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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Criminal penalties for domestic violence can undo


Elena Mizulina in the state Duma introduced a bill which will probably become one of the most debated during the autumn parliamentary session. In fact, the Senator from the Omsk region proposes to decriminalize family violence. Its opponents believe that this initiative will encourage home terror, the level of which in Russia are extremely high.

Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on constitutional legislation and state construction Elena Mizulina proposed to amend article 116 of the Criminal code (“Beating”). According to the introduced her to the state Duma the bill, assault against family members or other loved ones must refer not to the criminal, and administrative law, if we are not talking about a systematic beating.

“For a slap in the family can get up to 2 years and branded a felon for life, for beating on the street – the penalty to 40 thousand roubles. This situation is unacceptable!”

The reason that prompted Mizulina to propose such an initiative, was adopted and signed by the President July 4, a law that modifies several articles of the Criminal code. Some offences (e.g. failure to pay child support and certain types fraud) transferred from the category of criminal in the administrative. The adopted law introduces changes to article 116 of the criminal code. Now if the beating did not cause serious damage to health, applied for the first time, it is treated as an administrative offence provides for a fine of 40 thousand rubles. Criminal penalties (up to two years in prison for minor assault is only in the case that beatings occur regularly or if you beat people. To those under the law are children, parents, spouses, brothers and sisters, grandparents, grandchildren, guardians, Trustees, in-laws or persons leading a common household with the defendant.

To make appropriate amendments suggested by the Supreme court. As explained in the explanatory Memorandum to the bill, “often acts classified today as minor crimes, or their perpetrators do not have sufficient degree of public danger”. The same person, raising a hand to loved ones, recognized as socially dangerous.

Mizulina, however, believes that these amendments to the law are not consistent with the Constitution declaring the equality of all before the law. “For a slap in the family can get up to 2 years and branded a felon for life, for beating on the street – the penalty to 40 thousand roubles. This situation is unacceptable! You need to rule the criminal law and to remove the absurd situation”, – quotes RIA “news” the Senator.

Mizulina criticism in the address the bill has received some public support, referred to by the Senator. Organization “all-Russian Parental resistance (RVS), close to the movement “Essence of time” Sergei Kurginyan transferred to the administration of the President 10084 parent “letters of protest” against, as expressed by its representatives, “the adoption of anti-family laws, destroying the Russian family and introducing criminal liability for spanking”. In the organization the OPINION explained that the letters received from all over the country.”

However, if someone has taken the trouble to collect the letters the opposite of the content, they would be no less or more, according to the sociologist, member of the presidential Council on development of civil society Svetlana Aivazova. The initiative of Mizulina she called “absurd”. “The whole world is going to take action against domestic violence. Over 140 countries have similar laws (which treat family violence as a criminal offence – approx. OPINION). You can, of course, move in the opposite direction, but the sense of this society will be no,” Aivazova said in an interview with the newspaper LOOK. She was surprised that she, “being a man of faith, forgets that the Bible says – in the beginning was the word. Here are the words we must use, not their fists”.

In favor of the sociologist data on domestic violence cited by sociologists and criminologists. So, criminologist Yakov Gilinsky notes that Russia has traditionally been the leader among European countries in the number of violent crimes. However, most of them, unlike, say, Latin America region, leading the world on this indicator), we have at home, not in street violence, domestic murders, brawls, etc.

Rosstat in 2013 conducted a survey, according to which every fifth woman in the country were subjected to physical violence, RIA “Novosti”.

According to a report prepared in 2010, the National independent Commission on women’s rights and violence against women, the figure is even higher and reaches 30%. While 20% of women said that at least once in their lives experienced the fact that in most countries of Europe unequivocally be interpreted as sexual violence.

Meanwhile, supporters of Mizulina also is quite reasonable, compelling arguments in favor of their position. One of them, who, perhaps, can be attributed to the major: in the legislation there are no clear criteria for what constitutes beatings, which have caused serious health damage. Therefore, as indicated in the explanatory Memorandum to the bill, those who really applies family violence, may be considered a new version of article 116 as a signal that the harder you hit, the less the punishment.

The question of who is right, she or her opponents, to decide the new composition of the State Duma. The consideration of the bill senators tentatively scheduled for this fall.

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