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Russia’s ‘traditional family values’

Written By: - Date published: 11:05 am, February 12th, 2017 - 22 comments
Categories: domestic violence, families, human rights, International - Tags: , , , ,

In 2017, this happened:

Putin signs law reducing punishment for domestic battery

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law that decriminalizes some forms of domestic violence, according to state-run news agency Tass.

Dubbed the “slapping law,” it decriminalizes a first offense of domestic violence that does not seriously injure the person, making it a less serious administrative offense.

More than 85% of legislators in Russia’s Duma approved the bill last month — seen as part of Putin’s drive to appease conservative pushing “traditional family values.” …

Since when was domestic violence a ‘traditional family value’? In totally unexpected news:

Russian city sees domestic violence incidents double after Putin decriminalises beatings

Reports of domestic violence have increased by 133% in Yekaterinburg – the fourth largest city in Russia – after President Putin approved a law that reduces punishments for spousal or child abuse to a misdemeanour.

Police in Yekaterinburg responded to 350 incidents about domestic assaults every day, compared with 150 before the change in the legislation.

“Before, people were afraid of criminal charges – this acted as some kind of safety barrier,” Yevgeny Roizman, the mayor of Yekaterinburg told Russian media, according to the Times. “People got the impression that before it wasn’t allowed, but now it is.” …

There’s a lot of good in ‘traditional family values’. But too often the phrase is used as lipstick on the pig of male power and control over women. Constructive and positive ‘conservative’ organisations everywhere should be outraged at the way the use of ‘traditional family values’ gets corrupted, and they should be doing more to speak out against it.

22 comments on “Russia’s ‘traditional family values’ ”

  1. Andre 1

    Should we have a pool for which state is going to start a rash of similar laws in the US? I reckon Oklahoma.

  2. Sabne 2

    well obviously they are making Russia great again by restoring traditional hierarchies and we all know that women and children are property of men and that property sometimes need to feel the rod to be appropriately submissive and content with their lot.

    and yes, men to get abused by their spouses. But i can not help but feel that this law was not intended to give women the right to beat their husbands.

    That plus bit by bit cutting and undermining abortion rights and the promotion of ‘kinder kirche kueche’ as the all of womanhood they might be going back to the 1500.

  3. red-blooded 3

    All those big-mouths who bewailed “The Nanny State” during the last Labour-led government and signed that pernicious petition against the “Anti-Smacking Law” after being told that “reasonable, responsible parents” were going to be hauled into court and families broken up by the state need to ask themselves if they share the same “traditional family values” that Putin and his government seem to keen to preserve and that see so many Russian women battered by their partners. Frankly, there are some traditions that need to be confronted and changed, and the traditional idea that the man is the head of the family is one of them. (What’s wrong with two partners, sharing and negotiating?)

    • saveNZ 3.1

      Good point red-blooded!

      Apparently beating kids is ok to many Kiwis.

      Anyway pretty disgusting legislation by Russia.

    • Don't worry. Be happy 3.2

      You know what? A lot of people signed that petition thinking it was what it was called….the anti smacking petition i.e they were against smacking children….and so they signed the anti smacking petition!

      I was invited to sign it when I picked up my grandson from Kindy….by the Kindy teacher….she was astonished to learn that the petition so named was in fact in favour of things like “light smacking”. Talk about false labelling! Some PR firm got paid well for that I suspect.

      But just like we will never go back to enduring smoking in bars, workplaces and restaurants NZers will never go back to thinking that belting little children is ok (except for fundamental Christians who like fundamental zealots of all religions are always up for a bit of cruelty in the name of the Almighty)

  4. RedBaronCV 4

    Given the rollback of domestic violence protections that we have seen under Nact (removing the Bristol clauses, 3 day stand downs for DV incidents, lack of legal aid, defunding refuges, rape crisis etc) ..

    How long before our current RW government decriminalizes the euphemistically named “family violence” (call it assaults or GBH because that’s what it is!) so that they can boast of reduced crime figures.

    On the other hand Nact have managed to find the money for posters that are up in every provincial town in the Lower North Island (& elsewhere?) saying
    “[Insert name of town here] doesn’t support family violence” Talk about screwed priorities.

    • Red Hand 4.1

      Risk of sexual assault in intimate partner violence is reduced by women contacting police or applying for a protection order.

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18569465

      • RedBaronCV 4.1.1

        Well if it’s decriminalized then it can’t be reported to the police.
        And while there may be a reduction in the violence, stories abound in this country of the cops simply not following protocol or taking it the assault seriously when, had it happened between two strangers, they’d have it in Court pronto.

    • Antoine 4.2

      > How long before our current RW government decriminalizes the euphemistically named “family violence”

      Not going to happen, and the suggestion that it might happen, just shows you don’t really understand National MPs or voters at all

      A.

      • RedBaronCV 4.2.1

        Well your average NACT MP and voter hasn’t protested any of the roll backs of the current government – so what is the long term game there?
        They have already decriminalized it to a large extent – the slap on the wrist wet bus tickets to stay out of the house for three days for assaults – really keeps those figures down doesn’t it?

