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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More