文字实录 · Transcript
Lawmakers are entering their last stage of assessing China's need for a law against domestic violence and if the country's social and legal environments are ready for one.
In our last episode of Digest China, our guests mentioned several issues Chinese lawmakers and citizens have to think about when legislating domestic violence, for example, the concept of domestic violence itself and the difficulty in proving it.
What really counts as domestic violence? Beating? Yes. But what about fights and arguments between couples? These things happen in most households. Well, we found an interesting checklist from a website called helpguide.org. It provides a list of signs of domestic abuse, which the website says often escalate to violence.
First category, about your inner thoughts and feelings. Do you feel afraid of your partner? Do you avoid certain topics? Do you feel you can't do anything right?
Then, there are questions about your partner's behaviors. Does your partner belittle you, criticize you or treat you so badly that you are embarrassed for your friends or family to see? Does your partner threaten to take your child away or harm him or her? Or does your partner act excessively controlling over you like limit your access to money or check up on you constantly?
Well, legislatively, can the "yeses" to these questions count as domestic violence? And if so, how can they be proven?
Feng Xin: Very often we face the question, what can be counted as domestic violence?
林建军：所谓家庭暴力，这个主体一定是家庭成员。暴力行为方式可以包括身体暴力，然后还应该涵盖性暴力，精神暴力以及经济控制。结果实际上都是一样的, 就是会造成施暴人对受害人的控制、占有、支配。经济控制是什么意思呢？比如夫妻双方, 一方对另外一方财务上的支出严格地控制。实际上，它的后果一样是损害了另外一方的自尊和身心。理论上应当把它视为是一种暴力的形式，但是和刚才的精神暴力是一样的，我个人认为这个操作起来也是难度非常大的，主要是取证很难，现在不宜去规制它。如果我们现在去规制它，可能会出现什么呢？写进了法律, 但是兑现性极差, 兑现率极低, 等于法律的权威性大打折扣，但是不代表我理论上不认同它是一种暴力形式。
Lin Jianjun: In terms of domestic violence, the subjects must be family members. Violence can include physical violence, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and economic deprivation. The nature (of these behaviors) is the same, which is the perpetrator controls, possesses and manipulates the victim. What does economic deprivation mean? Take couples as an example; one person strictly controls the other on financial expenses. The result is that it hurts the other's self-esteem and mental health. Theoretically, it should be considered as a form of violence. However, similar to emotional abuse, I personally think there are a lot of operational difficulties, mainly because they are hard to prove. I think currently we should not regulate it. If we do it now, what might happen? We write it into the law，but are unable to exercise it or hardly carry it out. We will significantly undermine the authority of the law. But this doesn't mean I do not recognize them as forms of violence.
Feng Xin: There is another question about the definition: its coverage. Is domestic violence between couples, parents and children, cohabitating couples, dating couples or divorced couples? Also, is violence between same-sex couples domestic violence? What is your opinion? Will and should the law cover all these relationships?
林建军：严格地从法律意义上说，同居、离婚以后的, 还有其他的伙伴，包括恋爱等等的关系不属于家庭成员。但是，就其性质来说，与家庭暴力是一样的，因为都有亲情联系, 而且都有感情纠葛，发生问题之后也很难像一般的陌生人之间的暴力通过不接触就避免这种暴力的发生。所以从国际上来看, 目前对家庭暴力的保护通常也涵盖到刚才说到的同居伙伴, 还有离异以后的前配偶这类的群体。那么具体到我们的立法，即使是叫“家庭”暴力, 也可以通过立法技术来解决这个问题。同居的，我们在立法技术上, 用“准用本法”就可以了。
Lin Jianjun: Strictly, from a legal perspective, cohabitating and divorced couples, as well as other partner relationships like dating and other types of partnerships, are not family members. But their nature is the same as domestic violence, because they all involve love connections and affection. It is different from violence between strangers, which you can avoid by not having contacts with each other. Internationally, domestic violence usually covers cohabitating couples as well as divorcees. When it comes to legislation, even if we (don't) call those situations "domestic" violence, we can extend the law to include them. We can use the phrase "law shall apply" when talking about cohabitating couples.
Feng Xin: What about getting evidence? Is it difficult?
Lin Jianjun: It's not too difficult for police. I don't think that's the main difficulty. Many women hardly seek divorce just because they were beaten once. They don't have that intention. When violence happens, it's very difficult to pay attention to keeping evidence in any form. It is quite hard.
