Same Russian MP Who Banned ‘Gay Propaganda’ Wants To Decriminalize Domestic Violence

The same far-right Russian politician behind the 2013 anti-gay propaganda bill is seeking to decriminalize domestic violence.

Member of Parliament and head of the Duma Committee on Family, Women and Children’s Affairs Yelena Mizulina — whose controversial 2013 bill sought to ban “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations” to supposedly protect children — described existing laws against domestic violence as “absurd.”

Domestic violence was only formally classified as a criminal offense in June, thanks to legislative amendments. Mizulina said at the time that the amendments were unconstitutional, “anti-family” and tantamount to “discrimination against family members”.

She has since been campaigning to downgrade such acts of violence to administrative offenses and misdemeanors.

Statistics reported by the Anna Center, a Russian non-governmental organization for domestic violence prevention, reveal that Russia is a hotbed of such incidents. Two-fifths of the country’s violent assaults and murders happen at home, and as many as a third of all women are abused by their husbands or partners.

 Furthermore, in 2008, the Russian government reported that around 14,000 women die annually from domestic violence.

The problem, widely under-reported and suppressed as it is, remains a systemic one. As the Moscow Times explains, one need look no further than the well-known Russian adage,If he beats you, it means he loves you.”

Credit: Natasha Noman

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