Russian government decriminalises first offence domestic violence on February 7 this year in the hopes that women will take more cases to court.
The laws that apply to domestic violence were changed so that single offences are only punishable by two-week police detention and a fine of 30,000 Rubles.
Russian government representative, Tatiana Pak, says “Women did not report the violence or follow through to action in court because they didn’t want to embarrass the family. Hopefully now that the punishment is less they will be encouraged to take action.”
This change has come because the high incidences of domestic violence in the country. According to the Ministry of Internal affairs there are 36,000 women assaulted every day.
“The law as it existed meant that 97 per cent of cases never made it to the courts,” Pak says.
With only the second and subsequent cases of domestic violence cases being considered criminal the Russian Government hopes that more women will now report domestic violence cases.