Press release №2240
16.12.2019
“BAD PEACE” OR “GOOD WAR”?

IN BRIEF

  • 90% of Russians consider that domestic violence is not appropriate
  • 58% of Russians have not heard of domestic battery/abuse in the families of friends
  • 40% say the opposite
  • 78% consider that domestic violence is an important topic
  • 50% of Russians are confident that a spouse cannot be forgiven for the abuse
  • 95% of Russians disagree that ‘beating your wife is a sign of love”

The topic of domestic violence is widely discussed in the Russian society and evokes strong emotions in respondents.

MOSCOW, December 16, 2019. Russian Public Opinion Research Centre (VCIOM) presents the data of a study devoted to the attitudes of Russians towards domestic violence.

An overwhelming majority of Russians consider that domestic violence is not appropriate (90%). This percentage is higher among women (94% vs 85% of men).

A majority (78%) believes that domestic violence is an important topic for Russia; this opinion is mainly supported by women (87%). However, every fifth respondent has not thought of domestic violence (12%), or thinks that this topic is not important (8%).

Forty percent of Russians say that battery or physical abuse have taken place in the families of their friends. The remainder 58% know nothing about that.

Half of Russians agree that husband cannot be forgiven for beating his wife, even if it happened only once, (50%); this stance is basically shared by women (62%). Thirty-nine percent of respondents would forgive the spouse if it happened only once; they are mainly men (52%).

Russians’ attitudes towards domestic violence are also expressed through their perceptions of folk sayings and proverbs. Ninety-five percent of respondents disagree with the saying “Beating your wife is a sign of love”. At the same time, 61% agree with the saying “A bad peace is better than a good quarrel”. Opinions on “Lovers' quarrels are soon mended” are divided (46% agree vs 49% disagree).  More than half of Russians agree with the proverb “Poorly behaved children must be shamed, not flogged” (66%). Analysis of the attitudes towards proverbs suggests that Russians tend to perceive domestic violence more as something inappropriate.

Asked how domestic abuse can be prevented, most of Russians say that a special regulation is needed in Russia (70%). Remarkably, they are mainly women rather than men (80% vs. 57%, respectively). Almost every fifth respondent (17%) thinks this issue is not important.

Russian VCIOM-Sputnik survey was conducted on December 4, 2019. Results are based on telephone interviews with 1,600 Russians aged 18 and older. A stratified dual-frame random sample based on a complete list of Russian landline and mobile phone numbers is used. The data were weighted according to selection probability and social and demographic characteristics. The margin of error at a 95% confidence level does not exceed 2.5%. In addition to sampling error, minor changes in question wording and different circumstances arising during the fieldwork can introduce bias into the survey.

Some people believe that any kind of domestic violence is strictly inappropriate. Others say that under certain circumstances it is appropriate to slightly spank or even beat a spouse. Which statement do you most agree with? (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)
  Total respondents Men Women Aged 18-24 Aged 25-34 Aged 35-44 Aged 45-59 60 and over
Any physical violence is inappropriate 90 85 94 89 92 87 88 92
Under certain circumstances beating a spouse is appropriate 8 12 5 9 6 10 10 6
Don’t know 2 3 1 2 2 3 2 2
Let us talk about family relationships.  Family relationships can be defined as relationships between spouses, or persons, who are not married but live together. For the sake of simplicity, we refer to “spouses” as people living together, sharing household tasks, raising children. Family relationships can be different; conflicts may arise even within a family. Sometimes it can lead to battery. Do you know any similar cases in the families around you?  
  Total respondents Men Women Aged 18-24 Aged 25-34 Aged 35-44 Aged 45-59 60 and over
Yes, I know such cases 40 37 43 36 41 42 44 37
No, I have never heard of anything like that 58 61 55 64 57 56 55 61
Don’t know 2 2 2 0 2 1 1 2
Refusal to answer 0  0 0 0 0 1 0  0
In your opinion, is the problem of domestic violence likely to be important/unimportant for Russia? (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)
  Total respondents Men Women Aged 18-24 Aged 25-34 Aged 35-44 Aged 45-59 60 and over
This topic is likely to be important 78 68 87 87 74 75 77 82
This topic is likely to be unimportant 8 13 5 4 9 9 10 7
I did not think of that; I did not know about this problem 12 17 8 8 15 13 12 10
Don’t know 2 2 0 1 2 3 1 1

Some people think that if someone raises hand against the spouse only once, it can be forgiven. Others say that even if it happens once, this cannot be forgiven. What do you think? (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)
  Total respondents Men Women Aged 18-24 Aged 25-34 Aged 35-44 Aged 45-59 60 and over
It should be forgiven 39 52 29 32 35 35 43 43
It cannot be forgiven 50 34 62 62 55 53 45 46
Don’t know 11 14 9 6 10 12 12 11
Do you agree/disagree with the following sayings/proverbs describing family relationships?   (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)
  Likely to agree; this is true   Likely to disagree; this is not true   Don’t know  
  2011 2019 2011 2019 2011 2019
“Poorly behaved children must be shamed, not flogged” 78 66 15 29 7 5
“A bad peace is better than a good quarrel” 70 61 23 32 7 7
“Lovers' quarrels are soon mended” 65 46 27 49 8 5
“Beating your wife is a sign of love” 8 4 88 95 4 1

In late November, a draft bill on the prevention of domestic violence was published (the so-called “Domestic Violence Bill”)   

In your opinion, does Russia need such as bill? Or is it not important to Russia? (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)
  Total respondents Men Women
Rather important 70 57 80
Rather not important 7 11 4
This issue is not important to me 17 23 13
Don’t know 6 9 3
Note: Using materials from the site www.wciom.ru or wciom.com, as well as distributed by VCIOM,the reference to the source (or hyperlink for the electronic media) is obligatory.

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