Prohibition of Torture, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment

I. Domestic Violence and Violence against Women

Domestic Violence

 Domestic violence and violence against women are still an exceptionally acute problem in Lithuania. According to the data from the Police Department, the number of reported cases grew in 2013 – in excess of 21,000 reports were registered during that period. 18,000 reports of domestic violence were received in the first eight months of 2014 alone.[1]

 On 28 May 2014, the Government approved the National Programme for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Provision of Assistance to Victims for 2014-2020.[2] The Programme demonstrates an exceptionally backward attitude towards the problem of domestic violence, classifying it as an exclusion issue and not a human rights one. The final version of the Programme was adopted without taking into account the proposals of the experts of the working group and without adhering to international good practice standards.[3]

 The Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure were amended on 2 July 2013 in order to bring them in line with the Law on Protection against Domestic Violence.[4] The amendments provide that a pre-trial investigation must be initiated in all cases where the offence bears elements of domestic violence, even in the absence of a complaint by the victim or a statement by his/her legal representative. 

On 28 May 2014, the Government approved the National Programme for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Provision of Assistance to Victims for 2014-2020. The Programme demonstrates an exceptionally backward attitude towards the problem of domestic violence, classifying it as an exclusion issue and not a human rights one.

 The Law on Protection against Domestic Violence was amended twice in 2013-2014. The amendments clarified the funding procedure for preventive measures in connection with victims of domestic violence. Municipalities must provide for these measures in their strategic plans, while the Government has to fund the prevention activities of non-governmental organizations.[5] In addition, the amendments repealed an oft-criticized wording of a provision of the law, in practice interpreted as an imperative to obtain the victim's written consent to pass on the details of the incident and the victim's contact details to Specialized Support Centres. According to the current wording, police officers must only inform victims that they will be contacted by a Specialized Support Centre for assistance, and then immediately notify the Centre of the incident.[6] There were more amendments, including the obligation of Specialized Support Centres to provide integrated support services for 24 hours a day, which will take effect from 1 January 2016.[7] 

 However, some loopholes remain even after amending the Law on Protection against Domestic Violence and adopting the National Programme for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Provision of Assistance to Victims for 2014-2020. First of all, the protection and guarantees offered by the Law on Protection against Domestic Violence is not available to former spouses or long-term partners that do not share a common household. This is because practice tends to interpret "domestic environment" narrowly, taking cue from the provisions of the Criminal Code that do not include former spouses or long-term partners.[8] Unfortunately, violence among these people occurs frequently.

 Furthermore, there still is no national centre to coordinate the activities of all Specialized Support Centres. Even though the 2011 Order on the Approval of the Specialized Support Centre Programme provides that the activities of Specialized Support Centres that provide specialized integrated support services to victims of violence are to be monitored by a coordinating centre,[9] up until now all the Specialized Support Centres have operated without a single entity coordinating their actions.

 The fact that the funding of Specialized Support Centres is insufficient is another serious problem. Even though now, following corrections to the Law on Protection against Domestic Violence, Specialized Support Centres receive 2.6 to 4.5 more reports of incidents, their funding has not gone up at all.[10] At the same time, the demands placed on Specialized Support Centres keep growing: from 2016 onwards, these centres will have to operate for 24 hours a day. In addition, problems relating to the implementation of legislation can be observed in practice: victims of domestic violence quite often do not receive support when the offender breaks the protective measures put in place; a fair share of pre-trial investigations never get off the ground, are terminated or end in reconciliation between the victim and the offender.[11] The persistent belief that reconciliation preserves the family is not only inconsistent with treating domestic violence as an exceptionally dangerous crime, it enables the violence to repeat itself and thus puts the lives of the victims – most of whom are women and children – in jeopardy.

 Lithuania must transpose the provisions of the EU Victims' Rights Directive[12] into national law by 15 November 2015 – however, by the end of 2014 Lithuania was still not ready for properly implementing the directive in order to ensure the rights of victims of domestic violence.[13] For example, criminal laws do not clearly regulate victims' rights to protection, nor do they cover protection measures or how the latter are to be put in place; no methodologies have been established for assessing the risk of secondary or repeat victimization, intimidation or revenge; victims of domestic violence lack the necessary information on criminal proceedings, legal aid, physical protection from intimidation and revenge that is available for themselves and their children.[14]

Concept of Gender-Based Violence

 In its July 2014 Concluding Observations for Lithuania, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Committee) identified the fight against violence against women as one of the key priority areas for Lithuania.[15] It recommended for Lithuania to adopt a comprehensive strategy to supplement the National Programme for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Provision of Assistance to Victims for 2014-2020 and to eliminate all forms of public or private sex- and gender-based violence against women; to regularly collect, analyse and publish data on cases of all forms of violence against women and girls that have been reported, investigated and prosecuted; and to establish crisis and walk-in centres that offer protection and assistance to all women who are victims of violence.[16]

The ratification of the Istanbul Convention in Lithuania is strongly opposed by the Lithuanian Bishops' Conference, along with related organizations and politicians, who portray this Convention as a document that would allegedly establish additional genders and legalize gender reassignment. The ratification of the Convention would show political will to combat all forms of violence against women and also ensure that women are able to properly enjoy their human rights.

 In addition, CEDAW Committee recommended speeding up the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (the Istanbul Convention), as well as the process of bringing national legislation in line with it. Lithuania signed the Istanbul Convention on 7 June 2013, at the same time submitting a unilateral declaration that it will apply the provisions of the Convention in accordance to the principles and norms contained in the Constitution of Lithuania.[17] In law, the aforementioned unilateral declaration should be treated as a declarative statement, which means that it does not really reduce or change the state's obligations under the Convention.[18]

The ratification of the Istanbul Convention in Lithuania is strongly opposed by the Lithuanian Bishops' Conference, along with related organizations and politicians,[19] who portray this Convention as a document that would allegedly establish additional genders and legalize gender reassignment.[20] This issue has yet to be put forward before the Parliament, despite the fact that, with news of women's deaths resounding throughout the country, the ratification of the Convention would show political will to combat all forms of violence against women and also ensure that women are able to properly enjoy their human rights.

 The National Programme for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Provision of Assistance to Victims for 2014-2020 continues implementing the provisions of the 2006 National Strategy for the Reduction of Violence against Women,[21] in so far as they relate to domestic violence. Unfortunately, this Programme, much like the Law on Protection against Domestic Violence, does not contain a definition of gender-based violence. This definition must be enshrined in national law in order to effectively combat violent gender-based crime. International law places an obligation on Lithuania to eliminate this form of violence.[22]

 The aforementioned National Programme focuses solely on the reduction of the scale of domestic violence, which is why today, after the expiry of the National Strategy for the Reduction of Violence against Women, there are no programmes or strategies to combat violence against women generally.

 As evidenced by recent high-profile cases to hit the public, women and girls are often subjected to violence outside the domestic environment as well – for example, during their first dates,[23] or from complete or relative strangers.[24] In the fight against all forms of violence against women, it would be wise to take into consideration CEDAW Committee’s recommendation to adopt a strategy supplementing the National Programme for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Provision of Assistance to Victims for 2014-2020 in order to eliminate all forms of violence against women in the private or public spheres.

 On 22 October 2013, the European Court of Human Rights gave its decision in the case of D.P. v Lithuania, which concerned domestic violence.[25] In a unilateral declaration, the Government admitted to a violation of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, and offered compensation to the applicant. The Court decided to discontinue the proceedings. This marks the second time that Lithuania lost a domestic violence case in Strasbourg for not being able to ensure the effective protection of the victim and the proper investigation of her complaints concerning incurred violence.[26]

The case of D.P. v Lithuania marks the second time that Lithuania lost a domestic violence case in Strasbourg for not being able to ensure the effective protection of the victim and the proper investigation of her complaints concerning incurred violence.

