How much domestic violence costs in Kyrgyzstan?

Dec 17, 2013

Poster against family violence. Credit: Kostas Satlanis / UNRIC

Each case of domestic violence with fatalities costs the state more than 1.6 million soms and sexual violence costs 232,4 soms says the latest study on the cost of domestic violence in Kyrgyzstan. The main purpose of the research was to calculate the cost of domestic violence based on specific examples and to show that domestic violence is not only personal but also public problem.

Each year police in Kyrgyzstan receives more than 7000 calls related to domestic with severe consequences. Ambulance service annually registers more than 600 people with physical injuries or other types of health disorders resulting from domestic violence. In most of these cases, the victims of domestic violence are women.

According to the research, direct costs related to domestic violence are primarily attributable to the state, because it provides services that deal with the problem of domestic violence. These include crisis centers that provide psychological and legal assistance to victims of violence, medical facilities, processing lawsuits, running penitentiary facilities and so on. But there is another kind of cost , which is an indirect cost in the form of lost opportunity and work productivity

"Often the victims are unable to work, and if they do not work they can’t pay taxes this leads to budget shortages and as a result government employees don’t get salaries, senior citizens don’t get benefits and pensions. On the contrary victims start receiving benefits"- said Alexandra Eliferenko, expert, chairman of the Association of Crisis Centers.

Gender-based and sexual violence in Kyrgyzstan is connected with the overall discriminatory practices against women and children, such as bride kidnapping, early and forced marriages, sexual and domestic violence in the family. According to the National Statistical Committee of the Kyrgyz Republic for the period from 2004 to 2011 the number of appeals in cases of domestic violence has increased almost fourfold. However, only in 3% of the total number of domestic violence cases investigated by police perpetrators are convicted with criminal charges and in 18 % of cases - administrative charges.

The 16 -day global campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women, which starts on November 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, ended on December 10. Kyrgyzstan is also part of this fight to protect the rights of women and girls, so that they could live in a world free from violence. This year's campaign in Kyrgyzstan was held under the slogan "UNited to End Violence Against Women and Girls: Time to Act, Kyrgyzstan!"

The research "Cost of domestic violence in Kyrgyzstan" was organized as part of the EU-UN project on promoting good governance for social justice. The project is aimed at providing equitable access for citizens, especially for vulnerable groups like women, children and young people to state and municipal services by improving the efficiency of local and national governance processes in 30 rural municipalities in seven regions of Kyrgyzstan. The project is implemented by UN agencies : UNICEF, UN Women, UNESCO and UNDP. European Union co- financed project in cooperation with the above agencies.

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