Is the Russian Orthodox Church Pushing Battered Women into Feminism?

Public Orthodoxy

by Lena Zezulin

battered-wife

As expected, President Putin signed the law decriminalizing family violence, shifting certain offenses from criminal to administrative proceedings. Ostensibly this was done to bring the law into compliance with changes to the criminal code that had redefined assaults that do not result in “substantial bodily harm” from criminal to administrative violations. The change was decried by human rights activists in Russia and foreign observers as a step in the wrong direction. In addition, the position of the Russian Orthodox Church in support of the measure, and the Church’s opposition to the very notion of “family violence” as an import of Western “gender ideology,” received widespread criticism. Now that the law has been changed, where are we?

Family violence in Russia was, and remains, a huge problem. Data on family violence collected by the World Health Organization (WHO) show that worldwide 38% of murdered women are killed by…

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