'China mulls legislation on domestic violence'

10:33, April 15, 2011      

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Drafting China's first independent law on domestic violence has already been put on the country's top legislature's agenda, an official with the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF) said.

This would be the country's first independent and comprehensive law on domestic violence, as currently only a few clauses in several other laws, such as the Marriage Law, have addressed some aspects of the offence.

"ACWF has stepped up efforts to help with some research related to the law's drafting, hoping to speed up the legislative process," said Jiang Yue'e, head of the ACWF's rights and interests department, at an ongoing workshop on domestic violence in Changchun, the capital of northeast China's Jilin Province.

The ACWF has been proposing the legislation to the National People's Congress, the top legislature, since 2008, but efforts had failed until this year.

The federation has drafted a proposed version of the law that it hopes would provide reference to legislators, she said.

However, there is no timetable available for the new law.

According to a 2007 ACWF survey, domestic violence existed in 30 percent of the 270 million Chinese families, with over 85 percent of the sufferers being women.

About 100,000 Chinese families break up each year as a result of domestic violence, the ACWF reports.

Domestic violence was allowed to spread, not only because of a lack of laws against it, but also the fact that many Chinese people believe that domestic violence is a private affair and police should stay out of it.

Efforts have been made to tackle domestic violence. About 27 provinces and regions have regulations or policies covering domestic violence, the federation noted.

According to a UN database, more than 80 countries currently have independent laws on domestic violence.

Source: Xinhua
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