Russian Parliament Votes To Decriminalize Domestic Violence

Russia has decriminalized domestic violence.

Russia has decriminalized domestic violence.

Russia Has Decriminalized Domestic Violence

Russia –  The Russian parliament voted on Friday to decriminalize domestic violence.

According to USA Today, the vote was 380 – 3 and applied to cases where it does not cause “substantial bodily harm” and does not occur more than once a year.  The new law eliminates criminal liability in domestic violence cases and is punishable by a fine of about $500, or a 15-day arrest, provided there are no further incidents in the next year.

The bill now goes to the Upper Chamber and no opposition is expected.  It then goes to President Vladimir Putin, who has voiced his support for it.  Dmitry Peskov, Kremlin spokesman, said that family conflicts do “not necessarily constitute domestic violence.”

This latest bill reverses a 2016 reform from the Supreme Court in Russia that decriminalized assault that does not inflict bodily harm but retained criminal charges if the assault involved family members.  Russia is one of three countries in Europe and Central Asia that do not have specific domestic violence laws.

Critics of the new bill believe that it will encourage domestic violence and increase crime.  Communist lawmaker Yuri Sinelshchikov said that “this bill would establish violence as a norm of conduct.”  A recent survey by a government pollster showed that 19% of Russians said that “it can be acceptable” to hit one’s wife, husband or child “in certain circumstances.”

In many ways, this simply validates an old Russian proverb that says “if he beats you, it means he loves you.”  According to Russian statistics, 40% of all violent crimes are committed within the family.  This translates to about 36,000 women being beaten by their partners every day and 26,000 children being assaulted by their parents every year.  Russian police are usually hesitant to get involved in domestic violence matters, which many regard as interfering in family affairs.

This action does not speak well for the state of women and children in Russia. It seems to be okay to beat your wife or girlfriend as long as the injuries aren’t major and as long as it’s not more than once a year (or reported once a year).  It is archaic to believe that beating equals love.  It seems Russia is moving backwards as far as domestic violence goes.

Do you think that there’s ever any excuse for laws like this in today’s society? Please let us know on our Facebook page or in the comments below.