Complaint centers have become a new outlet for victims of family violence. Photo provided to China Daily
There have been renewed calls for an improvement in the law after a newly married wife was beaten to death by her husband.
The 26-year-old woman named Dong Shanshan married Wang Guangyu, a 27-year-old weighing 95 kilograms, in late 2008.
The domestic violence began as soon as they got married and lasted for more than four months. During those four months, Dong called the police eight times.
Wang was sentenced to prison in six and a half years in November.
Experts said that Dong's death shows the legal system needs to be improved to protect victims of domestic violence.
At the trial it was revealed that Dong first called the police in March 2009. According to her mother the police said they could not handle the matter because Dong and Wang were still a couple. Dong sued for divorce in April 2009.
In May, Dong's husband restricted her freedom. When Dong again called the police for help, the officers didn't believe the situation was serious because it was just a phone call.
Dong finally escaped from her husband on Aug 11 and went to the police station, but the police told Dong to go to hospital first. Dong died in October 2009, the cause of death was given as "secondary infection after beatings caused multiple organ failure".
Wang was finally arrested.
With International Anti-Domestic Violence Day on Thursday, experts said it was tragic Dong didn't get adequate protection from the police before her death.
Women in a similar situation may now get more help. In September 2009, the Municipal Public Security Bureau vowed more active involvement in domestic violence incidents. When victims call 110, the police guarantee they will always attend.
In 2008, the Supreme People's Court released a guide that said that courts can rule habeas corpus to protect victims and more than 100 habeas corpus rulings have been declared since 2008.
Chen Min, a researcher with the Supreme People's Court, said habeas corpus is only applied in divorce cases, which means that if victims want to get a habeas corpus, they need to sue for divorce.
(China Daily 11/24/2010)