The Reversal of Amendment to Article 116: How Victims of Violence Disappeared from the Dialogue on a Domestic Violence Law
In the summer of 2016 the Russian parliament and President Vladimir Putin signed into law amendments that codified the criminalization of domestic violence; less than a year later, on January 27th, Russia formally rescinded the amendments, thereby softening domestic violence law. This sudden shift in policy represents a larger shift in Russian family policy to more traditional Russian values in opposition to the influence of the “liberal West.” The reversal of this domestic violence law exhibits an attempt to find a new cultural narrative in post-Soviet Russia and President Vladimir Putin’s initiative to position Russia as a cultural power rivaling the west. As President Putin and the Russian parliament arranged this policy reversal female victims of domestic abuse were excluded from the conversation. The intent of this thesis is to illustrate how a bill on domestic violence served to promote Russia as an influential moral authority rather than address issues of gendered violence.