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," according to the Independent.
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," Russian outlet Meduza reports.
"You don't want people to be imprisoned for two years and labelled a criminal for the rest of their lives for a slap."
She has since been campaigning to downgrade such acts of violence to administrative offenses and misdemeanors, the Independent reports.
"Battery carried out toward family members should be an administrative offense," Mizulina said, according to the Moscow Times. "You don't want people to be imprisoned for two years and labelled a criminal for the rest of their lives for a slap."
"Parents no longer have the right to choose methods of upbringing," All-Russian Parents' Resistance said in a statement regarding existing laws, the Moscow Times added.
Statistics reported by the Anna Center, a Russian non-governmental organization for domestic violence prevention, reveal that Russia is a hotbed of such incidents, the Independent reported. 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, according to NPR.
The problem, widely underreported 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."