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World Russian feminist runs for Duma to take on domestic violence

10:26  15 september  2021
10:26  15 september  2021 Source:   msn.com

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A draft of an anti- domestic violence law that was proposed in 2019 launched a debate in the Duma but it was ultimately amended so much that its early supporters, including Ms. Popova, were “horrified.” It was never put to a vote. But in recent years, several dramatic cases have sparked outrage, making the And advocacy groups have registered a spike in domestic violence connected to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Duma has not acted. Many United Russia voters appreciate government vouchers given to mothers. The benefits were recently extended to women with only one child, as Moscow tries

State Duma Deputy Oksana Pushkina, the domestic violence re-criminalization bill’s co-author, appealed to Russia ’s head of police Monday over threats she has received from an Orthodox activist group. The group, Sorok Sorokov, has campaigned online against the bill, saying it threatens “traditional spiritual and moral values.” A study published earlier Monday said nearly four out of five Russian women convicted for premeditated murder had been acting in self-defense against their abusers. About 14,000 women die in Russia each year at the hands of husbands or other relatives, a 2010 UN report

MOSCOW (AP) — Alyona Popova’s campaign rhetoric is blunt: Unless she is elected to parliament, there won’t be much hope for a law against domestic violence in Russia.

Alyona Popova, the democratic Yabloko party candidate for the State Duma, center, is surrounded by her campaign's team members, during a meeting with voters in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Sept. 3, 2021. One of the country’s most ardent feminists, Popova has fought for years without success to get members of the State Duma to draft legislation to protect women. So she decided to run herself in the Sept. 19 election. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin) © Provided by Associated Press Alyona Popova, the democratic Yabloko party candidate for the State Duma, center, is surrounded by her campaign's team members, during a meeting with voters in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Sept. 3, 2021. One of the country’s most ardent feminists, Popova has fought for years without success to get members of the State Duma to draft legislation to protect women. So she decided to run herself in the Sept. 19 election. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

One of the country’s most ardent feminists, Popova has fought for years to lobby members of the State Duma to adopt legislation to protect women — without success. So she decided to run herself in the election in which voting begins Friday and runs through Sunday.

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In Russia , domestic violence is perpetrated by different family members, and women make up the overwhelming majority of survivors. Russian law does not take into account key aspects of domestic violence that aggravate the seriousness of the offense and render it more pernicious than an isolated assault. In many cases we documented, survivors of domestic violence who needed and found places at NGO- run shelters had previously been turned away by government- run shelters. However, NGOs struggle to provide shelters on the scale that is needed because of financial constraints and

In 2016, she made domestic violence her priority. “All these are support measures that are designed to leave a woman at home, and not create opportunities for her self-realization and economic independence,” she said. “In this way, the Russian authorities provide for the basic needs of Russian women “Apparently, United Russia and the people in the presidential administration considered me too independent, and the pro- feminist agenda too dangerous,” she said. Experts say that most of the opponents to the law’s 2019 draft were uninformed. They incorrectly claimed that men could lose their

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.

Alyona Popova, the democratic Yabloko party candidate for the State Duma speaks during an interview with The Associated Press at her election campaign's headquarters in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Sept. 3, 2021. Popova believes that she not only has a good chance to win but will be able to “push through” the domestic violence law. Analysts and recent moves by authorities, however, suggest that both might be a long haul. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin) © Provided by Associated Press Alyona Popova, the democratic Yabloko party candidate for the State Duma speaks during an interview with The Associated Press at her election campaign's headquarters in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Sept. 3, 2021. Popova believes that she not only has a good chance to win but will be able to “push through” the domestic violence law. Analysts and recent moves by authorities, however, suggest that both might be a long haul. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

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.

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Current Russian law does not recognize domestic violence as a stand-alone offense, leading to a lack of reliable or comprehensive statistics. The police often refuse to investigate or even respond to domestic violence complaints. Russia ’s nongovernmental groups and human rights’ advocates, as well as some policymakers, have been pushing for Russia to adopt a national law on domestic violence for over two decades. Public awareness about and opposition to domestic violence have increased in recent years, in part in response to severe cases that have made headline news.

The room for domestic violence to grow in Russia is vast because of the bill, but not everyone is in favor. While there isn’t much tolerance for feminist groups in Russia , they’ve still made their presence known. Pussy Riot activists, along with others, marched on International Women’s Day in part to protest the law. The Russian people seem to think that it’s not domestic violence if it is happening within the family, but victims of domestic violence and those being abused will tell you that that is not the case.

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.

Yulia Gorbunova, senior researcher for Human Rights Watch in Russia and Ukraine, said the available statistics suggest Russia isn’t much different from the rest of the world. She cited World Health Organization data that showed one in three women around the globe suffers from physical or sexualized violence by her partner or others, "and in Russia, the numbers are quite similar.”