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    Constructive and positive ‘conservative’ organisations everywhere should be outraged at the way the use of ‘traditional family values’ gets corrupted, and they should be doing more to speak out against it.

    Why would they do that when these are precisely the ‘traditional family values’that they’re talking about?

    • weka 5.1

      In NZ there are plenty of conservatives that are against domestic violence and wouldn’t consider it a traditional family value.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1

        And yet they all seem to come out in favour of hiding domestic violence and not doing anything about it. Family Fist came out in favour child abuse for cristsake.

        • weka 5.1.1.1

          If family first were representative of conservatives in NZ, Colin Craig would be PM. That lot are a minority.

  6. millsy 6

    Since the USSR fell, Russia is essentially both a decadent libertarian capitalist state and Russian Orthodox theocracy at the same time.

    The old rich male oligarchs get the decadence and the poor women get the theocracy.

    The same thing is happening across Eastern Europe — Poland for example, wants to ban abortion totally,

    • Lara 6.1

      They wanted to. And the women of Poland protested. Peacefully. And for now, have changed their minds.

      Yes, peaceful protest can work.

  7. Conal 7

    This is really quite a poor quality post, I’m sorry to say. It’s sadly typical to see shallow reporting from American media, especially when there’s a chance to make Russia and the Russian government look bad.

    For a more nuanced, informed, and informative view of the legislation, including opinion poll data, background, and opinions from a variety of viewpoints, see this article by John Helmer:

    http://johnhelmer.net/psychology-becomes-law-or-is-it-bible-bashing-or-another-case-of-the-russian-beast/

    A large majority (about 79%) of Russians are opposed to any violence within the family, and this figure is fairly consistent across all age groups. Putin’s view on smacking kids is:

    We should not slap children and justify it based on some old traditions […] Neither parents, nor neighbours should do this, although this sometimes happens. There is a short distance from slaps to beating. Children fully depend on adults; they are the most dependent members of society. There are many other ways to bring children up without slapping.

    However, a majority of Russians supported this legal reform, and this should not be a surprise; many Russians believe that the legal change will actually improve matters by encouraging reporting of violence:

    The largest proportion of Russians — 41% — believes that if the amendment becomes law, there will be an improvement, and family violence will diminish. More women believe this than men; more younger people than older ones. A comparable proportion of the population believes nothing will change if the amendment becomes law.

    Helmer quotes a Russian policy analyst explaining why this result (increased reporting), is exactly what was expected:

    The reason there is so much public support for a fine for this offence has nothing to do with the Church; nothing to do with Mizulina. Foreign critics have missed the point. Russians understand their police very well. They know that if there’s no money incentive, there is no enforcement. That’s why first-offence beatings aren’t followed up, but traffic violations are. If the local militia can see their chance to collect money from complaints, they will do it with alacrity. Every Russian understands this. Foreigners don’t.

    The big jump in police reports of domestic violence in Yekaterinburg is IMO far more likely to be a result of increased reporting of violence than of increased violence (as the International Business Times would have you believe), and should in fact be greeted as a sign of success.

    • Siobhan 7.1

      Hmmm…given his controversial criticisms of certain Russian businessmen, how does John Helmer get to walk around without getting poked with an uranium tipped umbrella?
      May I respectfully suggest…the guy has some important friends who use him for spreading certain messages.

      • Conal 7.1.1

        He may or may not have “important friends” (whatever relevance that may have to this article I don’t know), but to me the important thing is that he’s actually practising journalism; he’s taken the time to study this issue and present it as a political phenomenon unfolding within the complex system of Russian life. It’s quite different to so much of the “reporting” we see about Russia, which is often little more than a meme, based on a superficial stereotyped presentation of Russia; as if Russia were a Hollywood movie set rather than a real country.

        • Siobhan 7.1.1.1

          The point would be he is a tool for propoganda. And that’s not just something said about journalists in Russia. That’s a world wide issue.
          As to this issue, I am all for decreasing Prison sentences and Prison time. However the problem is the conversation around violence.

          I cannot speak Russian, so I am taking a risk and assuming there is some truth to this…
          “A popular Russian saying is “if he beats you, it means he loves you” and tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda carried an article after the law was passed saying that women should be “proud of their bruises” from violent husbands because some evolutionary psychologists claim they are more likely to give birth to sons.”

          Though to be fair I found this statement to be rather open to interpretation

          “Police in Yekaterinburg responded to 350 incidents about domestic assaults every day, compared with 150 before the change in the legislation.
          “Before, people were afraid of criminal charges – this acted as some kind of safety barrier,” Yevgeny Roizman, the mayor of Yekaterinburg told Russian media, according to the Times. “People got the impression that before it wasn’t allowed, but now it is.””

          Surely It could just as easily be a case of more women/men being willing to report violence knowing that the perpetrator won’t get a lengthy sentence.

    • Greg 7.2

      The same argument could be used in a NZ context, we get told how the DV rates are higher, and its decade after decade, and successive governments keeps throwing hundreds of millions of dollars trying to fix a statistic. And not the cause.

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