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25 percent of Chinese women suffer domestic abuse: government survey

(Xinhua)

15:24, October 21, 2011

BEIJING, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- About 24.7 percent of women have experienced domestic abuse, according to the results of a government survey on the social status of women in China that were released Friday.

The survey classifies domestic abuse as verbal humiliation, physical assault, deprivation of personal freedom, illegal control of income and rape. The survey was based on the responses of 105,573 women aged 18 and above throughout the country.

Reports of physical assault stood at 5.5 percent, with a rate of 7.9 percent among rural women and 3.1 percent among their urban counterparts, the survey indicated.

The All-China Women's Federation (ACWF) and National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) conducted the survey last December, the third national survey on social status of Chinese women following ones in 1990 and 2000.

Zhen Yan, ACWF vice chairwoman, said at a press conference Friday that compared to a decade ago, women have showed more awareness of domestic abuse.

"Traditionally domestic abuse was considered a family affair, and most victims go to the police or women's associations," she said.

That's why the problem did not stand out in the research years ago, she said.

Today, as items related to domestic abuse have been written into several laws, and efforts have been made to increase awareness, more victims turn to the police, non-governmental groups and the media for help, she said.

The ACWF is assertively lobbying lawmakers to adopt a special law on domestic abuse, she added.

China has yet to draft an independent law on domestic abuse. Only a few of the country's laws, such as the marriage law, have addressed the crime.

Previous media reports said the Standing Committee of National People's Congress, China's top legislature, have been discussing the issue and the result might come out by December.

Domestic abuse became a big story last month after a scandal in which a Chinese celebrity was caught beating his American wife.

Li Yang, a Chinese English teacher whose "Crazy English" teaching method made him popular in the mid-1990s, was strongly condemned by society after his wife posted pictures online depicting injuries he inflicted upon her.

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