Domestic Abuse Pervasive in China

The recent accusations by the wife of celebrity English teacher Li Yang that he brutally assaulted her have brought the issue of domestic violence in China into the spotlight. The Toronto Star reports:

A report from the All China Women’s Federation released last year found that 64 percent of Chinese adults have experienced violence at home at some point. Another study from from the China Law Institute estimates that more than one-third of Chinese families have experienced domestic abuse and the vast majority of victims are women.

Yet this is also a society where few people are willing to talk openly about domestic abuse. It’s unusual to discuss one’s private problems outside the home, and is still largely considered a family affair.

Advocates hope the pending passage of the country’s first domestic-abuse law could change that, and make families more aware of the problem.

China Daily has more on the law
, which has been in the works for years, but may finally be passed:

Many countries have set up laws to prevent all forms of violence against women, including domestic abuse. In China, many regulations have been issued to punish perpetrators, but they are scattered through different laws, said Liu at the Women’s Studies Institute.

“To better protect women’s rights, we need a dedicated law,” she added.

Chen Wei, a Beijing-based attorney specializing in marriage cases, said the most difficult thing for victims is proving their physical and mental injuries.

Even if violent partners are punished, they are often only given short-term detention or ordered to pay compensation, which does little to solve the problem, she said.

Liu agreed and urged legislators to include heavier punishments in the new law. It should also clarify the responsibilities for all relevant departments, she added, such as what police stations and courts should do to bring an end to violence in the home.

September 13, 2011 10:39 PM
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Categories: Law, Society