Ukrainian legislators introduced new tools to counter domestic violence

Law of Ukraine "On Prevention and Countering of Domestic Violence" of 7 December 2017 No. 2229‑VIII (the "Law") came into force on 7 January 2018. The Law brings the national legislation to European standards and provides an integrated approach to combating domestic violence. Among other things, the Law introduces new safeguards, including:

1. An urgent restraining order against the abuser is imposed in the event of a direct threat to the victim's life or health and is intended to immediately stop domestic violence, eliminate the danger to the victim's life and health, and prevent further acts of violence.  

An urgent restraining order is issued by the units of the National Police of Ukraine for up to 10 days at their own initiative based on the risk assessment or upon application of the victim. The person in respect of whom the urgent restraining order has been issued may appeal to a court.

An urgent restraining order can provide measures such as:

  • an obligation to leave the place of residence (stay) of the victim;
  • a prohibition on entering and staying at the place of residence (stay) of the victim;
  • the prohibition on contacting the victim in any way.

If the victim and the abuser live together in the same premises, the urgent restraining order may restrict the abuser's right to reside (stay) in the premises, regardless of their property rights to the premises. If the abuser refuses to leave voluntarily the place of residence (stay) of the victim, he/she can be evicted compulsorily.

2. A restrictive injunction against the abuser ensures the safety of the victim by temporarily restricting rights or imposing duties on the person who committed domestic violence.

An application for restrictive injunction in the order of separate proceedings can be filed with the court by: (i) the victim or his/her representative; (ii) parents or other lawful representatives of the child, relatives (grandparents, full-aged brother or sister), stepmother or stepfather, as well as a body of trusteeship and guardianship, in the case of domestic violence against a child; (iii) a guardian or a body of trusteeship and guardianship, in the case of domestic violence against a disabled person. The restrictive injunction is issued for a term of one to six months and may be extended by a court for another six months.

Restrictive injunction can provide one or more measures, including: 

  • prohibition on staying in the place of joint residence with the victim;
  • elimination of obstacles to the use of jointly owned property or private personal property of the victim;
  • restriction of communication with the victimized child;
  • instruction to stay a certain distance away from the place of residence (stay), study, work, and other frequently visited places of the victim;
  • prohibition on seeking the victim in person and through third parties, if the victim chooses to stay in a place unknown to the abuser, and on stalking or communicating with the victim in any way;
  • prohibition on maintaining correspondence or telephone conversations with the victim or contacting the victim through other communication means personally and through third parties.

In addition, the victim is entitled to seek compensation from the abuser for the victim's expenses for medical treatment, consultations, or rental of the premises leased out by the victim to prevent domestic violence against him/her, as well as recurrent expenses for self-support and maintenance of children or other family members who are (were) maintained by the abuser.

For further information, please contact Asters' managing partner Oleksiy Didkovskiy and associate Olga Lepikhina.

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