State against family

Jan Maria Jackowski

In the shadow of the crash at Smolensk and the presidential campaign the Parliament passed the extraordinary bill on domestic violence counteraction in an almost unnoticed way. But as the research shows the so-called domestic violence is a phenomenon that has decreased during the last years. At present, 5% of families can be regarded as being affected by domestic violence permanently and they need special education and correction. Whereas 15% of families require material, medical and psychological help as well as better living conditions and pedagogization.
But the legislator acts under the pressure of the left-wing ideologists, wanting to force happiness on people, instead of meeting the real problems of millions of Polish families that have to deal with material problems and other troubles of daily life. The mechanism is the same as it was during the communist times: to make families fully dependent on the state and using the catchy motto of struggle against violence they create instruments controlling the fundamental social cell. The definition of a family member is odd. The legislator, going beyond the catalogue of the immediate family defined in the code of criminal law, included those who are in one household or run a housing unit as family members. This kind of widening the understanding of a family member leads to the conclusion that two unrelated students living in the same student hall of residence are family members. For example, if they drink beer and quarrel the case can be qualified as domestic violence…
Furthermore, a social worker will have the authority to arbitrarily decide to take a child from its family without any court verdict. He could decide that the house leaks and the child has ‘improper living conditions.’ Such a child will have to be placed in some orphanage and devoid of its parents’ care. The bill creates a new specific formation having wide competences, i.e. some kind of family police. Every municipality must create interdisciplinary teams that will monitor situation in families and intervene where, for instance receiving denouncing information from the neighbour they decide to interfere in the family. One should also notice that the bill almost makes equal the deeds that, unfortunately, sometimes happen in the domestic environment that can cause a loss of life or health with the events having less importance, e.g. ordinary arguments. Parents who wake their kids up and urge them to go to school can be regarded as guilty of domestic violence and can bear administrative or criminal consequences.
Therefore, the new regulations, motivated by the good of children, break down families and infringe the parents’ right to bring up their children. What is worse is that the bill does not propose any preventive measures and solutions to the causes of violence (e.g. poverty, living conditions) and does not propose any other means than repressive ones. The bill shows an ideologisation of the reality and cynical use of ‘maltreated children’ for political aims.

"Niedziela" 21/2010

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: