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China's top court reiterates 'zero tolerance' of domestic violence

By Cao Yin | | Updated: 2023-11-25 11:39
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China's top court reiterated "zero tolerance" of domestic violence on Sunday, with a pledge to continue the intensified efforts to efficiently deal with relevant cases and prevent victims from being further harmed.

The Supreme People's Court made the reiteration, along with an issuance of four concluded lawsuits, at the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, which falls on Nov 25 every year.

While resolutely cracking down acts of physical harms, including beating, binding and restricting personal freedom, Chinese courts have also clarified that mental damage, such as intimidation and verbal abuse, should also be deemed as domestic violence, and solved multiple such cases in recent years.

In a case made public by the top court on Sunday, for example, a man surnamed Li often threatened his wife surnamed Wang of drinking pesticide and jumping from a building. Although Li's acts did not physically harm Wang, but left her in a state of constant fear, so judges supported Wang's application of personal safety protection order to keep away from the man.

Meanwhile, given that some victims complained that it was a challenge to obtain orders due to their inability to collect sufficient evidence, the top court said it has lowered the threshold of proof collection in a guideline last year, so that more victims could receive such orders to protect themselves in a timely manner.

Under the revised Law on the Protection of Women's Rights, if a woman is harassed or entangled during a relationship or after divorce or breaking up, she will also be allowed to apply to court for such an order, which is similar to restraining order issued in the West.

Data released in August showed that more than 1,500 personal safety protection orders against domestic violence have been issued by Chinese courts since 2016.

The number of such orders increased from 52 percent in 2016 to 77.6 percent in 2022, indicating that the orders are useful and have been more widely applied in the anti-domestic violence fight nationwide, according to the top court.

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