News / Asia

Abused Chinese Women Push for Domestic Violence Law

Kim Lee put a face on the otherwise anonymous stories of domestic violence in China, when she posted photos of her bruises online. (VOA video)
Kim Lee put a face on the otherwise anonymous stories of domestic violence in China, when she posted photos of her bruises online. (VOA video)
VOA News
Domestic violence is a long-standing problem in China, where an estimated one in four women are subject to physical abuse by their spouse. But without a national law addressing the problem, authorities often are ineffective in stopping the violence.
 
Kim Lee put a face on the otherwise anonymous stories of domestic violence in China, when she posted photos of her bruises online. They reveal what she said were chronic beatings by her then-husband, the celebrity English teacher Li Yang.
 

Abused Chinese Women Push for Domestic Violence Lawi
X
March 15, 2013 3:29 PM
Domestic violence is a long-standing problem in China, where an estimated one in four women are subject to physical abuse by their spouse. But without a national law addressing the problem, authorities often are ineffective in stopping the violence. VOA looks at the case of an American woman who spoke up, and the legal waves her case is making.

Her story went viral in a matter of hours.
 
“I had no idea that overnight it would be ten and twenty thousand people and I also had no idea that it was so endemic here, I thought it was really my personal problem and not something so widely spread,” she said.
 
China's official women protection agency estimates that one quarter of women are abused by their spouses, but the actual figure is likely to be higher. Many episodes likely go unreported because authorities seldom take action.
 
"The unifying theme that gave me strength to carry on this long journey was no one does anything, no one helps us, I've been to the police they don't care, I went to the women's federation they did not call back," Lee said. "I tried to talk to my mother and mum said what are you going to do, he owns the house he owns the car, just this sense of helplessness in the face of this problem.”
 
Lee won her divorce case on the grounds of domestic violence, a result that legal workers hailed as a landmark decision.
 
But, without a national law defining domestic violence, police, social workers and the courts are not equipped to handle such cases.
 
Liu Xiaoquan, a women's right lawyer in Beijing, said, "The police which is the first help victims get, they also have the misconception that domestic violence is a family issue, at times they would even fail to write a report, or they would just write ‘family quarrel, is fixed by itself.’”

Women rights' organizations had urged the government to pass a domestic violence law during this year’s annual National People's Congress. A draft was discussed during the meetings but was not passed. Activists expect such a law will be adopted - eventually - in the coming months or years.
 
Sexologist Fang Gang said the underlying culture also needs to change, and men need to be a part of the process.
 
“If we only condemn them and critique them, how can we help them change? I think that an important element in fighting domestic violence is that we have to educate, and not just punish them,” Fang added.
 
Fang said many abusive husbands want to change but need help. He started a hotline in 2010, where he and volunteers speak with men who confess to beating their partners.
 
By talking with them about what is behind the violence, Fang believes he has a chance of stopping it.

You May Like

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video Survivor Video Testimonies Recount Horrors of Guatemalan Genocide

During a conflict that spanned more than three decades, tens of thousands of indigenous Mayans were killed More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: joe from: ny
March 16, 2013 9:08 AM
it sounds good,

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs