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.
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