Posted 31 марта, 11:19

Published 31 марта, 11:19

Modified 31 марта, 19:51

Updated 31 марта, 19:51

Hell for a kid: how cases of child sexual abuse are investigated

Hell for a kid: how cases of child sexual abuse are investigated

31 марта 2023, 11:19
Алексей Федяров
Experts are sure that the existing practice of investigative actions and the court very often cause harm and damage to the child no less than the original crime, and therefore it is necessary to change the legislation.

The problem of repeated traumatization of victims of sexual violence, but already during the investigation and trial, is often written in the Russian media and social networks. Especially when it comes to children whose psyche is particularly susceptible to change. However, according to experts, the case is almost not moving from a dead point.   

Lawyer Alexey Fedyarov calls this category of criminal cases extremely painful, knowing this problem very well from the inside, because he used to work in investigative bodies and perfectly understands what awaits victims during the procedural investigation and trial. A painful category of cases. In his blog , he writes about this:

"Yesterday I read a post by a very good person that a person wants to help a teenager who has been sexually assaulted and is looking for a lawyer about bono for this.

I thought again.

Things are complicated. I always and certainly insist that a person with investigative experience should work on them, and it is the TFR or the prosecutor's office (until 2007), or a lawyer like Maria Eismont or Leonid Abgadzhava - yes, from legal protection, but with an amazing ability to learn professional subtleties instantly and be able to communicate with any person in the authorities - tough, not bending over, but using an indisputable reputation. I watched the process of formation of Masha and Lyonya as lawyers in dynamics, I was excited.

And there are subtleties. I have written about this repeatedly. I will be very glad to make a mistake, but in most cases a good person starts working with a lawyer, whom he also picked up on the principle of "a good person".

And hell begins for the child. The first thing they do wrong is write a statement to the police. There, the first round begins with the child: the duty station, the opera, the head of the Department of Criminal Investigation, receiving an explanation.

I will note the important thing - this is an absolutely unnecessary circle of hell.

On the one hand, the police are obliged to take a statement and get an explanation, on the other - they have no right to investigate these crimes (Articles 131-135 of the Criminal Code). Only the IC of RF.

Here the second stage begins. Search for the duty investigator of the IC of RF. If he comes, you will need to give him an explanation. He'll take it to the boss. By the way, if the investigator does not arrive (easily), then the child with the escorts will go home and wait for the call. It may not wait.

If it's a matter of the past period, that's not right today, no one will rush anywhere. The child will go home and wait for the call. And it can't wait either.

Then the material will be distributed. If they see the prospect, they will start working. Taking your time, you have to figure it out. They will call the child. Another explanation. Detailed. Long. Departure to the place. Inspection of the scene of the accident. Or places, if the story is long. If it's a school or a sports section - gym, locker rooms, toilets. No one will stop classes for this time.

Now imagine that there are peers around, no one is silent. And the case has not yet been initiated, you need to get explanations from everyone the child pointed out, teachers, security guards, cleaners, parents of those who may fall under suspicion in the future.

And this case has not been initiated yet. After initiation - video interrogation, examinations (medical and psychological-psychiatric at least), confrontations (as a rule), clarifying interrogations.

And this is not yet a case in court.

At what point will the little man break down?

Therefore, in such cases, I attract only super-verified and super-reliable lawyers. About bono - no, I always pay for their work, most often myself, without listening to their bickering, they are also people and want to do good.

Another thing is more important here - to shoot accurately, to attract the perpetrators and to protect the child from the colossal injuries that our criminal process brings with it, inquisitorial not only to the accused, but also to the victim, especially for a crime of sexual motivation, and especially-especially to the child..."

The readers of this post fully agree with the author. So human rights activist Yelena Alshanskaya writes:

"I will only note that we have been working on such cases for many years. And we understand both the working procedure and the pitfalls well. The UK attracts our psychologists to the surveys of children. But, alas, there are no lawyers in the fund. Everything will be fine in this case. And in general, we have been saying for several years that it is necessary to change the legislation, but first of all the practice, because often investigative actions and the court cause damage and harm to the child no less than the original crime. With endless retraumatization. I am sure the time will come for these changes..."

The severity of the problem is confirmed by the journalist Nina Nazarova:

"In 2019, my colleague and I wrote a text about such a story from Kazan — a 12-year-old girl was interrogated a total of 23 times about the violence she experienced, there were confrontations with the accused, a visit to the scene. As a result, the men were imprisoned, but the child's life and psyche were completely destroyed in the process. Her lawyers reached the ECHR, and the ECHR awarded her 33 euros in compensation this year. Only she won't get them..."