In Russia, First-Time Domestic Abusers Get A Pass
In 1963, Russia sent the first woman, Valentina Tereshkova, into space. Terror, extreme pressure, dying of asphyxiation ... Tereshkova escaped all those things by fleeing Russian soil. But it isn't the '60s anymore -- Russian women no longer go to space, and it's also no longer illegal to beat them or their kids.
In 2018, the Russian government finally responded to the country's long-running domestic violence problem, one that on average kills a woman every 40 minutes (around 14,000 per year). Unfortunately, that response was to give abusive husbands a Get Out of Jail Free Card. According to an amended law, as long as an abused woman or child isn't battered to point of hospitalization (the threshold for abuse only starts at broken bones), a first-time offender will not face any jail time. For second-time offenders, the punishment is a fine as low as 5 rubles (80 cents American), meaning a man could beat his wife within an inch of consciousness twice and only have to pay whatever loose change he fishes out of the couch cushions.
Under the new "slapping law," if a man refuses to pay the fine, the court will take it from his joint account, meaning that women often have to pay for their own beatings. Even women who fled to shelters were tracked down by the courts in order to force them to pay their abusive husbands' fines. Suddenly, enlisting as a mail-order bride to be sold off to some awkward schlub from Vermont seems like a logical and reasonable choice.