State protection available to women who are victims of violence (January 2000 - December 2000) [AMN35818.E]

The International Helsinki Federation's 9 November 2000 report, "Women 2000," states:

As a rule, police officers are not receptive to domestic violence complaints. This is partly because in many cases women regret filing a complaint and withdraw it soon afterwards. Also, there is a negative attitude towards those filing a complaint against another family member. Although there is no data available on this question, it is thought that women underreport their husbands/partners violent behaviour. Nevertheless, the public has a very negative attitude towards violent husbands, and sometimes, if the beating is severe, towards the beating of children. This discrepancy can probably be explained by the fact that, traditionally, women do not complain about their families and by the lack of public trust in courts and the police. In 2000, for the first time in Armenia, the Women's Rights Centre will conduct a special training for police officers on domestic violence. Apart from this, there are no governmental programs addressing domestic violence and there are no rehabilitation centres or shelters for victims of domestic violence. There are two NGOs that deal with the problem of domestic violence but due to a lack of financial, human and organisational capacities, NGOs can provide only limited legal and psychological assistance to victims....
There is no special department dealing with rape cases within the police or prosecutor's office, and there has not been any specialised training for police officers and prosecutors dealing with rape cases. If the police see/catch/stop the perpetrator in an act of rape and the victim confirms the act of rape, a report is filed. In other cases, either the victim or the family must make a complaint. If there are witnesses, the prosecutor and court should consider their written explanation of the case and testimony. The court's decision is based on the results of a medical examination of the victim and the perpetrator, and information provided by any available witnesses. If the victim complains, or the act of rape was stopped and registered by the police, and the rape is proved, the perpetrator cannot avoid criminal liability by marrying the victim. In practice, however, unreported cases may be resolved through marriage. Mostly, rape victims do not report the case because they are ashamed. Families and victims of rape usually try to force the perpetrator to marry the victim because rape victims have less chance of marrying later. If the rape if reported (which means that the victim's family does not want to keep quiet about the matter and resolve the problem through marriage), the family provides moral support for the victim.
Marital rape is punishable in the wider context of rape. The requirements for proof are the same as for any type of rape. There is no available data with the police or the courts with regard to marital rape and it is believed that such cases remain unreported, as there is a strong tradition of not sharing this type "family problem" with anyone.
There is no special government program for rape victims. The Women's Rights Centre deals with domestic violence, including marital rape, and legal and psychological consultations are provided through a hotline. The Centre plans to conduct a nationwide campaign on domestic violence and advertise its hotline services more efficiently (45, 46).

For additional information on violence against women in Armenia and the state protection available to them, please consult the December 2000 publication "Domestic Violence in Armenia" by the Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, which is referenced below.

No additional information on violence against women in Armenia and the state protection available to them could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights [Vienna]. 9 November 2000. "Women 2000: an Investigation into the Status of Women's Rights in the Former Soviet Union and Central and South-Eastern Europe," pp. 45-46.

Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights. December 2000. "Domestic Violence in Armenia."

Additional Sources Consulted

IRB databases


Internet sites including:

Hokkaido University Slavic Research Centre

International Women's Rights Action Watch

United Nations Development Program

World News Connection