On March 7th, a news conference on Women’s Rights Protection was held in the People’s Court of Huairou (a rural district of Beijing), revealing that domestic violence frequently occurs in rural areas. Figures show that over 80% of women in these areas who apply for a divorce state that they have been victims of domestic violence.
According to the analysis of all such cases dealt with by the Huairou People’s Court, the frequent domestic violence in rural areas includes verbal abuse, threats, physical violence in various degrees, and even the control of women’s daily behavior and violence towards their relatives. Despite this, the court often encounters difficulties in finding valid evidence, defining domestic violence and determining the compensations. Rural women, most of the time, provide their own statements as the sole evidence. Requests for compensation from their current husbands are usually not supported by the courts, since according to Chinese law couples own all of their property together and not individually. One of the judges said that women, compared to men, are more likely to request a divorce in recent years. However, since they are mostly unable to provide solid evidence for domestic violence or be independent financially, and don’t want to abandon their children, in the end they tend to continue their marriages. Apart from this, both parties’ parents play a key role in divorces. If the parents cannot tolerate their children’s suffering in a marriage or the couple’s financial disputes, the marriage is more likely to end. About 30% of divorces are due to the influence of the couple’s parents.