On January 27, the State Duma of Russia passed a law on the decriminalization of domestic violence on the third and final reading. 380 deputies voted for and only three opposed it.
According to the bill, one-time blows inflicted by close relatives are no longer criminal offenses, but will now be administrative offenses. Criminal responsibility will only ensue from repeated beatings. Supporters of these changes in the legislation believe that they will protect traditional family values.
Earlier, international human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, as well as the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjorn Jagland, called on Russian deputies to reject the bill. The appealers point out that such a law will leave victims of domestic violence without protection. According to statistics, about half of all violent crimes in Russia take place in families.
Supporters of the bill believe that it is necessary for the protection of "traditional family values." The day before, the chairman of the Russian State Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, said that the decriminalization of beatings in regard to relatives should be perceived by society as "a condition for creating strong families."
According to a survey conducted by the pro-Kremlin Russian Public Opinion Research Center in January 2017, 59% of Russians spoke in favor of the decriminalization law, and one third of the respondents opposed it. At the same time, 79% of the respondents think negatively of violence in the family. Every tenth respondent encountered violence in their own family.