Opinion / Xin Zhiming

Law could reduce domestic violence

By Xin Zhiming (China Daily) Updated: 2015-12-31 08:03

But hopefully, the clause on personal protection order will now provide a feasible way out for the victims and improve the situation.

Moreover, the law also says State employees responsible for stopping domestic violence will be punished if they fail to fulfill their duties. The law will ensure stricter enforcement because police officers will now be authorized to intervene to protect domestic violence victims, unlike in the past when they were reluctant to do so for they believed that domestic violence was a private affair of a family.

But despite its many constructive stipulations, it is too early to say that the law will help reduce domestic violence cases immediately, because domestic violence is not only a legal issue but also involves complicated social and cultural factors. For some people, including women victims, it remains a private matter. And absurd as it may sound, some people, women included, still tend to believe a woman must have done something wrong to invite the verbal or physical assault of her husband.

The absurdity should prompt the authorities to give the poor and vulnerable people easier access to education and, more importantly, reform the school curriculum to highlight the importance of respecting women, children and the elderly so that our children, when they grow up, will develop a proper sense of right and wrong and consciously desist from attacking family members.

Developed countries' experience shows that social organizations, especially non-governmental organizations, should be encouraged to play a bigger role in improving public consciousness against social ills like domestic violence and helping the victims get justice. Social organizations can effectively offset the inadequacy of the government's anti-domestic violence agencies, which are often short of hands and funds.

In other words, although the law is crucial, it will not reduce the number of domestic violence cases remarkably unless every member of society understands that unleashing violence on family members is a breach of law and feels ashamed for committing domestic violence.

The author is a senior writer with China Daily.

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