Legislation decriminalizing domestic violence is making its way through Russia’s parliament, downgrading family level violent incidents to a mere administrative charge, Politico reports.
Only one person in Russia’s lower house of parliament voted against the measure. The main backer of the law says the measure is only to bring equality among battery charges within the confines of the law. Russia reportedly already decriminalized assault and battery that does not lead to bodily harm.
“In the traditional family culture in Russia, parent-child relationships are built on the authority of the parents’ power,” the main sponsor of the bill said in a speech. She continued, “The laws should support that family tradition.”
Foreign Policy noted that 40% of all violent crimes in Russia are committed within families, emphasizing the significance of the law change. “You don’t want people to be imprisoned for two years and labeled a criminal for the rest of their lives for a slap,” the bill’s sponsor countered to criticism.
Punishment under the law would instead amount to a moderate to steep fine, a limited jail sentence, or lengthy community service. The law however specifies that if an attack is a hate crime, it will remain a criminal offense.
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