Munteanu v. the Republic of Moldova (Application no. 34168/11)

A selection of key paragraphs can be found below the document.


70. The Court reiterates that the State authorities have a responsibility to take protective measures in the form of effective deterrence against serious breaches of an individual’s personal integrity by a member of her family or by a partner (see M. and Others v. Italy and Bulgaria, no. 40020/03, § 105, 31 July 2012, and Opuz, cited above, § 176). Interference by the authorities with private and family life may become necessary in order to protect the health and rights of a victim or to prevent criminal acts in certain circumstances (see Opuz, § 144, and Eremia, § 52, both cited above). The risk of a real and immediate threat must be assessed, taking due account of the particular context of domestic violence.

71. The Court considers that the authorities were well aware of I.M.’s violent behaviour owing to the numerous complaints made by the first applicant, supported in some cases by medical evidence, as well as the protection orders issued by the courts. In this latter connection, it appears that none of the protection orders was fully enforced, because I.M. returned home after a while every time and the police more often than not did nothing to remove him (see, for instance, paragraphs 13, 16, 19, 20, 27, 32 and 33 above). 

72. (…) Moreover, one of the most serious instances of violence occurred on 18 May 2012 immediately after the police had left and while they were still nearby (see paragraph 33 above). This incident not only resulted in the first applicant being seriously injured but also showed I.M.’s particular disregard for the ordinary measures taken by the police such as preventive discussions or the ban on approaching the applicants.

73. The above is sufficient for the Court to conclude that the authorities did not properly discharge their positive obligation to prevent the real and immediate threat of domestic violence against the applicants. There has, accordingly, been a breach of Article 3 of the Convention in the present case.

82. In the Court’s opinion, the combination of the above factors clearly demonstrates that the authorities’ actions were not a simple failure or delay in dealing with violence against the first applicant, but in fact condonation of that violence, reflecting a discriminatory attitude towards her as a woman. 


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