High domestic violence rates continue to plague Russia

By July 23, 2020

Russia (MNN) — In 2017, Russia made the decision to downgrade domestic violence from a criminal offense to a misdemeanor for first-time offenders.

This ruling sparked a backlash in Russia, and many women are still vocally trying to find justice in the country today. But Eric Mock of Slavic Gospel Association says the problem isn’t just legal; the new laws stem from cultural attitudes in Russia and other Slavic nations that devalue women.

Damaging cultural attitudes

Mock shares a story from his ministry. “I was teaching out of Genesis and talking about . . . the equal value of men and women. One of the ladies stood up and said, ‘We were raised, thinking that it was beneficial for a husband to beat a wife so that the wife would learn how to be more godly.’”

SGA works with local churches to provide food through the Christ Over COVID program. (Photo courtesy of SGA on Facebook)

To make matter worse, police rarely respond to domestic violence cases. Mock says, “Women that come to the police department, they are basically put on a waiting list to have an officer respond to them. Time and time again, many of these women suffer in silence.”

Mock says only Jesus Christ can change these attitudes and awful cultural assumptions. “What we see is a tremendous transformation that occurs when men and women come to faith. We’re seeing relationships that are restored and the dignity of each life set as it should be.”

Natalya’s story

That is exactly what God is doing in Russia. Mock tells the story of Natalya and her children, who suffered heavily from domestic abuse. Local churches reached out to them through the Christ Over COVID campaign.

Mock says, “They continue to minister to this family. Natalya responded back and said that her husband, Stepan, had stopped beating her and stopped drinking. In fact, Stefan’s brother Sergei came to faith in the middle of this. So it’s pretty amazing to see how God is at work.”

Through the power of Christ and His resurrection, the cycle of domestic abuse has been broken in this family. Pray the same thing would happen all over Russia and the former Soviet Union.



The header image shows Natalya and her children. (Photo courtesy of SGA on Facebook)