'Henpecked' city has domestic violence, too

By Zhang Kun (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-11-27 14:37

Shanghai: Nearly one out of 10 families has domestic violence problems in Shanghai, though Shanghai men have a reputation for being henpecked, a survey has found.

The survey, conducted by the website www.smmail.cn, showed that 7 per cent of the 4,500 interviewed said they were victims of domestic violence.

In addition, another 9 per cent said violence "seemed to" have happened, but they are not sure whether it was serious enough to be called "domestic violence."

Of those asked if they had experienced a "cold war," a term referring to a couple lacking communication and frequently criticizing each other's shortcomings or weaknesses, 9 per cent of interviewees said they had.

The results were reiterated by the fact that 560 calls were made to a hotline against domestic violence set up by the Shanghai Women's Federation earlier this year.

The survey, revealed during the International Day to Eradicate Violence against Women on Saturday, also said irreconcilable differences, extra-marital affairs and the attacker's psychological problems are the major causes of domestic violence.

The results were particularly potent in Shanghai, where men have a reputation for being sensitive and non-violent compared to men in other parts of China.

Forty-nine per cent of those surveyed hold the opinion that the attackers were mostly men, who are often serious male chauvinists, or have habits such as alcoholism or gambling.

Twenty-six per cent of domestic violence happened because of long-term sickness or health problems, which made a partner unable to satisfy the sexual needs of his/her spouse, according to the survey.

About 37 per cent of the violence occurred because some women, who were laid off from work or have health problems, are economically reliant on their husbands.

Forty-two per cent said abuse happens as a result of women over-indulging their husbands.

The majority of people in Shanghai said they would call the police if domestic violence occurred. Only 5 per cent considered it as "just a family issue."

More than half of those interviewed wanted to end domestic violence through working out solutions to conflicts, while 12 per cent chose to divorce.

Still, a small number of people chose to hide their head in the sand by ignoring the unhappy experience or simply bearing it "in silence."

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