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

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions 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.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid