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49% of Russian Women Say They Are Most at Risk of Violence at Home, Poll Says

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Nearly half of Russian women say they are most at risk of violence by family members in the home, according to a new survey published by the state-run VTsIOM pollster. 

In 2017, Vladimir Putin signed a law that scrapped prison sentences for first-time domestic abuse that resulted in “minor harm,” such as small abrasions, bruises and superficial wounds. Earlier this month, Russia’s top human rights official called the country’s 2017 decision to adopt the law "a mistake,” while activists have said that domestic abuse complaints skyrocketed after it was adopted.

In the survey published Tuesday, 49 percent of women said that they were most at risk of violence by family members in the home, while only 25 percent of men said they believed the same. 

Meanwhile, 50 percent of men said they believed women were most at risk of violence in “quiet and deserted places,” with 48 percent of women giving the same answer.

Forty-nine percent of all respondents said they believed women were often subject to “inappropriate comments, remarks and crude jokes” and 47 percent said women were often victims of abusive relationships.

Less than a third of all respondents in the VTsIOM survey said they believed women were often victims of physical violence (32 percent), while one fourth said that women were often victims of sexual violence (25 percent) or “unwanted attempts to induce sexual relations” (24 percent).

Overall, 73 percent of respondents said violence against women was a significant problem in Russia — with 79 percent of women and 65 percent of men agreeing with the statement.

VTsIOM conducted the survey on Dec. 4 among 1,600 respondents.

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