Armenia’s government has introduced long-awaited legislation to ban domestic violence, an issue that has become the key battleground in the proxy war between Western and Russian cultural influence.
But as the wrangling begins over the bill, its Western backers are making a tactical retreat, hoping that a quiet approach will ultimately help the controversial legislation pass.
Armenia’s Justice Ministry published a draft version of the law in late September: it would, for the first time, provide protection to victims of domestic violence, including state-run shelters for abused women; and it would enable victims to obtain restraining orders against their abusers.
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Joshua Kucera is the Turkey/Caucasus editor at EurasiaNet.org, and author of The Bug Pit. He is based in Istanbul. With reporting by Oksana Musaelyan.