A university in Saint-Petersburg on Thursday launched a centre to study domestic violence after a professor murdered and dismembered his girlfriend, sparking criticism of the school, reports AFP.
The Saint Petersburg State University, a prestigious school in Russia’s second largest city, this week fired historian Oleg Sokolov after he confessed to chopping up his former student lover Anastasiya Yeshchenko and disposing of her body. It came under intense criticism from former students, who said the professor had a history of acting inappropriately and complaints were ignored—charges the school denied.On Thursday, the university said it decided to “create a research centre that will study the problem of domestic violence in its entirety.”
The university called domestic violence “one of the most urgent social problems of modern times”.
Domestic violence is a pervasive issue in Russia but efforts by activists to lobby for a specialised law against violence and protect victims have failed. Police do not normally intervene, even in severe cases.
The move by the university to establish the research centre follows accusations it has encouraged an atmosphere for sexual harassment and should have fired Sokolov long before the murder.
Sokolov “should have been fired long before the murder,” she wrote.