 -          Findings and Recommendations 

  • The amendments to the Law on Protection against Domestic Violence that facilitate the protection of the rights of victims of domestic violence, adopted in the 2013-2014 period, must be commended.
  • In order to continue effectively combating violence against women, it is imperative to ratify the Istanbul Convention.
  • In order to eliminate certain loopholes, it is necessary to take into account the recommendations submitted by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Violence against Women and supplement the National Programme for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Provision of Assistance to Victims for 2014-2020 with a strategy that would aim to combat all forms of violence against women, establish crisis and walk-in centres for women, analyse data and create appropriate coordination and monitoring mechanisms.
  • It is recommended that a centre coordinating the activities of Specialized Support Centres be established without delay, with sufficient funding being allocated to ensure the continuous operation of Specialized Support Centres.
  • It is recommended that training concerning the peculiarities of domestic violence be available not only to judges and officials coming into direct contact with the victims of crime, but also to bailiffs and health care professionals, who are often the first to see and can identify traumas associated with violence in their professional capacity.

Violence against Children

 According to official statistics, in 2014, 2464 children became victims of crime (3041 in 2013), with 1142 falling victim to physical violence (1417 in 2013), 88 to sexual abuse (84 in 2013) and 74 to mental abuse (113 in 2013) and 13 to neglect (10 in 2013).[27] Most often children suffered at the hands of their parents, guardians or close relatives – in 2014, they were responsible for almost 64% of all child victims (68% in 2013). To compare, 36,7% of children were recorded as victims of their close ones in 2010 (and barely 29% in 2008). It should be noted that the overall number of child victims is shrinking annually.[28] Therefore, children can feel relatively safe in public – that is, on the street or at school – but not at home, i.e. statistics indicate that children are least safe and most prone to becoming victims in none other than their domestic environment.

 The increase in the number of officially reported cases of children being harmed by their close ones could have come about as a result of the application of the Law on Protection against Domestic Violence,[29] which hardened the state's stance on domestic violence. Still, children only comprise 7-8% of all victims in statistical data pertaining to domestic violence.[30] From analysing publicly expressed attitudes of parents (the majority of Lithuanian parents condone and use violence against children) it is clear that this is still a latent issue and that official statistics do not reflect the real scope of domestic violence against children.[31]

 Studies show that in at least 40% of cases of domestic violence against an adult, violence is also perpetrated against a child in that same environment.[32] But children lack information regarding where to go for help, as well as how to safely report the transgressions of their parents. For example, out of the 268 complaints examined by the Children's Rights Ombudsperson in 2013, only 6 were submitted by children.[33] In addition, children are often not capable of recognizing that violence is being perpetrated against them.

 Women suffering from domestic abuse[34] are quite often reluctant to report violence against their children because they fear the potential consequences (the state will put her children into care, grant custody to the offender, etc.)[35] Even when the authorities receive a report of violence against a child submitted by an adult family member, they may choose to ignore it and deflate the danger posed by the violent acts, without launching a pre-trial investigation or even notifying Child Protection Services.[36]

  It should be noted that not even specialists working with children are always able to carry out their legal duty to notify the relevant authorities when they notice indications of child abuse.[37] The sum of these reasons leads to the domestic abuse of children remaining a latent crime, with children being unable to make use of the protection and specialist assistance provided by the law.

 According to the data provided by the courts, the number of criminal cases regarding domestic violence against children is rising,[38] but it is difficult to assess the change in prosecution trends because no statistical data pertaining to cases involving child victims – for example, how many cases have been examined, what the defendants were charged with, what the outcome of the proceedings was or what penal sanctions were given to the defendant – is not being collected, compiled and published.

 A review of the case law reveals that the hardened stance on domestic violence, especially on mental abuse, is not always reflected in judgments. For example, in 2013 the Supreme Court of Lithuania, after assessing a father's degrading treatment (embarrassing nicknames, insults and shouts), persecution and violation of privacy of (filming, constant stalking) and controlling behaviour towards (grabbed a plugged-in computer, dragged it to another room) his two daughters, aged 11 and 12, found that such actions "formed part of a father's duty to educate his children".[39] It should be noted, however, that the Supreme Court corrected this practice in 2014 by treating harm and danger of systemic mental abuse to children much more harshly.[40]

