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Amendments Toughen Domestic Violence Sentences

The Parliament today approved amendments to the Penal Code, introducing the notion of domestic violence and toughening sentences for the offense.

The draft amendments aim to tackle the over-criminalization in the Penal Code, turning several minor offenses into misdemeanors and specifying the descriptions of offenses, enabling the police and prosecutors to focus on more serious offenses, Maria-Elisa Tuulik, spokesperson of the Ministry of Justice, told

Domestic violence is introduced as a separate concept and sentences become harsher. Also, the presence of a child when violence is committed is now listed as aggravating circumstances.

According to a recent study, a third of Estonian women have suffered from domestic violence. The number has increased from a quarter in the course of the last decade.

The amendments will enter into force on January 1 next year.

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