Conservative Russian deputies consider themselves defenders of “traditional family values”. Often heard the argument that Russia is not “Europa” with its liberal values. Traditional marriage must be protected at any price, in this logic, marriage is sometimes even higher than human rights. Last summer, when Parliament has imposed a penalty of imprisonment up to two years for violence against close relatives, the Deputy Elena Mizulina was indignant that the law is directed “against families”. Now this decision will be reversed.
On Tuesday, the second reading in Parliament again voted for decriminalization of certain forms of domestic violence and the replacement of imprisonment to an administrative fine. If the beatings did not cause significant damage to health of the victim, persons who has committed a wrongful act faces a monetary fine or up to 15 days of jail. There is no doubt that changes will be made next Friday in the third reading.
“This will have bad consequences” — fears Julia Antonova. The lawyer of the organization “Legal initiative for Russia” protects victims of domestic violence. Because now the reaction of the Russian police and judicial authorities on this issue are not good. “Some women have to go to the police for 10-20 times. Their application is not accepted, unless human rights organizations or lawyers”, — Antonova know about it from experience. Domestic violence is not perceived as a serious problem.
Victims will have to gather evidence
The law must still be approved in the third reading, and then by the Federation Council. If it will, it will mean that the police no longer have an obligation to conduct an investigation against has committed an offense, if the victims are “only” scratches or bruises. Cases will be considered as a special case. That is, the victims themselves will be responsible for gathering evidence against criminals and address the court. Many women do not know how they should behave, others are afraid. “From domestic violence affecting the most vulnerable groups of the population, in most cases there is a dependency of the victims and the perpetrators,” — said the lawyer Alexei Parshin, which often represents in court the interests of the affected women.
The police inaction has repeatedly led to serious incidents, one of them last year sparked particular outrage. The woman from the city of Orel in November called the police because she was threatened by her ex-boyfriend, with whom she just broke up. The police came but did not want to intervene in the conflict. “Don’t you worry if it’ll kill you, we’ll be there, the body will describe,” said her employee of the police. When the patrol left, the man beat his ex-girlfriend to death. A recording of the conversation with the police later ended up in the hands of the media.
According to the UN, annually in Russia kills about 14,000 women from violence of husbands or other relatives. But there is no reliable official statistical data on violence in families. “Because in most cases, ignore the problem,” — said the lawyer Anton. Not enough centres and organisations that could refer victims. “Often women don’t realize that they used the violence,” she says. “Many women are afraid that will destroy the family, if you said to a criminal, your husband.”
“The state creates conditions for stable families”
Therefore, for Antonova’s even more amazing sound comments of deputies who defend the decriminalization of domestic violence. “When criminals hear it, they will have a sense of impunity”, — said the lawyer. For example, when on Tuesday, the speaker of the state Duma Vyacheslav Volodin said that with the new law “the state creates conditions for stable families,” in cases which do not need to intervene. Or when the Deputy Elena Mizulina said in Parliament: “How terrible would be the word “beating”, in fact it is violence without harm to health and even violence without violence.”
Other parliamentarians tried to downplay the importance of law and to emphasize that parents could spank their children as a disciplinary measure should not be subjected to the penalty of deprivation of liberty. Oddly enough, the Chairman of the Committee on family Affairs, Tamara Pletneva, told state television that once beat up two daughters. “One — because she dated the wrong in my opinion, boy. Second — because she did not listen. I still reproach myself for it. Of course, it is impossible to beat children.” However, you need to be understanding when “poorly educated” parents raise their children with violence.
The deputies refer to a survey of the state of the sociological service VTSIOM, which was carried out additionally, after the adoption of the controversial law in the first reading. Supposedly 59% of Russians favor of decriminalization. But state television in recent weeks were only the supporters of the law. And when opponents of the new law this week, wanted to organize a demonstration in Central Moscow, the authorities turned them down. Reason: on Bolotnaya square, which five years ago protested the tens of thousands, not enough room for the alleged thousands of participants.