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ECtHR decision on case of domestic violence and discrimination

May 31st 2013

The European Court of Human Rights on 28 May decided on a case of domestic violence AND discrimination, Eremia and Other, holding Moldovan authorities responsible for having failed to prevent a police officer from beating his wife repeatedly in front of their daughters.

The Court held that the authorities’ failure to take effective measures against the husband despite their knowledge of the danger of further violence had amounted to a breach of Articles 3, 8 and 14.

The Court established that the authorities failed to protect Ms Eremia fom the husband’s repeated violence, breaching Art.3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) prohibiting inhuman treatment, and that the psychological well-being of the two daughters was affected by seeing the father’s violence against the mother, thereby breaching Art. 8 of the ECHR on private and family life. The Court found also a breach of Art. 14 on discrimination (in conjunction with Art. 3) reiterating that a “State’s failure to protect women against domestic violence breaches their right to equal protection of the law” regardless of whether this failure was intentional. The Court underlined that the authorities’ failure to deal with the domestic violence by repeatedly condoning it reflected a discriminatory attitude towards Ms Eremia as a woman.

The decision can be accessed here.