The country has already decriminalized assault and battery that does not lead to actual bodily harm.
A bill that seeks to downgrade domestic violence from a criminal to an administrative offense passed its first reading on Wednesday in the duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament.
A total of 368 lawmakers voted in favor of the bill, with one “no” and one abstention.
Under the proposed rule, the charge of “battery within the family,” currently a criminal offense, would become an administrative one, with a fine, community service or a brief prison term levied against perpetrators. Criminal charges would still be laid if the offense is committed two or more times in one year.
Yelena Mizulina, the conservative politician who also successfully pushed Russia’s “gay propaganda” rules, was behind the move. She claimed on Twitter that the change was necessary to bring domestic violence offenses into line with other battery charges. Russia decriminalized assault and battery that did not lead to actual bodily harm in 2016.
In a speech to the Duma Wednesday, Mizulina said: “In the traditional family culture in Russia, parent-child relationships are built on the authority of the parents’ power,” adding: “The laws should support that family tradition.”