Perpetrator work in Russia
Talking about the situation of domestic violence in Russia, we have to note, that the society, in general, not ready to understand that this situation needs to be changed. Psychology still is perceived like a kind of magic. Nevertheless, in Saint-Petersburg, for instance, there are plenty communities who realize the consequences of increasing violent behavior. Most of them work with victims of domestic violence (women, children).
In Russia we don’t have a particular law against domestic violence. It makes difficult work with abuser, because therapists don't have any support from legal institute.
But current situation is changing. On December 2014 one of the senators introduced a bill to the State Duma to amend the Criminal Code. The speech is about amendments that distinguish domestic violence a separate offense and toughening the penalties for such acts.
The biggest obstacles for successful work with abusers in Russia is bad collaboration within different social institutes, such as police, social services centers and firstly, education system.
It would be much better, if there were special lessons or courses in schools and universities telling about psychology of nonviolence and laws of family’s development. In other words: we need to have a possibility to tell our children and young professionals about reasons and consequences of violent behavior.
And now we are approaching to it. On December the special education course related to specific of domestic violence will be started in Saint-Petersburg State University. M21 is invited to teach there.
Moreover, there are methodical manual, instructional video and training program for psychologists and social workers, worked out by M21.
Taking into account this, we can say that our organization is a resource centre for specialists, who are interested in work with abuser – not only for Saint-Petersburg, but the whole north-west region. For now there are 4 regions of north-west where were conducted training programs, based on methodical manual, worked out by M21.
We can say for sure, that the situation is going to change. We can see the positive moving forces and trends. We still have a lot of issues, but people who took a part in our training programmes, were ready to accept our point of view relating to violent/nonviolent behaviour issues. And it's a good sign, as there among them were also police officers, and social workers. It means that public consciousness, at least, in professional area, has all opportunities to be changed.
In conclusion some short information about M21.
Work of M21 is based on Norwegian and Swedish model of the therapy for addicted to family violence man. Nonetheless there are some differences.
- The organization was legalized in September, 2007 as Independent non-profit organization
- Practical work with men who use violence in their families started in 2004
- Therapy was conducted only in the individual form because of organizational matters
- The majority of men apply because of their wives’ demands often after their application to the women crisis centres
- The premise is provided free of charge by the 7th district of S-Petersburg (Vasilivsky ostrov)
- 5 psychologists and psychotherapists work actively now. Each of them has 1-3 Clients
M21“XXI Century Men”
St. Petersburg, Russia