On December 21， a second draft of the Domestic Violence Law was sent to the National People’s Congress (NPC), bringing the law one step closer to being passed. The first version was sent to the NPC in August this year, and was made available for public comments. In response to feedback from both experts and the public, the new draft features two significant improvements over its predecessor regarding the scope of the law’s coverage and its protection orders.
The definition of domestic violence in the new draft is extended to psychological harm between family members, while the previous draft only covered physical infractions. The new draft also includes violence between unmarried cohabiting couples, rather than merely family members. Meanwhile, according to the new draft, courts should make a ruling within 72 hours, or 24 hours in emergency cases, after the application for a protection order. The new draft makes violating this order a criminal offense, ensuring more effective enforcement of protection orders.