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Russian Civic Chamber official warns women against ‘exceeding the limits of self-defense’ when fighting off rapists


A leading official in the Civic Chamber, a consultative body within the Russian government, is warning women that they risk criminal charges if they “exceed the limits of self-defense,” when resisting attacks by rapists. This advice comes courtesy of Anton Tsvetkov, the head of the chamber's safety commission.

“It's extremely difficult for a woman to handle a man [in an attack], and sometimes resisting can lead to even greater aggression,” Tsvetkov told the news agency Moskva. “There's another, more important moment, such as exceeding the limits of necessary self-defense. That is, for example, if a man rapes a woman, and she stabs him in the side with a screwdriver, then she could be charged with a crime, because her life wasn't in danger. There are cases like that. These are legal questions.”

Tsvetkov says Russia needs to create crisis centers for women throughout the country and devote more resources to educating the younger generation about sexual violence. He also argues that Russia needs to introduce legislation that would give women the opportunity to get restraining orders against past attackers. (Currently, Russia's legal system doesn't formalize restraining orders in cases of domestic violence.)

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