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Criminological and Psychological Analysis of Failure to Fulfill Responsibilities for the Upbringing of a Minor

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In order to protect and ensure the rights of the child to parents care and upbringing the Russian legislation criminalized a failure to fulfill parental responsibilities for the upbringing of a minor, coupled with the cruel treatment of a child (Art. 156 of the Criminal Code). The analysis of the 350 criminal cases proceeded by the courts of the Arkhangelsk region (200 cases studied by continuous sampling and 150-randomized) shows a lack of unified assessment of cruel treatment of a minor. Law enforcers wrongly interpret modus operandi and consider it restrictively as a matter of physical violence only. The practice of physical violence assessment is not uniformed either: in some cases the courts qualify the offence by Art. 156 of the Criminal Code, in others by Art. 156 and 116 of the Criminal Code (f.ex.beatings). The statistical analysis points at a certain discrepancy between the number of criminal proceedings instituted by Art. 156 of the Criminal Code and the real facts of child abuse. The criminological analysis shows: most of crimes (Art. 156 of the Criminal Code) are committed within the family, about one-third fall on two-parent families; a quarter of them make single-parent families. In recent years there has been a dynamic increase in the proportion of females among those convicted under Art. 156 of the Criminal Code. This, in our opinion, is due not so much to the growth of women’s aggression as to a significant number of divorces when child stays with mother, therefore, only she can be considered as the subject of art. 156 of the Criminal Code. This should be considered when carrying out preventive measures, since these persons are in need of social and psychological support. Children need to be withdrawn from the parents who show aggression to children because of drunkenness, fail to perform parental duties for children’s care and education. This research raises issues related to ensuring the rights and legitimate interests of minors subjected to a cruel treatment in the family.
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Keywords: Cruel Treatment; Failure to Fulfill Responsibilities for the Upbringing; Family; Minor; Parents; Victim; Violence

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Psychology Department, Northern (Arctic) Federal University Named After M.V. Lomonosov, Arkhangelsk 163002, Russia 2: Department of Criminal Law and Procedure, Northern (Arctic) Federal University Named After M.V. Lomonosov, Arkhangelsk 163002, Russia

Publication date: November 1, 2017

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