Opinion / Opinion Line

Domestic violence goes beyond family as a legal and social issue

(China Daily) Updated: 2016-05-20 07:17

Domestic violence goes beyond family as a legal and social issue

Domestic violence: Courts would be required to hear requests for protection by victims of domestic violence and to make a determination within 48 hours, under China's first draft law covering domestic violence. [Photo/China Daily]

A man was seen continuously beating a 10-year-old boy in a street in Jiulongpo district, Chongqing, in southwestern China. When police officers arrived, they found the man was the boy's father who was angry because his son was slow in finishing his homework. The father promised he wouldn't discipline his son through such crude means in the future. Beijing Youth Daily commented on Thursday:

Before they knew the boy was the man's son, some bystanders tried to stop the man hitting the boy. Even when it is a parent and child such intervention is to be encouraged.

Domestic violence harms minors physically and mentally and damages the dignity of a family, especially as it is women and children who are the victims. Violence within a family can easily lead to its break-up.

The reasons for domestic violence vary. Two factors, however, are evident in almost every case of domestic violence. First, the families tend to keep it within the family. Second, the authorities rarely called on to intervene because it is believed they are not capable enough to deal with domestic issues. Both of these result in the perpetrators being able to persist with their abuse.

On March 1, the Law on Domestic Violence came into effect, it not only gives government agencies above the county level the right to intervene to protect women and children; it also extends special protection to the victims.

The law is designed to protect the rights of women and children within the family, and to prevent domestic violence from being tacitly condoned by being considered an internal family problem rather than a social issue.

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