IVATSEVICHI DISTRICT, 5 October (BelTA) – Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has harshly criticized the bill on combating domestic abuse as he spoke to the media on 5 October, BelTA has learned.
“This is nonsense borrowed, first of all, from the West. Don't worry, we will proceed exclusively from our own interests, our Belarusian, Slavonic traditions and our experience,” Alexander Lukashenko said.
“Fighting domestic violence has become a trend in the West. They will soon have no families at all: a man marries a man. There is no one to have children. And we borrow some family norms from them,” the president noted.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs was in charge of working on the domestic violence bill. The head of state suggested involving other stakeholders, first of all, local authorities, NGOs, the government, the Belarus President Administration. However, the opinion of the police should also be taken into consideration, the president emphasized.
The head of state admitted that he is not in favor of punishing children. However, he believes that sometimes it is unavoidable. “We should proceed from the situation that we have. As they say spare the rod and spoil the child. All children are different, of course. I often punished my elder son Viktor. His younger brother Dima saw it and made a note of it. The youngest son, he is fourteen now, has never been punished. He did not give reasons to,” the president said.
“It is our tradition, our life and we will bring up children the way we should. We will keep in mind the proposals of the police. We might as well introduce amendments to the existing laws instead of passing a new law. There is a respective presidential directive that covers these issues. I am glad that the document aroused public debate and that some nonsense incorporated into this bill caused uproar. Showing their outrage people draw my attention to this issue. Therefore, it will be the way we want it to be based on our traditions and experience,” Alexander Lukashenko said.
The domestic violence bill contains many new norms that have been vehemently discussed by the public for several months already. Among the most controversial proposals was the norm on “economic violence” when spouses are defined as just partners, not a husband and a wife. Just as controversial are proposals to extend the definition of domestic violence to include parents' refusal to give pocket money to children or attempts to force children to clean up after themselves.
According to BelTA's information, the Belarus President Administration has recently discussed a collective letter signed by about 6,000 people. The signatories expressed their discontent with the bill.