 2014 saw the transposition of the EU Directive on Combating the Sexual Abuse of Children into national law – sexual crimes against children received harsher punishments in the Criminal Code and special protection measures for child witnesses and victims were included in the Code of Criminal Procedure, such as only being required to attend hearings in exceptional cases, the ability to make audio or video recordings of statements, the ability to give evidence using communications technologies without being present in the courtroom, no more than one interview during the pre-trial investigation and other measures.[41]  

In 2013 the Supreme Court of Lithuania, after assessing a father's degrading treatment (embarrassing nicknames, insults and shouts), persecution and violation of privacy of (filming, constant stalking) and controlling behaviour towards (grabbed a plugged-in computer, dragged it to another room) his two daughters, aged 11 and 12, found that such actions "formed part of a father's duty to educate his children". The Supreme Court corrected this practice in 2014 by treating harm and danger of systemic mental abuse to children much more harshly.

 However, in practice it often happens that the child is "unofficially" interviewed several times before the so-called "official" interview.[42] Furthermore, during the proceedings the child might be interviewed by more than one person about the events – for example, a Child Rights Protection Service specialist, a school psychologist and/or a forensic medical expert.[43] The average number of times children have to participate in procedures and recall the abuse suffered during pre-trial investigation stands at 3.5.[44] The more frequently a child is questioned, the greater the risk that he will suffer repeat trauma or change his evidence. 

 About a third of child victims are called to attend court hearings, with 6.8 persons on average present at his examination during the proceedings – most often the judge, the prosecutor, the secretary, the suspect's counsel, the suspect him- or herself and/or a Child Rights Protection Service specialist.[45]

 The Code of Criminal Procedure provides that, in case it is possible that the child will suffer mental trauma or some other serious consequence as a result of being interviewed in court, he or she should not be called to the hearing – instead, either his or her statement, given to the pre-trial investigation judge, is read out in court, or an audio/video recording made during the pre-trial investigation is shown.[46] However, there are no regulations as to who determines if there is a risk of mental trauma or some other serious consequence to the child, or how this assessment is carried out.

 The Victims' Rights Directive provides that children must always be regarded as vulnerable participants in the proceedings, with special protection measures being available to them.[47] However, unclear procedure and conditions for applying these protection measures may preclude their application. Therefore, it would be reasonable to change the regulations so that special protection measures would always be available to victims and witnesses under eighteen years of age, unless the court orders otherwise in exceptional cases.

 The legal protection against violence of children was reinforced after the Law on Protection against Domestic Violence came into force at the end of 2011. However, the legislation does not ensure that children are given comprehensive protection against all forms of violence, including corporal punishment. Since the state does not have a clear stance on corporal punishment, society persists in tolerating violence as a means of "disciplining" children; with such attitudes being prevalent, it is difficult to effectively prevent violence against children and educate the public on non-violent methods for bringing up children. 

 The new draft Law on the Fundamentals of Child Rights Protection, submitted to the Government by the Ministry of Social Security and Labour in December 2014, is slated to replace the main law on the protection of the rights of the child currently in force. The new draft law aims to establish a prohibition against all forms of violence, including corporal punishment, to place specialists under a duty to report signs of violence against children, and also regulate the liability and actions of services when providing support to families experiencing difficulties or promptly responding to cases where a child must be removed an unsafe family environment. [48]

 -          Findings and Recommendations 

  • To prohibit all forms of violence against children by law, and to provide measures to enforce the prohibition.
  • To create an effective mechanism allowing children to safely report violence used against them or any other infringements of their rights.
  • To engage in the prevention of violence, teaching children to recognize violence and get help, to educate and encourage the public as well as specialists to report cases of violence against children.
  • To invest in programmes for introducing positive, non-violent methods of child-rearing that are accessible to all parents.
  • To ensure that perpetrators of violent crimes against children are prosecuted effectively.
  • To ensure that the child's rights and interests are being protected properly during criminal proceedings, and to provide training for officers, judges and specialists.
  • To improve the collection and publication of statistical data pertaining to violence against children, especially at the level of the courts.
  • To more actively inform professionals and the public about their duty to report signs of violence against or mistreatment of children to Child Rights Protection Services.

