Russia’s decision to decriminalize domestic abuse last year has turned out to be “a mistake”, according to the country’s top human rights official, who had previously offered support for the move.
In 2017, Vladimir Putin signed a law that scrapped prison sentences for first-time abusers whose beatings result in “minor harm,” such as small abrasions, bruises and superficial wounds. Since the law was adopted, human rights activists say that domestic violence complaints have skyrocketed, negatively impacting the situation for women in Russia and giving abusers a sense of impunity.
“I believe that decriminalization was a mistake and we need to adopt a law to combat domestic abuse,” Russia's Human Rights Ombudswoman Tatyana Moskalkova said at a rights conference on Monday.
"Today, a person who is in the family space is not protected from family members who do harm unto them without it being considered a crime,” Moskalkova was cited as saying by the state-run RIA Novosti news agency.