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Vladimir Putin Signs Law Decriminalizing Domestic Violence

Vladimir Putin has signed a law drastically decreasing the punishment for domestic violence. Already a widespread problem in Russia, victims of domestic violence will now have an even more difficult time in trying to get legal help. This legislation dubbed “the slapping law.” It minimizes the illegality of physical assault that is not aggravated, and includes parents who beat their children and spousal abuse. What was once considered a felony and punishable by up to two years in jail, domestic assault is now an administrative crime with a penalty of 30,000 ruble (512 u.s dollars), 15 days in jail, or 5 days of community service for first time offenders.

According to Tass a Russian news agency, repeated assaults are indictable of a fine for up to 40,000 rubles ($676), three months in jail, or 6 months of community service.

According to Russia’s interior ministry there has been close to 38,000 reports of assault. 3 quarters of them being women. In 2013 alone. Women’s rights organizations are outraged at the new amendment, many stating that the new law took away one of the very few legal protections they had against domestic violence. A decision was made to create an online petition opposing the legislation, which collected more than 200,000 signatures. Despite their desperate efforts women’s groups did not succeed in appealing the law, the Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament approved the law in its final reading as did Prime Minister, Putin.

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