Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law decriminalising domestic abuse. This means that spouses and relatives will be able to physically assault each other without consequence, unless serious injury is caused, in which case that person will be guilty of a criminal offence. Members of Putin’s United Russia are some of the supporters of this national law, which has received approval from the chambers of the Russian parliament.
One of Russia’s most popular publications, Komsomolskaya Pravda, published a report in support of the new law. The article reportedly claimed that women who suffer from domestic violence are more likely to give birth to boys and that women should be grateful for this. This view may have been based on research conducted by evolutionary psychologist, Satoshi Kanazawa, which led to an article entitled ‘Violent men have more sons’. Furthermore, the research claimed that, when men hit their female spouses, it is a sign of love and should not be viewed in any other way.
This new law has been criticised by world leaders, including Prime Minister Theresa May, who said: ‘We see this as a retrograde step by the Russian government. Repealing existing legislation sends out absolutely the wrong message on what is a global problem.’ Moreover, human rights group Amnesty International described the move as a ‘sickening attempt to trivialise domestic violence’.
With 14,000 women dying as a result of domestic violence each year in Russia, this new law is a controversial one, and it seems that the safety of women has been put in a compromising position.
At the UCKG HelpCentre, we provide services specifically aimed at helping women who have suffered from domestic violence. The Removing All Hurt and Abuse (RAHAB) group is led by women who have been victims of domestic violence but have managed to find help and recover. Using their own experiences and willingness to help others, these women dedicate their time to helping women who have suffered from domestic abuse, whether physical or emotional. Each meeting provides the opportunity to have anonymous one-to-one meetings so you can receive dedicated support. Abuse is wrong and there is no justification for it. If you are a victim of domestic abuse or you know someone who is, please call our 24hr helpline for further information.
Helpline no: 020 7686 6000