China recently passed its first law against domestic violence.

Earlier this month, the Chinese government passed its first law against domestic violence. Prior to the new legislation, separate laws and regulations, like China’s Second Marriage Law, dictated how to deal legally with domestic violence. The Anti-Family Violence Law, which went into effect on March 1, defines “domestic violence as…when people within a family beat, tie up, abuse or limit personal freedoms, or regularly verbally abuse or terrorize, causing physical or mental harm.” Along with specifically defining what constitutes domestic violence, the new law makes it easier for abuse victims to obtain restraining orders.

Many in China commend the law, which also applies to cohabiting partners as well as children and the elderly. But certain women’s rights activists in China expressed concerns because the law does not clarify whether it protects same-sex partners. (Studies show that domestic violence among same-sex partners is as prevalent as among heterosexual couples, but it is not as openly discussed.) Others argue that the law will create problems because it will change certain traditions accepted in the country, like the corporal punishment of children.

Advertisement

The Anti-Family Violence Law, while still raising many concerns, is a great step forward for China. According to a survey conducted by the All-China Women’s Federation, one in four Chinese women suffers from domestic violence at some point in her life. This kind of legislation will make it easier for many Chinese women to leave abusive relationships and get the help and support they need.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

The latest from america

Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl, Washington's retired archbishop, apologized Jan. 15 for what he called a "lapse of memory," clarifying that he knew of at least one abuse allegation against former U.S. Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, but he had "forgotten" about it.
Pope Francis meets with the leadership of the Chilean bishops' conference at the Vatican on Jan. 14 to talk about the sex abuse crisis affecting the church in Chile. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)
The pope wants the February summit “to be an assembly of pastors, not an academic conference—a meeting characterized by prayer and discernment, a catechetical and working gathering.”
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 16, 2019
This week on “Inside the Vatican,” we explore the topic of women deacons.
Colleen DulleJanuary 16, 2019
Women served as deacons in Europe for about a millennium in a variety of ministerial and sacramental roles.
Brandon SanchezJanuary 15, 2019