With all the news of Donald Trump's fascist fantasies coming true, it's easy to forget other countries have it way worse. For example: in a staggering move, the Russian parliament has voted to decriminalize domestic abuse. The measure won by more than a landslide, the final votes tallied 380-3.
While the headline certainly sounds sensational, the details of the story are truly horrifying. According to USA Today, as long as the damage done to a victim does not amount "substantial bodily harm," Russia is A-OK with it. Furthermore, Russia has eliminated criminal liability in such cases, making a violation punishable by a fine of about $500, or a 15-day arrest.
Vladimir Putin has the chance to veto the bill, but there's pretty much no chance he will.
“This bill would establish violence as a norm of conduct,” Communist lawmaker Yuri Sinelshchikov said during the debate that ensued over the potential new policies.
"[This] send[s] a message that the state doesn’t consider familial battery fundamentally wrong anymore," said Mari Davtyan to The Moscow Times.
Statistics on domestic violence coming out of Russia are rather grim: 40% of all violent crimes are committed within the family according to the Interior Ministry. What that means in terms of actual populations: 36,000 women are beaten by their partners in Russia every day; 26,000 children are assaulted by their parents every year.
“Traditional, or rather, archaic values have become popular again,” added Alyona Popova, an activist and women’s rights advocate.
[Photo: Getty Images]