China works towards providing legal help to battered women


20 years after the Beijing Conference, we have made some progress in many fields, which include maternal mortality rate and primary education for women. Sadly, when it comes to curbing violence against women, we are far away from the finishing line. Efforts have been taken by countries in the past but they unfortunately have had a small impact. China however, is on its way to pass a landmark law for the victims of domestic violence in the country.


According to a report by the Washington Post, surveys reveal that between 25 and 40 percent of women in China, suffer domestic violence, and the percentage may be higher in rural areas. What instigated the passing of this law; however, were two women who were turned away by the police when they tried to press charges. One of them was an American woman, Kim Lee, who married a Chinese celebrity and the other one was an ordinary woman, Li Yan, who was battered by her husband.


While the American woman successfully won her divorce after a highly publicized trial; the Chinese woman ended up killing her husband and was sentenced to death by the court. Both these cases garnered massive public support and called for major changes in the legal system in helping women like Kim Lee and Li Yan.


Kim Lee  Picture By: Daily Mail

Kim Lee
Picture By: Daily Mail

The National People’s Congress spokesperson told the Washington Post : “Domestic violence is society’s secret anguish and something all modern governments should face… Even the process of discussing the law is spreading positive energy and knowledge.” The NPC Standing committee will see its first reading of the legislation in August this year.


According to the report, domestic violence was first outlawed in the marriage act of 2001, but it has not been regularly enforced. Currently China has no specific shelters for battered women, those victims of violence usually turn to the homeless shelters where they often feel unsafe.


ORIGINAL SOURCE: Washington Post


[Featured Picture Courtesy: CNN]