Russia Decriminalizes Domestic Violence

Putin signed the law despite heavy criticism

14601882594_755c854526_oPhoto by Global Panorama

Despite heavy international criticism, Vladimir Putin has signed into law a bill that effectively decriminalizes domestic violence reports Independent.

First time offenders who abuse their spouses or children resulting in minor injuries such as bruising or bleeding but not broken bones will only be punished with a fine of less than $500, 15 days of ‘administrative arrest’, or community service. Previous punishment involved a maximum prison sentence of up to 2 years.

Proponents of the law argued that it would allow parents to discipline their children without interference from the law while those that oppose it fear that it will provide leeway for abusers and deter victims from reporting crimes.

Yulia Gorbunova of Human Rights Watch condemned the law while talking to CNN on Tuesday. Gorbunova said, “It is a very dangerous for the government to draw a line between ‘just bruises’ or serious physical violence because… the situation in Russia shows, that domestic violence very rarely ends with bruises. It usually almost always goes to the next step.”

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