MOSCOW, December 1 (RAPSI) – A bill making domestic violence a separate crime and toughening penalties for domestic violence has been submitted by senator Anton Belyakov to the State Duma, according to the website of the lower house.

Current legislation lacks mechanisms for responding to domestic violence and only has “articles on physical abuse of one individual against another, with serious penalties stipulated in case of serious injuries or death,” according to an explanatory note to the bill.

Under current laws, domestic violence offenders face up to 2 years in prison.

The bill introduces amendments to the Criminal Code and a minimum of 3 years in prison for a person who commits an act of domestic violence against relatives.

As many as 14,000 women die from domestic violence in Russia every year. According to an Interior Ministry survey, out of 4 million abusive family members, 205,000 are emotionally unstable, 400,000 are alcoholics, 40,000 are mentally ill, but the overwhelming majority – 3.36 million – are “normal, respected people.”