St Petersburg University has decided to create a research centre aimed at studying comprehensively the problem of domestic violence.

The new structure will become an interdisciplinary platform enabling professionals to study one of the major challenges of our time. They will have different areas of expertise from psychologists and lawyers to journalists and sociologists. Creation of the centre was initiated by the professor of the Department of Criminal Law of St Petersburg University Vladislav Shchepelkov. He has been made the head of the new structure.

 ‘The tragic death of Anastasia Yeshchenko sent shock waves through the University. It has been widely discussed in the media lately. Many comments have also appeared on the newsfeed. The fact that some of the speakers and social network users took the liberty of talking inappropriately about the victim causes particular indignation,’ says the head of the centre Vladislav Shchepelkov.

It is such public response that scares domestic violence victims into silence.

The head of the centre, Vladislav Shchepelkov.

According to Vladislav Shchepelkov, every year thousands of people in Russia become victims of family violence. Unfortunately, it can often trigger domestic homicide. The researcher points out that the issue of countering domestic violence requires not only systematic monitoring, but also a profound interdisciplinary study. This University research centre will become the first project of this type in Russia.   

‘We had been working on a major investigation on the subject of domestic violence recently and we introduced it in the State Duma. The results of the investigation clearly illustrate the scale of the problem. However, its solution lies beyond the field of law,’ concluded Vladislav Shchepelkov.