On the 15th edition of the international day for the elimination of violence against women, the State Council issued the “People’s Republic of China anti-domestic violence Law (draft)”.
This marks an important step in the fight against domestic violence. However, since this is the first draft of the law, it is still quite conservative. For example, the law defines domestic violence as “physical, psychological or other forms of violence” occurring between family members. This definition is far from international standards which also include sexual violence, financial control as well as any action that could injure or make a person suffer be it physically, mentally or sexually. The draft’s definition is unclear and implies that the victim has the burden of proof.
Moreover, the law defines the “couple” as a married couple, therefore excluding cases of domestic violence occurring between unmarried persons. The author stresses that this conservative approach goes against the UN framework on anti-domestic violence legislation defined in 1996 as well as domestic violence laws in developed countries.