Russia presents long-awaited domestic violence bill

MOSCOW (AP) — A group of lawmakers in the country’s upper house of parliament, mainly from President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party, have presented a long-anticipated bill on preventing domestic abuse.

The draft law, released Friday by the Federation Council, gives domestic violence a legal definition and outlines various prevention measures, such as restraining orders.

It comes two years after Russia decriminalized simple assault of family members, which was followed by cases of spousal and parental abuse.

Domestic violence is rampant in Russia, where 40% of violent crimes occur in families.

Women’s rights advocates have actively campaigned for the bill, while conservative groups protested against it, arguing that interfering with family affairs undermines Russia’s “traditional values.”

The bill is expected to be formally submitted to the parliament by the end of the year.

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