There’s an old Russian expression: “If he beats you it means he loves you.”
Now, in a chilling reminder of that sentiment, Russian legislators are moving toward decriminalizing some forms of domestic violence. . . .
The Russian Orthodox Church, with its emphasis on traditional family norms, is also influencing the debate. So are the traditional rules of Russian family life, including the “domostroi,” a centuries-old manual prescribing strict rules of behavior and requiring absolute submission to the head of the family.
Official data on domestic violence in Russia is not centrally collected so it’s hard to verify. But the state-run news agency RIA Novosti reports that 40% of serious crimes in Russia are committed in the family, 36,000 women are beaten by their husbands daily, and 12,000 women die yearly as a result of domestic violence — one woman every 44 minutes.