Feng Xin: When courts deal with cases of domestic violence, what problems or issues will they often encounter?
林建军：法院主要问题是当事人说（有）家庭暴力, 常常有的是举不出来太多的证据证明家庭暴力。那法院是不是采信, 这个同样也是有难度的。
Lin Jianjun: The main problem for courts is that often when plaintiffs say there is domestic violence they can't prove it. Whether or not to believe it is a problem for courts.
冯欣：很多人说家庭暴力，顾名思义, 那是发生在家庭里面的事情。很多人担忧我们出台这样一部法律, 会不会使公权力过多地介入到私人生活中。这个您怎么看？
Feng Xin: Many people say domestic violence is obviously something that happens within the family. Many worry that once we pass such a law,it will enable too much state power to intrude on private lives. What do you think?
林建军：家庭暴力是已经发生一方对另一方施暴了，这已经不是说两口子吵吵架这样的行为了。只要是发生了暴力行为，实际上就是侵犯了对方的人权, 侵犯了对方的权利。所有侵犯公民权利的行为，当然应该由国家公权力出面去干预它, 不应（因为）它在婚内就使施暴人受到豁免。不可以。
Lin Jianjun: Domestic violence is already assault from one party to another. It is no longer simple altercations between couples. As long as it's violence, it's a violation of the other person's human rights. It’s a violation of the other person's human rights. In any violation of citizens' rights, state power should definitely intervene. The perpetrator shouldn't be exempt just because (the violence) happens within a marriage. Definitely not.
红枫妇女心理咨询服务中心是一个非政府组织。它于2012年4月做了一个网络调查, 发现在1800多位受访者中，有55%的人曾经遭受过某种形式的家庭暴力: 从轻微的身体伤害如扇耳光，到精神虐待，比如对方经常性的忽视和责骂。尽管调查问卷的问题可以具体到像我们为您列举的那样, 法律能否具有同样的操作性呢？它能否达到立法者倡导的如教育和预防的目标, 而不是仅仅成为一个指导手册呢？我们带着这些问题采访了王行娟, 她于1988年创建了红枫妇女心理咨询服务中心。
Maple Women's Psychological Counseling Center, a non-governmental organization, did an Internet survey in April 2012. It found nearly 55 percent of some 1,800 respondents have suffered various forms of domestic violence ranging from minor physical assaults, like face slapping, to mental abuse, like constant ignoring and blaming. Although survey questions can be as specific as the ones we showed you in our program, But can the law be just as operational? Can it achieve lawmakers' goals such as education and prevention rather than becoming a mere guidebook? We directed these questions to Wang Xingjuan，who founded the Maple Women's Psychological Counseling Center in 1988.
王行娟: 如果你是轻微伤害，你要到法院去告都不受理的，就到了这种程度。所以我就觉得一定要增加对轻微伤害, 可以轻罪，也要入罪。要进行判决。第二点意见，预防和制止家庭暴力需要有社会的整个支持系统。从头到最后, 到最后挨打以后怎样来进行保护，这个支持系统很重要。那么支持系统为什么建立不起来？那主要还是没有经费，所以一定要有专项经费。这个法律当初要提出来要设立反家庭暴力专项经费，有这个钱，它才能够（防止家暴）。第三个意见就是说要设立专门的机构, 就是说救助系统怎么样完善。这也是国家的责任, 一定要很具体。否则法律即使出台了, 它还是保证不了妇女的合法权益。
Wang Xingjuan: If you have minor injuries, courts won't hear your case even if you file suit. It's like that. So I think (the law) must specify cases of minor injuries. They can be misdemeanors, but they are crimes. The court must bring it to trial. Secondly, to stop and prevent domestic violence, we need a whole social support system from head to toe –for example, how a victim can be protected after she was beaten. This support system is very important. But why can't we establish such a system? Money is the main reason. Therefore, we must have special funding. When the law proposal was first brought out, it specified we needed to establish such special funding. Only when we have the money can we (do the job). Thirdly, we need to establish special institutions. It is the government's responsibility to improve the rescue system. The law has to be very specific. Otherwise, even if it's passed， it still can't protect women's rights.
Lawmakers are entering their last stage of assessing China’s need for a specialized law on domestic violence. What really counts as domestic violence? Beating? Yes. But what about arguments and fights between couples? Legislatively, do they count as domestic violence? If so, how can they be proven?