More than 125,000 Chinese netizens have submitted their signatures to an on-line campaign against domestic violence, a conference was told in Beijing Thursday.
Their signatures were organized by lady.163.com, a website run by NetEase, and the Anti-Domestic Violence Network of the China Law Society as part of a global effort of the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) to protect women from physical and mental abuse.
Say No to Violence against Women Campaign is the official name of the UNIFEM drive.
The government is committed to protecting women from physical and mental abuse, UNIFEM national coordinator Guo Ruixiang said, and efforts are on to increase the number of signatories to 200,000.
The UN organization will donate one dollar for every one of the first 100,000 signatures to the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women.
Most of the signatories agree that victims of domestic violence lack legislative support and are afraid and/or ashamed to speak about it.
A UN press release issued yesterday quotes UNIFEM's Regional Programme Director for East and Southeast Asia Jean D'Cunha as having said: "Saying no to violence against women is everybody's business. The tripartite partnership of civil society in China, NetEase, and UNIFEM and the rest of the UN family is a shining example of multi-sector collaboration to end violence against women."
More than 20 of China's provinces have passed some regulations to protect women, Guo said, though they are too obscure to be implemented.
"In fact, China has fallen behind in the campaign against domestic violence these years because women are ashamed to speak out, and many of them are victims of the century-old man-superior system," Guo said.
Anti-Domestic Violence Network representative Lu Pin suggested that a special law be passed to combat domestic violence and strengthen the statistical and monitoring systems.
The campaign will continue across the world till Nov 25, and data from China will be handed over to UNIFEM's headquarters in New York once a week.