"Important Stories" studied the official statistics of the Prosecutor General's Office on crimes committed in Russia, which officially began to be published in 2021, and found out that every fifth murder and every third rape in the country occurs within the family.
Over the past two years in Russia, according to the Prosecutor General's Office, more than 4,500 murders and about 6,000 rapes have occurred within families. By November 2022, the proportion of murders in which the victim and perpetrator were each other's relatives or former partners reached 21%, rapes - 28%. This proportion is approximately twice as high as in all other types of crimes. In 55% of cases, the victims of murders committed by family members or cohabitants, including former ones, were women.
At the same time, Vladimir Kudryavtsev, an expert criminologist from the University of Florida, explained to Important Stories that the data of the Prosecutor General's Office could be distorted due to the reporting form. The prosecutor's office classifies not only the murders themselves as murders, but also attempts.
“If we are talking about murder, everything is clear: there is a corpse - there is murder. And when we talk about an attempt, it is not very clear what kind of crime it is. Maybe someone brandished a knife. Maybe someone shouted to someone that he would kill him. There can be a variety of manipulations both on the part of law enforcement officers and on the part of the victims, ”he says.
According to the Prosecutor General's Office, in 92% of cases, the victims of rape in the family were women. Psychotherapist Ksenia Ivanova, co-founder of the NeTerpi psychological assistance center, believes that the statistics may be underestimated, since data on most of the rapes that occur within families do not reach law enforcement agencies.
Criminologist Kudryavtsev also notes that in Russia, police traditionally try to persuade victims of domestic violence to withdraw their statements.
Experts believe that in connection with the war in Ukraine, the number of crimes within families in Russia will increase, noting that during the war, the level of aggression in society increases.