecutor’s office;
- bodies of interior;
- courts of aksakals;
- Ombudsman (Akiykatchi) of the Kyrgyz Republic;
- state agencies within their competence;
- other entities of social and legal protection against family violence.

Article 8. Responsibilities of court re social and legal protection against family violence
Court shall take a decision in compliance with the given Law and other active administrative, criminal and civil procedural legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic re implementation of measures on social and legal protection against family violence.

Article 9. Responsibilities of the prosecutor’s office re prevention of family violence
The prosecutor’s bodies shall:
- ensure supervision of the legality of acts committed by bodies, organizations and citizens, take actions re abrogation of illegal procedural and other decisions, check completeness and timeliness of the book-keeping and registration of the arriving messages re facts of family violence;
- present interests of family violence victim at court;
- coordinate the law enforcement bodies activity re family violence prevention.

Article 10. Bodies of interior responsibilities on family violence elimination and prevention
As per the requirements of the KR Administrative Responsibility Code, bodies of interior authorized to investigate cases of administrative offenses shall take all action to ensure social and legal protection against family violence.
The bodies of interior shall:
- accept and register an application related to the family violence;
- ensure visit of their representative to the place of a family conflict;
- interrogate the parties;
- provide necessary consultation to the family violence victim and explain the procedure of protection order issuance or the procedure of making the perpetrator answerable in administrative or criminal terms;
- organize, when necessary, transportation of the victim from the place of family violence to a medical institution or safe place or to a specialized facility of social support;
- take action to stop family violence;
- take all necessary steps to institute proceedings against the perpetrator;
- prepare materials to be issued to the family violence victim: interim protection order or court protection order, as well as the materials necessary to make the perpetrator answerable for the family violence in administrative or criminal terms;
- ensure preventive work with difficult families regularly and jointly with the officers of territorial bodies of social protection.

 Article 11. Responsibilities of public bodies, organizations and institutions providing social support to family violence victims
Public bodies, organizations and institutions providing social support to family violence victims shall include public administrations, committees on minor children, authorities of education, public health and social protection.
The above-mentioned bodies shall (i) ensure control of performance of the taken decision re family violence prevention and social support provision to the victims, (ii) develop programmes on family violence prevention, (iii) study causes and conditions, which stimulate family violence, (iv) raise public awareness within various social groups.
When there are grounds anticipated in the family legislation, the Committee on Minor Children shall be in a position to solicit for the court to annul parental rights, when the parents exercise violence against a minor member of the family.
In cases of violence against aged members of the family and the disabled, application for the aliment shall be submitted by territorial bodies of social protection; these bodies shall also (i) settle the issues of the mentioned individual’s referral to custodial or medical institutions and (ii) inform the bodies of interior to take specific action.
Those who have the right for aliment shall be able to claim for payment of thereof at court and at any time despite the time passed from the moment when the right for maintenance has arisen.
 
Article 12. Responsibilities of other entities and citizens re social and legal protection against family violence
Local government authorities, non-governmental institutions of social service and other NGOs as well as citizens involved in entrepreneurship re social services for family violence victims shall:
- provide social support to a family violence victim;
- explain to the family violence victim her/his right to apply for protection to public bodies or civil society organizations;
- provide the family violence victim with relevant consultations;
- when necessary and upon the victim’s consent, inform the bodies of interior and prosecutor’s office about the fact of the committed family violence; an exception from this provision shall be the cases related to minor children, disabled family members and members with limited ability, when the notification of the above-mentioned bodies is a compulsory condition.


CHAPTER IV. ORGANIZATION OF SOCIAL AND LEGAL PROTECTION AGAINST VIOLENCE

Article 13. Bodies, organizations and institutions of social and legal protection against family violence
Social and legal protection against family violence shall be ensured through:
- bodies of social protection;
- bodies of public health and education;
- committees on minor children and bodies of tutorship and wardship;
- local government authorities (local keneshes);
- non-governmental specialized institutions of social service and other non-governmental organizations and citizens involved in entrepreneurship re social services to family violence victims;
- bodies of interior, prosecutor’s office and court in compliance with the active legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic.

