The Russian parliament today passed the second reading of a controversial bill to decriminalize some forms of domestic violence.

The State Duma voted 385-2-1 to eliminate criminal liability for battery on family members that does not cause bodily harm.

The bill that makes battery on a family member punishable by a fine or a 15-day arrest has yet to be approved in the third reading. From the Duma, it would proceed to the upper house, and then to President Vladimir Putin’s desk.

According to the Associated Press, the bill stems from a Supreme Court ruling to decriminalize battery that does not inflict bodily harm, but to retain criminal charges for those accused of battery against family members.

Conservative activists objected, arguing it was a threat to parents who might spank their children.



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