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 You are Mine is a series of stories of Russian women who endured domestic partner violence. These stories are about the power and control of one person over another. They are about the difficulties of recognizing violence and resisting it on a personal and government level. Because violence is not only when somebody smashes your face with a fist, it is also when somebody ignores, controls, or neglects your will. This series shows that one of the essential reasons for violence is an imbalance of power, not sexual orientation, age, or education.

Russia has a high level of violence against women. According to statistics from the Interior Ministry of the Russian Federation, in 2013 women comprised 91% of the overall number of victims of domestic violence crime. Women suffer from grievous bodily harm eight times more often than men. The problem of violence is a widespread problem. But the government does not recognize the problem. Russia now had no law against domestic violence. And on January 27, the State Duma passed the bill that decriminalizes domestic violence. Every year we have fewer laws protecting women. But women cannot find support not only from the government but also from society, friends, and relatives. Beliefs that “If he beats you, he loves you” and “That’s your own fault” are common in society. It leads to the stigmatization of women who are violence survivors. As a result, the majority of women have to conceal this traumatizing experience. 

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