Article 14. Specialized social service
Specialized social service shall include organizations and institutions (despite patterns of ownership), which provide social support to family violence victims.
Specialized facilities providing social services shall include:
- consultation and prevention centres (crisis centres);
- centres of social support to family and children;
- social shelter for children and adolescents;
- social hospitals for victims of violence (shelter-care facilities);
- centres of social service for aged individuals, as well as disabled adults and children (daylight in-patient departments);
- social and rehabilitation centres for children and other categories of individuals with limitations on health;
- enterprises and institutions of charity (hospices).

A specialized institution of social service shall be in a position to provide a full or limited range of services to a family violence victim.
A specialized institution of social service shall be subject to a compulsory registration as a legal entity and act on the basis of constituent instruments and the procedure established by the KR legislation.

Article 15. Responsibilities of a specialized institution of social service
A specialized institution of social service shall aim its activities at social support to family violence victims.
A specialized institution of social service shall:
- provide a family violence victim with a number of social support services, as well as protection of her/his rights of person and substantive rights infringed by the perpetrator;
- inform the bodies of interior and prosecutor’s office about the committed domestic violence or the threat of thereof, upon the victim’s consent;
- prepare all necessary materials for applying to a body of interior or court as to reinstate the infringed right.

Article 16. Grounds for social and legal protection against family violence
The basis for providing social and legal protection against family violence shall be an appeal for protection against family violence.
The basis for providing social and legal protection shall also constitute established facts of domestic violence of presence of a difficult life situation in a family that causes an immediate threat to the life or health of dependant family members, the threat to be ascertained by a body of interior or territorial body of social protection.

Article 17. A domestic violence victim referral to and service of social support facilities
A person who has suffered from domestic violence shall have a right to personally or through social and legal protection bodies apply for help to specialized institutions of social service.
The procedure for victim admission and allocation shall be guided by relevant provisions of the mentioned institutions.
Specialized institutions of social service shall grant the person, who has suffered from domestic violence, with a set of services, as well as the right for free accommodation in a social hotel (shelter) for the period no longer than 10 days. Prolongation of the accommodation period in the social hotel (shelter) shall be ensured on a contract basis.
Expenditure of services to the victim, who is staying for longer than the established period, shall be imposed on a perpetrator. In case of rejection to do so, the reimbursement of expenditure shall be ensured as per the court procedure.

Article 18. Social restraint on family violence
On the victim’s application filed, all entities specified in this Law shall institute restraint on the family violence. When there is a need, there shall be ensured joint operations.
Measures of restraint shall include:
- urgent measures aimed at settling a difficult life situation, which poses an immediate threat to life or health of the suffered member of the family;
- urgent placement of the family violence victim (upon their request) or a dependant member of the family, who faces an immediate threat to their life and health, to a social hotel (shelter);
- family violence victim referral to a medical examination in a relevant medical or another specialized institution; in case the victim is a minor child, disabled individual or an individual with limited ability, such referral for medical examination shall be a compulsory measure;
- referring the victim (based on the health condition) to a relevant medical institution with further notification of that effect to the court; in case the victim is a minor child, disabled individual or an individual with limited ability, there shall be obtained a consent from their legal representatives, and in case of absence of thereof, a consent of the tutorship or wardship body;
- provision of immediate social support services at the victim’s request; in case the victim is a minor child, this measure shall be compulsory;
- Specialized institutions of social service shall immediately notify the bodies of interior or court about provision of social hospital (shelter) to the victim or endangered dependant. In cases the social shelter is provided for children and adolescent, or there is a referral to medical examination for a minor member of the family or the family member who is under tutorship or in ward, the body of tutorship or wardship shall be notified;
- An officer from the bodies of interior shall have a right to freely enter the citizenry’s premises and territory in case there are sufficient grounds to believe that there are family members, whose life and health are under immediate threat, or there is a need to take emergency measures, which would allow to settle the difficult life situation causing that threat;
- An officer of the territorial body of social protection shall have a right for a free access to citizenry’s premises and territory, when his individual safety is ensured to a full extent by an officer of bodies of interior;
- A specialized social service facility shall ensure primary survey of the family to establish the nature of the situation causing violence in the family or threat of thereof;
- A person who has committed act of violence shall be subject to measures described in this Law (interim protection order, court protection order) or other measures of administrative or criminal prosecution.

