Madam Speaker, according to a Russian proverb: ‘‘If he beats you, it means he loves you.’’ In Russia, that has become the norm. Forty percent of all violent crimes in Russia are done within the home. 36,000 people are beaten by their partners every day. 

Madam Speaker, this is disturbing; but the Russian Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to decriminalize domestic violence if it does not cause substantial bodily harm and does not happen more than once a year. So, if a husband beats his wife once a year, that is fine, sayeth the lords of Siberia.

Madam Speaker, domestic violence is not just a family issue; it is a human rights issue. As a lifelong advocate for victims, our societies and countries must recognize the devastating effect of domestic violence. It tears at the fabric of society—and not legalize it, but stop this nightmare wherever it is. Like my grandmother always taught me, you never hurt somebody you claim you love.

And that is just the way it is.