Russian Federation: President Signs Law that Reduces Penalties for Domestic Violence
Tuesday, February 7, 2017 6:50 PM

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law approved by Russia’s Parliament that would lessen criminal penalties for acts of domestic violence that do not result in serious injury. The law would reclassify domestic violence as an administrative offense punishable by a fine or a maximum of fifteen days in jail. Previously, perpetrators of domestic violence could serve up to two years in prison. 

Russian politicians who support the change say it is necessary in order to treat domestic violence consistently with other forms of assault and battery, which were decriminalized in 2016. Activists say that the law “sends the wrong message in a country where, according to some estimates, one woman dies every 40 minutes from domestic abuse.” They say the country should enact a law that specifically addresses domestic violence, including a law that provides for protection orders.

Compiled from: Walker, Shaun, Putin approves legal change that decriminalises domestic violence, The Guardian (February 7, 2017); Sheftalovich, Zoya, Russia moves to decriminalize domestic violence, Politico (January 12, 2017); Solomon, Feliz, Russia’s Parliament Wants to Decriminalize Domestic Assault, Time (January 12, 2017).