One in three Russian murders is domestic violence, but government shows little interest in protecting women from abuse

One of the country’s most ardent feminists, Alyona Popova, is running for a seat in Russia’s parliament, the Duma, this weekend, to try to pass legislation protecting women from domestic violence, the Associated Press reports.

Popova believes she has a good chance of winning and will be able to push through a domestic violence law. Analysts and recent actions by Russian authorities, however, suggest that both face an uphill battle.

Few reliable official statistics are kept on violence against women in Russia, but it is clearly a national problem. Police routinely turn a blind eye to domestic abuse, and restraining orders don’t exist, leaving victims without a key protection.

The Interior Ministry’s official magazine, Russia’s Police, reported in 2019 that one in three murders occur within “family and domestic relations”; violent acts of different kinds happen in one out of four families; and 70% of crimes within families and households are against women and children.

There are virtually no legal mechanisms to protect people from domestic abuse. Laws address a wide range of violent crimes, but attempts to create measures that would prevent these crimes from happening have faced resistance from authorities.

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