Domestic violence — Article 126-1 of the Criminal Code

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Khyzhniak Kseniia

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Domestic violence — Article 126-1 of the Criminal Code

Reading time: 5 min.

Domestic violence is a problem that every person can face, regardless of gender, age and sexual orientation. According to a survey conducted by the UN, the level of domestic violence in Ukraine has increased by 40% in the last year alone. When the home ceases to be a safe place for a person, it certainly has a negative effect on his physical and mental state, and accordingly, over time, this effect spreads to all areas of his life.

After the Council of Europe ratified the so-called "Istanbul Convention" - the Convention on the prevention of violence against women and domestic violence and the fight against these phenomena, the Criminal Code of Ukraine was supplemented with relevant amendments. Their goal is to combat gender-based violence. In particular, Article was included in the Criminal Code of Ukraine. 126-1, which provided protection to survivors of domestic violence and determined the responsibility of the aggressor for its commission.


Legal qualification of domestic violence

The wording of the concept of "domestic violence" is clearly defined in Article 126-1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine as the deliberate systematic commission of various forms of violence (physical, economic, psychological) against a spouse or persons who are at the stage of divorce. The composition of the crime is psychological or physical suffering, loss of working capacity, emotional dependence, etc.

Thus, firstly, domestic violence can manifest itself in the forms of physical, psychological or economic violence in spouses, intimate partner relationships or between parents and children. Usually, in real life, all three forms of violence mentioned above or two of them are applied to the victim at the same time.

Secondly, a key feature is the systematicity of such violence. According to international and national judicial practice, domestic violence is considered present from the moment the aggressor commits at least one of its three forms for the third time (they can be both different and the same), and as a result of his task, the victim suffered at least one of the specified in the law of consequences.

The consequences of domestic violence are a violation of a person's normal physical and mental state, his mental integrity and the functioning of his life as a whole. In the practice of the European Court of Human Rights, circumstances that cause moral damage are usually taken into account, in particular: inconvenience caused by a negative impact on health; concern and anxiety due to the fact that the situation lasts a long time; mental stress, etc.

Responsibility for the crime

According to Art. 126-1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, punishment for domestic violence:

  • Community service (up to 240 hours).
  • Arrest (up to 6 months).
  • Restriction of will (up to 5 years).
  • Deprivation of liberty (up to 2 years).


In addition, current Ukrainian legislation provides for special measures that help combat domestic violence effectively. We are talking about a prohibitory and restrictive order against the offender. What is the difference between them? We explain.

A restraining order against the person of the offender differs in urgency and is issued within ten days. A statement by the injured person is sufficient for an urgent restraining order. It can also be an initiative of representatives of law enforcement agencies. Among the cases when it is used:

  • The presence of a threat to the health or life of a person.
  • Immediate cessation or prevention of recurrence/continuation of domestic violence.

A restraining order against the perpetrator is applied by the court in the interests of the victim of domestic violence, based on Art. 91-1 of the Criminal Code. It may consist in applying the following prohibitions and restrictions to the aggressor:

  • The offender is obliged to leave the place of common residence/residence with a ban on visiting this place.
  • The offender has no right to contact the victim.
  • Obstacles to the use of jointly owned property are eliminated.
  • Prohibition on search/persecution of the victim.
  • Restrictions on communication with the child of a person accused of domestic violence.
  • Prohibition of approaching the victim (to his place of residence, work, study, etc.).

Other aspects of Article 126-1 of the Criminal Code

  • The most important aspect in cases of domestic violence is the protection of the rights of the victims. A lawyer, representing the interests of a survivor of domestic violence, ensures a high level of professionalism at all stages of the case.
  • The principle of prevention of retraumatization. Our lawyers comprehensively evaluate the existing risks and threats of triggers, in order to prevent retraumatization of the person in the process of providing legal aid.

Law firm "Prykhodko and partners" is your defender in domestic violence cases.

Our law firm has many years of experience in providing effective and professional steam assistance. Our lawyers are real professionals who will ensure the protection of your rights.

If you have become a victim of domestic violence or witnessed it, contact us for legal assistance. Don't tolerate violence in your life.

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