Russia’s Parliament has greenlit a law from the author of Russia’s law banning so-called ‘gay propaganda’ law – this time to make domestic violence legal.
Yelena Mizulina, an ultra-conservative member of the Russian Parliament, authored the 2013 bill which banned the “promotion of non-traditional sexual relationships” to minors.
She was hailed as a “hero” by anti-LGBT groups from the United States, with the anti-LGBT World Congress of Families presenting her with a medal for her activism.
The same lawmaker is now behind efforts that are expected to soften offences for men to beat their wives and children in the country.
Mizulina, who heads the Duma Committee on Family, Women and Children’s Affairs, has introduced legislation which would decriminalise domestic violence, currently punishable by up to two years in jail.
Her proposal, which would reduce punishments for spousal or child abuse to misdemeanour or administrative offences, passed through the Parliament’s lower house this week by a near unanimous vote of 368-2.
Mizulina said penalties for offences should not “contradict the system of social values that society holds on to”, insisting that domestic violence “is a normal way of life”
She told the Moscow Times: “In Russian traditional family culture parent-child relationships are built on the authority of the parents’ power… The laws should support that family tradition.”
Groups that help victims of domestic violence say they expect the changes to lead to an upswing in incidents.
Olga Yurkova, the head of the ‘Sisters’ women’s refuge, warbned: “A huge number of women tolerate domestic violence but do not bring it out to the public. The decriminalisation will worsen the situation.”
Russia got a dire warning earlier this month about its growing HIV epidemic.