Article 19. Procedure for family violence information disclosure
Whenever the information about family violence re minor children becomes known, workers of education shall be obliged to pass it to the bodies of interior or prosecutor’s office for relevant action.
Family violence facts revealed by local government authorities or bodies of tutorship and wardship, all information shall be conveyed for examination to the bodies of interior and prosecutor’s office.
Having received verbal or written information about family violence, bodies of interior or prosecutor’s office shall take urgent measures to prevent violence and protect the victims from continuation of thereof.
Specialized institutions of social service, other non-governmental organizations and citizens involved in entrepreneurship re social services shall convey information about the family violence to the bodies of interior or prosecutor’s office upon the victim’s consent. In case the victim of family violence is a minor child or a disabled individual or an individual with limitations on ability, there shall be no need for consent to convey the information.

Article 20. Confidentiality of information under social and legal protection against family violence
When providing social and legal support to the family violence victims, all obtained information about the state of health and conditions of life and other information referring to a personal secret or private life shall be protected by the law. The information of private nature shall be used only when the victim agrees on that, or when a criminal case instigation takes place, or when measures of administrative action are applied.
Individuals who due to their job duties shall appear to know confidential information about the family, which has experienced domestic violence, or where violence has taken place against its certain members, in case this information becomes known while providing social and legal protection, these individuals shall have no right to disseminate the information except for the cases provided by the law.
These data disclosed, the aforesaid individuals shall be made answerable as per the KR legislation.

Article 21. Types of special instruments of social and legal protection against family violence
Special means of social and legal protection against family violence shall include interim protection order and protection court order.

Article 22. Grounds for providing special means of social and legal protection
Special means of social and legal protection can be provided upon consent to any member of the family who has experienced family violence.
The grounds for providing interim protection order shall be a committed act of family violence or a threat of thereof.
The grounds for providing a protection court order shall be a committed act of family violence in cases when hindrance takes place from a perpetrator towards settlement of a difficult life situation, which poses threat to life and health of family members, protection of their rights and interests.

Article 23. Interim protection order
A victim of family violence or their representative shall have a right to apply for an interim protection order in case of a situation, which poses an immediate threat to life or health of a family member.

An interim protection order shall be issued by an officer of bodies of interior attached to the area, where the family violence has taken place, and shall be documented within 24 hours after the family violence act or an immediate threat of thereof takes place, or on filed application about the act of violence. Issuance of an interim protection order can be appealed at court, and the application is subject to consideration immediately; in exceptional cases, such examination shall take no longer than three days.

Interim protection order shall be issued to a person, who has committed an act of family violence, for the period of no longer than 15 days. The person, who has received an interim protection order, shall comply with all the conditions specified therein, otherwise, the aforesaid individual shall be subject to an administrative action as per the active legislation.

If the victim wishes so, she/he shall be issued a copy of interim protection order.
Control over the perpetrator’s compliance with the conditions of interim protection order shall rest on the body of interior. 
 
Article 24. Conditions of the interim protection order
Interim protection order shall include the following official measures:
- prohibition for a perpetrator to commit any violent acts against the victim or other individuals;
- regulation of the perpetrator’s access to minor dependant children;
- warning to the perpetrator about the impossibility to ensure direct or indirect contacts with victims of violence;
- obligation of the perpetrator to pay for the medical treatment of the victim;
- warning a person, who has committed family violence, about the fact that in case the conditions of interim protection order are violated, he/she shall be subject to administrative action;
- notifying the victim about the fact that despite the interim protection order served, they shall have a right to take legal action or instigate a criminal case against the perpetrator;
- notifying the victim about the fact that despite the interim protection order served, and the application about instigation of a criminal case filed, they shall have a right to take legal action and instigate a case about divorce and division of property, aliment, reimbursement of damage and other compensation;
- notifying the victim about the fact that they shall have a right to further apply for a court protection order with the purpose of protection against the continued family violence, and the action of the interim protection order shall be terminated when the court protection order is served.
Failure of an individual to have been served with an interim protection order to comply with the conditions prescribed therein shall cause an administrative action and shall not stop the force of the order.