FILE - In this Nov. 25, 2019, file photo, people hold banners against domestic violence as they attend a rally in Moscow's downtown, Russia. 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. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Nov. 25, 2019, file photo, people hold banners against domestic violence as they attend a rally in Moscow's downtown, Russia. 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. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, File)

“Unfortunately, Russia differs from other countries in a bad way, with its inadequate response — lack of legislation, lack of a normal system of supporting the victims,” she added.

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Feminism in Russia originated in the 18th century, influenced by the Western European Enlightenment and mostly confined to the aristocracy. Throughout the 19th century, the idea of feminism remained closely tied to revolutionary politics and to social reform. Men in the leadership often did not take women or their ideas seriously, and excluded them from many discussions. Domestic violence and sexual harassment continued to exist, although to a much lesser extent than in the West.

The history of feminism in Russia is more than a century old, but not everyone believes it exists today in the country. What’s happening with one of the most controversial civic movements? Russia Beyond takes a closer look. St. Petersburg in late autumn: A beautiful girl against the backdrop of St. Isaac's Cathedral. Modern Russia has enough problems: domestic violence , sexual harassment, efforts to ban abortions or make them less accessible. As in the rest of the world, in Russia on average, women's salaries are less than those of men doing similar jobs and women's career choices are also not equal.

Popova’s decision to run came after her only ally in the Duma — Oksana Pushkina of the ruling United Russia bloc — announced she wasn't seeking reelection.

Popova said she spoke with other advocates about what to do: "To run after Duma lawmakers for five more years, given that this next parliament will be ultra-bigoted, ultra-fundamentalist?” Popova said. “Or to fight for it ourselves?”

Simple assault against a family member was a criminal offense only briefly in 2016 under a measure passed by lawmakers, but it prompted a backlash from conservative groups.

At his annual news conference in December 2016, President Vladimir Putin was asked about parents who could face imprisonment for spanking a child, which the questioner said was “quite traditional” Russian discipline.

Putin responded that “it’s better not to spank children and not to cite traditions,” but agreed that “unceremonious interference with the family is unacceptable,” and promised to review the law. It was decriminalized the next year and was downgraded to a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of about $68.

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Women’s rights activists protested vehemently, saying abusers were given a green light.

FILE - In this Nov. 25, 2019, file photo, a woman holds a banner reading, © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Nov. 25, 2019, file photo, a woman holds a banner reading, "We demand the adoption of a law against domestic violence. We have not been killed yet, but we're close," as she attends a rally in Moscow, Russia. 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. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, File)

“Our state is sending us a signal that violence is a staple (of the regime), and nothing should be done against this staple, because otherwise the entire system will fall apart,” Popova said.

Valentina Matviyenko, the speaker of the upper house of parliament, acknowledged the problem in 2019 and vowed to have a domestic violence bill by the end of the year. One was drafted by Popova, Pushkina and other activists.

It faced weeks of stiff resistance from conservative groups and the Russian Orthodox Church, arguing that the state shouldn’t interfere in family matters. As a result, it was watered down and never came up for a vote.

Nasiliu.Net, a prominent nonprofit that supports domestic violence victims and advocated for the law, has been labeled a “foreign agent,” and given repeated hefty fines.

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Diana Barsegyan, its deputy director, said the crippling moves speak volumes about the government’s attitude toward domestic violence.

“In a healthy situation, the state should work together with experts and NGOs on such a huge and complex problem,” Barsegyan said. “And now we’re in a situation when (the government) comes to experts who are dealing with this problem, saying, ’You’re (foreign) agents now, and from now on, it will be difficult for you to work.'”

Lawmaker Oksana Pushkina speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. Pushkina, who in recent years has been a firebrand in pushing for domestic violence legislation, is not seeking reelection after her party, United Russia, endorsed another candidate in her constituency. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin) © Provided by Associated Press Lawmaker Oksana Pushkina speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. Pushkina, who in recent years has been a firebrand in pushing for domestic violence legislation, is not seeking reelection after her party, United Russia, endorsed another candidate in her constituency. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

Pushkina, who in recent years was a firebrand for domestic violence legislation, decided not to run again after United Russia endorsed someone else in her constituency.

“Of course, (the authorities) don't need this pro-feminist agenda today," she said. “Our state policy has taken an ultraconservative path.”

Pushkina said that what Popova stands for resonates with voters, pointing out that even state-funded pollsters found that 70% of Russians support a domestic violence law. She believes Popova will fight for the law if elected, but that authorities will have the final say.

