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Beijing's first govt shelter for abuse (3)

By Yin Yeping (Global Times)

08:23, October 18, 2012

"In Shenzhen for instance, the local government has worked on aid projects for five years, while Beijing has not yet put it on the agenda," she said.

The rate of domestic abuse in Beijing is higher in rural districts among lower income families, said Wu, although she did not give figures.

But in particular, Wu does not understand why the name and location of a shelter for victims of domestic abuse has been publicized.

"Many abusers are ruffians who would naturally put the victims' lives in danger if they know where they are in hiding," she said.

Chen said that the center has security guards, and said they would call police if there were any trouble.

In a Global Times' report concerning family violence in May, 2012, a domestic violence shelter in Xisanqi, Haidian district, set up by the local community, was reported as being used as an indoor recreation spot for the community's families as well as a storage room, because no victims came for assistance.

There are over 400 domestic shelters in the Chinese mainland now but most are similarly abandoned, according to the report; however a shelter in Hong Kong, established in 1995, had helped 90,000 women and children up to 2011, and has an occupancy rate of 95 percent.

Despite the empty and underused shelters, the All-China Women's Federation and National Bureau of Statistics estimate that 25 percent of married Chinese women suffer from domestic violence, which includes rape, beatings and verbal abuse.

"Although there is a social stigma for women to go to these shelters, the main reason why no one comes for help is because they have no in-house experts to offer legal and psychological counseling," said Wu.

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