Russian authorities often fail to protect women from domestic violence. Serious gaps in Russia’s laws, the lack of protection orders, and inadequate police and judicial responses leave women who face even severe physical violence with little or no protection.

Survivors face barriers in reporting abuse and getting help. They include social stigma, lack of awareness, and lack of trust in police. Police often refuse to register or investigate women’s reports of domestic violence, instead funneling victims into the patently unfair and extremely burdensome process of private prosecution, for which the victim must gather all necessary evidence and bear all costs. Human Rights Watch also found that survivors face obstacles to finding emergency shelter.