Irina Petrakova, a survivor of domestic violence, speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in her flat in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021. Petrakova, 41, suffered years of abuse at the hands of her husband. She said that even when they were finally divorced, he was able to assault her outside the courthouse where she brought a case against him. “Had the law been in force, had I had a (restraining) order, he wouldn’t have been able to even approach me,” said Petrakova, whose case is before the European Court of Human Rights.  (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin) © Provided by Associated Press Irina Petrakova, a survivor of domestic violence, speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in her flat in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021. Petrakova, 41, suffered years of abuse at the hands of her husband. She said that even when they were finally divorced, he was able to assault her outside the courthouse where she brought a case against him. “Had the law been in force, had I had a (restraining) order, he wouldn’t have been able to even approach me,” said Petrakova, whose case is before the European Court of Human Rights. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

“No matter how hard Alyona fights, if there’s a decision higher up to slow something down, block it or adopt, then that will come to pass,” Pushkina said.

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Popova is running in a Moscow district, and her competitors include a famous TV personality widely seen as pro-government and a seasoned lawmaker from the Communist Party.

She said she has fewer resources than her biggest opponents. Her candidacy was put forward by the democratic Yabloko party, which meant that she didn’t need to collect signatures, but the party isn't financing her campaign.

Alyona Popova, the democratic Yabloko party candidate for the State Duma, left speaks with a Communist party supporter during a meeting with voters in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Sept. 3, 2021.  One of the country’s most ardent feminists, Popova has fought for years without success to get members of the State Duma to draft legislation to protect women. So she decided to run herself in the Sept. 19 election. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin) © Provided by Associated Press Alyona Popova, the democratic Yabloko party candidate for the State Duma, left speaks with a Communist party supporter during a meeting with voters in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Sept. 3, 2021. One of the country’s most ardent feminists, Popova has fought for years without success to get members of the State Duma to draft legislation to protect women. So she decided to run herself in the Sept. 19 election. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

Apathy by voters and their conviction that the election won’t change anything makes campaigning even harder, Popova said, adding: “The scariest thing the authorities achieved over the past 20 years is convincing people that elections are a farce.”

She said she was criticized initially for making domestic violence the cornerstone of her campaign, but it strikes a chord with many people she meets.

Alyona Popova, the democratic Yabloko party candidate for the State Duma, center, walks in a street before a meeting with voters in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Sept. 3, 2021. Popova is running in a Moscow district, and her competitors include a famous TV personality widely seen as pro-government and a seasoned lawmaker from the Communist Party. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin) © Provided by Associated Press Alyona Popova, the democratic Yabloko party candidate for the State Duma, center, walks in a street before a meeting with voters in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Sept. 3, 2021. Popova is running in a Moscow district, and her competitors include a famous TV personality widely seen as pro-government and a seasoned lawmaker from the Communist Party. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

“At every meeting we hold (with voters), at least one person either witnessed domestic violence or suffered from it,” she said.

The bill that was shelved had included a system of restraining orders — something that abuse survivors told The Associated Press they wished had been in place when they went to authorities.

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Irina Petrakova, 41, suffered years of abuse at the hands of her husband. She said that even when they were finally divorced, he was able to assault her outside the courthouse where she brought a case against him.

“Had the law been in force, had I had a (restraining) order, he wouldn’t have been able to even approach me,” said Petrakova, whose case is before the European Court of Human Rights.

Alyona Popova, the democratic Yabloko party candidate for the State Duma, left speaks with a Communist party supporter during a meeting with voters in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Sept. 3, 2021. Popova is running in a Moscow district, and her competitors include a famous TV personality widely seen as pro-government and a seasoned lawmaker from the Communist Party. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin) © Provided by Associated Press Alyona Popova, the democratic Yabloko party candidate for the State Duma, left speaks with a Communist party supporter during a meeting with voters in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Sept. 3, 2021. Popova is running in a Moscow district, and her competitors include a famous TV personality widely seen as pro-government and a seasoned lawmaker from the Communist Party. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

Popova said she receives messages of support from all over Russia. However, political analyst and former Kremlin speechwriter Abbas Gallyamov said it is unclear whether she will have enough support within her district.

Domestic violence hasn't been a priority for voters, Gallyamov said, although he notes it has never been on the agenda of a nationwide election before and may have potential because women usually turn out more than men at the polls.

He added that the Kremlin’s constant peddling of traditional values has “annoyed a significant chunk of protest voters so much” that Popova could benefit.

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Anna Frants contributed to this report.

Chris Bassitt shares awesome inspirational post after return from facial injury .
Bassitt was hit by a line drive during his start against the Chicago White Sox on Aug. 17. Bassitt suffered a fractured cheekbone and jawbone. He also had to get treatment for his eye, where he had a huge cut. Bassitt shared photos on Twitter of himself undergoing treatment at a hospital.He also shared his reason for returning this season.“Why did I come back? What’s the point? I’ll tell you why… We are the green and gold. Bob Melvin is our manager. Don’t make excuses and get your a– to work. If you won’t do it then we will find someone who will.

usr: 1
This is interesting!