China’s parliament has passed the country’s first law against domestic violence, tackling an issue often ignored to avoid bringing shame upon the family in traditional Chinese culture.
The law prohibits any form of domestic violence, including psychological abuse, and helps streamline the process for obtaining restraining orders.
According to the Communist party-run All-China Women’s Federation, about a quarter of all women have suffered violence in their marriage, though only 40,000 to 50,000 complaints are registered each year. Of the cases reported last year, almost 90% involved abuse of wives by their husbands.
The law also covers unmarried people who cohabit. Asked at a news conference whether this included gay couples, Guo Linmao, a member of the legislative affairs commission of parliament’s standing committee, said the law was a response to specific problems discovered.