Article 25. Protection court order
Protection court order can be issued by the court with the purpose of protecting a victim and ensuring further restraint on family violence, when there is a respective consent of victim.
The protection court order can be issued for the period of 1 – 6 months. Failure of an individual to have been served with the protection court order to comply with the order’s conditions within the established period shall cause administrative or criminal proceedings.
The protection court order’s validity terminated and violence continued, the perpetrator shall be subject to other action of state coercion foreseen by administrative and criminal legislation.
The protection court order’s effect shall terminate, when:
- its validity expires;
- the parties have come to agreement as per the court procedure;
- one of the parties has died;
- there take place other situations provided by the KR legislation.

Article 26. Procedure for decision-taking on the protection court order issuance
The court, having investigated the materials provided by the body of interior, shall take a decision about the perpetrator to be served with a protection court order, and identify the period of validity and binding conditions of thereof.
The court shall advise the perpetrator (with ensured signature of the latter to confirm the understanding of the provisions) about the conditions of the protection court order and the consequences of failure to comply with them.
The validity period of the protection court order shall be calculated from the day when the court issues a decree about issuance of the protection court order.
The court shall ensure hearings within 10 days from the moment when the application is filed and the appeal for the protection court order takes place.
In order to ensure integrity of private life of the parties, the court shall be in a position to hear the case at a closed judicial session.
The court shall send the decision on the issuance of protection court order to the territorial bodies of interior attached to the place of victim’s residence within 24 hours from the moment, when the decision has been taken.
Supervision of the perpetrator’s compliance with the protection court order conditions shall be a responsibility of the bodies of interior and law enforcement officers.
Unfair and unsubstantiated claims of the victim re issuance of the court protection order shall enable the court to claim for reimbursement of court costs.
Appeal against the protection court order shall not suspend its action.

Article 27. Conditions of the protection court order
The following official measures can be taken as per the protection court order:
- prohibition for the perpetrator to commit any violent acts against the victim or other individuals;
- proposition to the perpetrator to leave the place of residence despite who owns the house;
- regulation of the perpetrator’s access to minor children;
- warning the perpetrator about the impossibility of direct and indirect contacts with the victims at their work and other places;
- prohibition for the perpetrator to purchase and use fire-arms and other types of weapon identified by the court;
- perpetrator’s obligation to recover the victim’s expenditure on medical treatment, consultations or accommodation at the social hotel (shelter);
- prohibition for sole use and management of joint property;
- warning the perpetrator that in case he/she violates the protection court order conditions, the perpetrator shall be subject to detention as per the administrative procedure, or to criminal proceedings;
- warning the victim that despite the protection court order served, she/he shall have a right to take legal action for instigation of a criminal case;
- warning the victim that despite the protection court order served, she/he shall have a right to take legal action and instigate the case of divorce, division of property, aliment, reimbursement of losses and other compensations.
Failure to comply with the conditions of the protection court order shall cause administrative action and suspend its effect for the period of administrative arrest.

 
CHAPTER V. FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 28. Statistical reporting of family violence
Statistical reporting of family violence shall be ensured by:
- National Statistics Committee of the Kyrgyz Republic;
- KR Ministry of Interior;
- KR Ministry of Health;
- KR Office of Legal Policy;
- KR Ministry of Education and Culture of the Kyrgyz Republic;
- local government authorities of the Kyrgyz Republic;
- territorial bodies of social protection.

Statistical reports of family violence shall include gender-disaggregated indicators, which reflect the number of registered cases of committed family violence by its types, as well as by types of action taken; social and demographic data about the members of the family, who have committed acts of violence in a family and of those members who have been victims.

Article 29. Effectiveness of the law
The Law shall enter into force on the day of its official publication.


President of the Kyrgyz Republic
A. Akaev

Bishkek city, Government House
25 March 2003 No. 62


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