In Russia, a proposed bill to decriminalize some forms of domestic violence has been circulated a second time through the Russian legislature. More specifically, the pending legislation would consider an assault as an administrative offense rather than criminal offense, if it is a first offense that does not seriously injure the person.
Amnesty International’s Deputy Director, Anna Kirey, reacted to the bill saying, “The recently proposed amendments would preserve criminal liability in cases of violence against under age children, pregnant women and persons in a state of helplessness do nothing to soften the fundamentally discriminatory nature of this legislation.”
If this bill would be passed, the Russian government would be in violation of international agreements, primarily in regards to discrimination and criminal activities. Under the United Nations’ Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, ratifying states, which includes Russia, must ensure women’s equal access to, and equal opportunities in, political and public life. This particular bill would make it much easier to discriminate against victims to domestic abuse.
Sources: Amnesty International USA, Russia: Lawmakers must halt alarming plans to decriminalize domestic violence, Jan. 19, 2017, http://www.amnestyusa.org/news/press-releases/russia-lawmakers-must-halt-alarming-plans-to-decriminalize-domestic-violence; Jill Dougherty, Russia prepares to decriminalize some domestic violence, CNN, Jan. 13, 2017, http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/13/europe/russia-domestic-violence/