How to punish for domestic violence. Ukrainian woman evicted her ex-husband from the apartment through the European Court
It took Iryna Levchuk from Rivne over four years of trials to stop domestic violence and deprived her ex-husband of the right to live in the apartment. How did it happen?
In early September 2020, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in Levchuk v. Ukraine, ordering Ukraine to stop violating Iryna Levchuk's right to respect for private and family life.
What is the case's core?
The story began in 2016 when a Ukrainian woman was forced to apply to the Rivne City Court to evict her ex-husband from the apartment where she lived with him and his four children after the divorce. The cause was the husband's domestic violence that their children witnessed. The ex-husband abused alcohol, didn't take care of their children, provoked conflicts, as evidenced by repeated reports to police and testimonies from neighbor witnesses. Therefore, the city court fully satisfied the plaintiff's claims and deprived her husband of the right to housing.
However, in June 2017, the appellate court overturned the ruling of the city court at the request of the ex-husband, allowing the man to live in the apartment and limiting him to a written warning. The Supreme Court upheld the appeal. The Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court motivated their rulings because a person could not be deprived of the right to housing and reports to the police didn't confirm the fact of domestic violence if these bodies did not apply measures of public influence to the defendant. Unable to find justice in the national Themis, Iryna Levchuk, mother of multiple children, appealed to the European Court of Human Rights for protection of her rights, where they were considering her case for more than a year. Finally, in September 2020, the ECHR ruled in favor of the woman and ordered the state to reimburse her 4,000 euros.