Putin claims it helps protect family values.
A Firm Hand
According to those who support the new law, the distinction is important in order to protect parents and other family members from unjustly being accused of domestic violence when merely disciplining their children. To these supporters, discipline in the home shouldn’t carry the same penalty as, say, attacking a minor or a stranger on the street.
After Putin signed legislation in 2016 that brought the subject of domestic violence into dispute, the Moscow Times reports that he ultimately “sided with Russia’s conservatives, saying that parents shouldn’t be sent to prison just for slapping their children.”
Crime and Punishment
Is the new law an important distinction protecting family members from the law? Or will it permit more domestic violence to go under the radar in a country where critics allege there’s already an ongoing epidemic. According to numbers from 2015, there were nearly 50,000 reported cases of family violence in Russia, with nearly 36,000 including violence against women. One shudders to think of all the cases that go unreported or unpenalized.
Since the passing of this latest law, the penalty for “‘light’ domestic violence” (disgusting term) dropped from a maximum of two years in prison to just 15 days in jail. There may also be a fine of up to 30,000 rubles (~$500). Thankfully, repeat offenses within a year can lead to stricter criminal prosecution.
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