No Protection for Abuse Victims in Russia

Victims of domestic violence and abuse receive little protection from law officials or the justice system in Russia, according to a study released by Human Rights Watch. The report, “Too Little, Too Late,” exposes the problems Russian women are facing during the transition from communism to a free-market economy.

The report states, “From the moment that victims of violence first seek out the legal system until the close of their cases these women consistently confront hostility, reluctance, and bias against their cases.”

Dorothy Thomas, director of the Women’s Rights Project at Human Rights Watch said, “Instead of fighting the problem, the Russian government suggests by word and deed that it accepts that women can be assaulted in the street or in their homes with no recourse for the victims and few consequences for the attackers.”

Humans Rights Watch published a similar report in 1995. “Neither Jobs Nor Justice” documented widespread unemployment and discrimination in the workplace and economic sector.

In 1996 Russian President Boris Yeltsin pledged to investigate rising statistics of violence against women and to collaborate with women’s aid centers; however, the report claims that little progress has been made.

Domestic Violence Information Center


IPS - January 21, 1998

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