[1] “CHR: Domestic violence is leaving the underground, with the latency of this crime decreasing", 25 September 2014, http://www3.lrs.lt/pls/inter/w5_show?p_r=4463&p_d=150905&p_k=1

[2] Resolution No. 485 of the Government "On the Adoption of the National Programme for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Provision of Assistance to Victims for 2014-2020", dated 28 May 2014,  http://www3.lrs.lt/pls/inter3/dokpaieska.showdoc_l?p_id=471939&p_tr2=2

[3] Women's Rights – Universal Human Rights (a coalition), Letter on the implementation of the Law on Protection Against Domestic Violence, 6 October 2014, https://www.hrmi.lt/uploaded/Documents/Viesi%20pareiskimai/Kreipimasis%20i%CC%A8%20Valstybe%CC%87s%20vadovus%202014%2010%2006.pdf

[4] Law Amending and Supplementing Articles 167, 409 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 2 July 2013, No. XII-502 http://www3.lrs.lt/pls/inter3/oldsearch.preps2?a=453257&b=; Law Amending and Supplementing Articles 140, 145, 148, 149, 150, 151, 165 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 2 July 2013, No. XII-501, http://www3.lrs.lt/pls/inter3/oldsearch.preps2?a=453256&b=

[5] Law Amending Article 4 of the Law on Protection against Domestic Violence, 2 July 2013, No. XII-474, http://www3.lrs.lt/pls/inter3/oldsearch.preps2?a=453406&b=

[6] Law Amending Articles 5, 7, 8 and 9 of the Law on Protection against Domestic Violence, 10 April 2014, No. XII-815, Article 4, http://www3.lrs.lt/pls/inter3/oldsearch.preps2?a=468928&b=

[7] Law Amending Articles 5, 7, 8 and 9 of the Law on Protection against Domestic Violence, 10 April 2014, No. XII-815, Article 3, http://www3.lrs.lt/pls/inter3/oldsearch.preps2?a=468928&b=

[8] Human Rights Monitoring Institute, “Victims Rights Directive: a New Approach to Victims of Domestic Violence", 2014, p. 10-11, https://www.hrmi.lt/uploaded/Apzvalgos/Tyrimas_auku-teisiu-direkt_1.pdf

[9] Order No. A1-534/V-1072/1V-931 of the Minister of Social Security and Labour, the Minister of Health and the Minister of the Interior "On the Adoption of the Specialized Support Centre Programme", dated 19 December 2011, http://www3.lrs.lt/pls/inter3/dokpaieska.showdoc_l?p_id=415786&p_tr2=2

[10] Daiva Baranauskienė, "The price for failure to learn was paid in human lives", manoteises.lt, 21 January 2015,  http://manoteises.lt/straipsnis/neismoktu-pamoku-kaina-zmoniu-gyvybes/

[11] Human Rights Monitoring Institute, “Victims Rights Directive: a New Approach to Victims of Domestic Violence", 2014, https://www.hrmi.lt/uploaded/Apzvalgos/Tyrimas_auku-teisiu-direkt_1.pdf

[12] Directive 2012/29/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/LT/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32012L0029&from=en

[13] Human Rights Monitoring Institute, “Victims Rights Directive: a New Approach to Victims of Domestic Violence", 2014, https://www.hrmi.lt/uploaded/Apzvalgos/Tyrimas_auku-teisiu-direkt_1.pdf

[14] Human Rights Monitoring Institute, “Victims Rights Directive: a New Approach to Victims of Domestic Violence", 2014, https://www.hrmi.lt/uploaded/Apzvalgos/Tyrimas_auku-teisiu-direkt_1.pdf

[15] UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, Concluding observations on the fifth period report of Lithuania, 18 July 2014, paragraph 46, http://www.socmin.lt/download/8045/cedaw%20concluding%20observations%20lt.pdf

[16] UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, Concluding observations on the fifth period report of Lithuania, 18 July 2014, paragraph 23(b)-(d), http://www.socmin.lt/download/8045/cedaw%20concluding%20observations%20lt.pdf

