ABA ROLI Organizes Anti-Domestic Violence Training for Russian Lawyers

The training included a simulated exercise designed to help lawyers better understand a domestic violence victim’s psychological state.

The training included a simulated exercise designed to help lawyers better understand a domestic violence victim’s psychological state.

June 2009 

Continuing its traveling lawyer program, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative’s (ABA ROLI’s) office in Vladivostok, Russia, trained 22 attorneys from Sakhalin on providing legal assistance to domestic violence survivors. Alumni from the 2008 and 2009 traveling lawyers program, Inna Zhidkova and Victoriya Malets, conducted the May 23–24 training in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. They shared knowledge gained from the training of trainers event they attended in Vladivostok, which has been enriched by their experiences since.

The first day of the training focused on the social and psychological aspects of domestic violence and the challenges of working with survivors. It also addressed assisting domestic violence victims in criminal proceedings. Zhidkova said that assistance to victims of domestic violence was especially important since gaps in the criminal legal system can cause even deeper harm to such a vulnerable category of clients. Trainees took part in a simulated exercise designed to help them better understand a domestic violence victim’s psychological state.

The second day of the training discussed local civil, housing and family laws, as well as relevant international mechanisms. The participants said the need for assistance to domestic violence victims is ever growing. Following the training, 12 of the participants signed up to provide pro bono assistance.

As part of its anti-domestic violence initiative, ABA ROLI organized a round-table for 32 third- and fourth-year Sakhalin State University law students. The May 25 roundtable was meant to raise the future legal professionals’ awareness of domestic violence and to encourage them to support victims.

To learn more about our work in Russia, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at <rol@staff.abanet.org>.

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