‘Don’t Throw Your Trash Outside the House’ Russian Discourses on Domestic Violence (2016-2020)



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Tartu Ülikool


Domestic violence is the most common form of violence against women. The last decades has seen a plethora of academic work dedicated to explaining its occurrences, causes and consequences. Additionally, it has become institutionalized as a global human rights issue. Despite widespread efforts to combat domestic violence, national policies and legal frameworks vary greatly between countries. In Russia, domestic violence is believed to be highly prevalent and widespread, yet little has been done to address this on a national level. The aim of this study is to narrow down on Russia as a case study to understand how domestic violence is discursively constructed in different cultural and social environments. Utilizing a discourse analytical toolkit and the creation of a typology based on previous theories on domestic violence, this study looked at different societal actors in Russia and how they understood and constructed domestic violence. Five overarching discursive themes were discovered, pointing to the existence of different understandings and constructions of domestic violence. Among these the most prominent explanations related to feminist work and patriarchy, to ideas about heritability/learned behavior and to Soviet and Russian Orthodox ideas about gender and domestic violence.