[17] "Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence was signed", 7 June 2013, http://amb.urm.lt/popup2.php?ru=bS9tX2FydGljbGUvZmlsZXMvdl9hcnRpY2xlX3ByaW50LnBocA==&tmpl_name=m_article_print_view&article_id=36097

[18] Similar general declarations of intent and derogations are sometimes submitted for religious-political reasons – for example, Saudi Arabia in 1996 and Qatar in 1995 indicated that they would only apply the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child to the extent that they do not contradict Islamic law. Status of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, https://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&id=IV~11&chapter=4&lang=en#EndDec

[19] Ieva Urbonaitė-Vainienė, " Bishops left stunned: Lithuania seeks to redefine the concept of gender", delfi.lt, 9 May 2013, http://www.delfi.lt/news/daily/lithuania/vyskupai-pribloksti-lietuvoje-siekiama-itvirtinti-kitokia-lyties-samprata.d?id=61346125#ixzz3SCCjYpAk

[20] "The Istanbul Convention, which legalizes gender reassignment, will not be put forward for ratification in the near future", bernardinai.lt, 11 October 2013, http://www.bernardinai.lt/straipsnis/2013-10-11-lyties-keitima-iteisinanti-stambulo-konvencija-artimiausiu-metu-nebus-teikiama-seimui/108578

[21] Resolution No. 1330 of the Government "On the Adoption of the National Strategy for the Reduction of Violence Against Women, Together with its Plan of Implementation for 2007-2009", dated 22 December 2006, http://www3.lrs.lt/pls/inter3/dokpaieska.showdoc_l?p_id=306081

[22] UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, 3 September 1981, http://www3.lrs.lt/pls/inter3/oldsearch.preps2?Condition1=20416&Condition2=, General Recommendation No. 19: "Violence against women" of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, 1992, http://www.refworld.org/docid/52d920c54.html, 9 June 2009 ECtHR judgment in the case of Opuz v Turkey, application No. 33401-02, http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/eng/pages/search.aspx?i=001-92945#{"itemid":["001-92945"]}

[23] "Court shows mercy to teenager who killed a 13-year old after getting to know her on Facebook", delfi.lt, 29 November 2013,  http://www.delfi.lt/news/daily/crime/po-pazinties-per-facebook-trylikamete-nuzudes-paauglys-sulauke-teismo-malones.d?id=63411742

[24] "Girl burned alive in the trunk of a car in Panevėžys County: a chronology of events", 15min.lt, 21 September 2013, http://www.15min.lt/naujiena/aktualu/nusikaltimaiirnelaimes/automobilio-bagazineje-panevezio-rajone-gyva-sudeginta-mergina-ivykiu-chronologija-59-371024; "Valdas J., who gave J. Šikšniūtė a ride to her death, liked to show off", lrytas.lt, 18November 2014,

 http://www.lrytas.lt/lietuvos-diena/kriminalai/i-mirti-j-siksniute-pavezejes-valdas-j-megdavo-pasipuikuoti.htm

[25] 22 October 2013 ECtHR decision in the case of D.P. v Lietuvą, application No. 27920/08,   http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/eng/pages/search.aspx?i=001-138514#{"itemid":["001-138514"]}

[26] Lithuania had already been found to have violated the rights of a victim of domestic violence in the case of Valiulienė v Lithuania, 26 March 2013 ECtHR judgment, application No. 33234-07, http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/eng/pages/search.aspx?i=001-117636#{"itemid":["001-117636"]}

[27] Information Technology and Communications Department, 2013-2014 data of the Departmental Register of Criminal Offences, http://www.ird.lt/infusions/report_manager/report_manager.php?lang=lt&rt=1

[28] This shift was most influenced by a decrease in the number of property crimes (theft, robbery) against children, with the number of violent crimes remaining largely unchanged

[29] Law on Protection Against Domestic Violence, 26 May 2011, No. XI-1425, http://www3.lrs.lt/pls/inter3/dokpaieska.showdoc_l?p_id=400334&p_query=&p_tr2=2

