First Orders for Protection Issued in China
Monday, November 10, 2008 2:00 PM

A Chong'an district court in Wuxi city, Jiangsu Province, issued China’s first order for protection of personal safety in August. The order prohibited a husband from beating or intimidating his wife. A second, similar order was issued in September in the Yuelu district court in Changsha city, Hunan Province.

The two new orders resulted from the country’s Court Guidance on Cases Involving Domestic Violence in Marriage, which the Supreme People’s Court created in May. The Guidance includes a definition of domestic violence, personal safety measures, evidence, property, and child support. Many courts at various levels are using the Guidance and have even cited to it in rulings.

The 1981 Marriage Law was amended in 2001 to prohibit domestic violence. And the 1992 Law on the Protection of Rights and Interests of Women  prohibits domestic violence. Article 35 states that, “women's right of life and health shall be inviolable…. cruel treatment causing injury even death of women by… violence shall be prohibited.” Since September 2008, this law has been reinforced by a regulation requiring police to respond to domestic violence on the scene.

According to the People’s Daily, women’s rights have improved over the past five years. New domestic violence shelters were created, training centers for migrant women were built, and 25 provinces enacted domestic violence regulations.

Domestic violence occurs in 29.7 to 35.7 percent of Chinese families and more than 90 percent of victims are women.

Compiled from: Domestic Violence in China, All-China Women’s Federation (10 October 2008); China Publishes Gender Equality White Paper, (24 August 2005); Chinese women's advances over last five years, Xinhua (27 October 2008); Chinese police ordered to handle domestic violence complaints at scene, People’s Daily (24 September 2008).