[30] The statistics do not include instances of sexual violence

[31] "Survey finds: more than half of parents beat their children", delfi.lt, 14 January 2013,

http://www.delfi.lt/news/daily/education/apklausa-puse-tevu-musa-vaikus.d?id=60413791; "SOS: half of parents belt their children for discipline", snaujienos.lt, 25 February 2013, http://www.snaujienos.lt/naujienos/miesto-gyvenimas/27585-sos-pus-tv-vaikus-auklja-diru

[32] Marianne James, "Domestic violence as a form of child abuse: identification and prevention", June 1994, https://www3.aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/domestic-violence-form-child-abuse-identification

[33] Children's Rights Ombudsperson, Activity Report 2013, published on 31 March 2014, No. 4-4, http://www3.lrs.lt/docs2/ATMQTAUA.PDF

[34] Around 82% of all victims of violence perpetrated by their close ones are women: see 2012-2013 report of the Police Department, http://www.bukstipri.lt/uploads/Bajorinas%5B1%5D.pdf

[35] Human Rights Monitoring Institute, “Victims Rights Directive: a New Approach to Victims of Domestic Violence", 2014, material collected during study, https://www.hrmi.lt/uploaded/Apzvalgos/Tyrimas_auku-teisiu-direkt_1.pdf

[36] Human Rights Monitoring Institute, “Victims Rights Directive: a New Approach to Victims of Domestic Violence", 2014, p. 15, https://www.hrmi.lt/uploaded/Apzvalgos/Tyrimas_auku-teisiu-direkt_1.pdf

[37] Children's Rights Ombudsperson, Activity Report 2013, published on 31 March 2014, No. 4-4, http://www3.lrs.lt/docs2/ATMQTAUA.PDF

[38] "Number of criminal cases regarding domestic violence is increasing: the defence of the rights of the child is the court's priority", 14 July 2014, http://kauno.teismas.lt/index.php/lt/2012-07-18-06-00-58/teismo-pranesimai/78-naujienos/314-daugeja-baudziam-j-byl-del-smurt-artimoje-aplinkoje-vaik-teisi-gynyba-teismo-prioritetas1

[39] 4 June 2013 ruling of the Supreme Court of Lithuania in criminal proceedings No. 2K-299/2013

[40] 1 July 2014 ruling of the Supreme Court of Lithuania in criminal proceedings No. 2K–347/2014

[41] Law Amending Articles 7, 8, 60, 95, 151, 1511, 153, 162, 307, 308, 309 to, Supplementing the Annex of and Including Articles 1001, 1002, 152and 2511 in the Criminal Code, 13 March 2014, No. XII-776, http://www3.lrs.lt/pls/inter3/dokpaieska.showdoc_l?p_id=467421&p_tr2=2; Law Amending Articles 9, 154, 186, 280, 283 to and Supplementing the Annex of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 13 March 2014 No. XII-777, http://www3.lrs.lt/pls/inter3/dokpaieska.showdoc_l?p_id=467422&p_tr2=2

[42] Consultation with experts from the "Child Support Centre" on 13 January 2015

[43] Consultation with experts from the "Child Support Centre" on 13 January 2015.

[44] Child Support Centre, national report "The Protection of Child Victims in Lithuania", 2013, http://www.vaikystebesmurto.lt/_sites/paramosvaikamscentras/media/images/Leidiniai/national%20report%20lt%20fr%20project.pdf

[45] Child Support Centre, national report "The Protection of Child Victims in Lithuania", 2013, p. 33, http://www.vaikystebesmurto.lt/_sites/paramosvaikamscentras/media/images/Leidiniai/national%20report%20lt%20fr%20project.pdf

[46] Code of Criminal Procedure, 14 March 2002, No. IX-785, Article 280, http://www3.lrs.lt/pls/inter3/dokpaieska.showdoc_l?p_id=494011

[47] Directive 2012/29/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012, Article 20(4), http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/LT/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32012L0029&from=en

[48] Law Amending the Law on Fundamentals of Protection of the Rights of the Child, 2014, No. 13-3188-01(09), http://www.lrs.lt/pls/proj/dokpaieska.showdoc_l?p_id=284056&p_org=7&p_fix=y&p_gov=y