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China Making Key Strides in Fight Against Family Violence
Source:Chinese Women's Research Network | Release Date:2014-11-25-
Title: China Making Key Strides in Fight Against Family Violence
Release Date: November 25, 2014
Keyword: China ,Making Key Strides, Fight Against, Family Violence, legislation

The Family Violence Law, which would provide comprehensive national legislation on family violence, has been drafted and is awaiting final assent from the National People's Congress.

This was announced by Tan Lin, member of Secretariat of the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF), and by a women's studies field expert, at a Beijing news event held on November 24 in commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women which falls on November 25 annually.

The event was held by the ACWF, in partnership with the UN Inter-agency Task Force on Violence Against Women.

The event also aimed to bring to light the state of domestic violence in China, build momentum toward its prevention, and call for everyone to work together to address the scourge of domestic violence among Chinese households.

At the event, Tan noted that the Fourth Plenary Session of the 18th Central committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), held in Beijing in late October of this year, made the principle of "socialist rule of law" a national strategy, which sets an important tone and paves a good foundation for anti–domestic violence legislation in China.

According to Tan, domestic violence continues to be a global pandemic, with up to 70 percent of women experiencing violence in their lifetime. This year, the focus will also be on the impact of violence within the household, especially on children, who often end up bearing the brunt of family violence — both when acting as the witness and especially when made the victim.

In China, once considered but a "family matter," the issue of domestic violence has received growing attention, especially given the increase in media reporting on individual cases. Evidence clearly demonstrates that domestic violence can have a devastating impact on a family: Violence against women and girls is rooted in and reproduces power imbalances between women and men — both at home and in the community, in society as a whole.

Anyone may be the victim of domestic violence, but some groups are more susceptible than others; these groups include women, children, persons with disabilities and the elderly. Collectively, domestic violence and the abuse of women, children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities committed at home by intimate partners and/or caregivers make up the definition of family violence. Children who grow up witnessing and experiencing family violence are more prone to perpetuating this behavior when they become adults themselves.

"Violence within a family has terrible consequences not just for those individuals, but also on the larger community and within society as a whole. Global evidence clearly demonstrates the impact of domestic violence can have major financial, social and emotional costs that can lead to long term damage," said Alain Noudehou, the UN Resident Coordinator in China, who also attended the news event.

Noudehou added, "Yet we know that violence within a family can be prevented. By changing social norms and ending gender discrimination, to empowering families with better coping strategies to manage daily pressures, to making sure we have strong laws and protection mechanisms, we can address it, if all stakeholders are engaged."

Currently, 125 countries around the world have laws that criminalize various forms of family violence. The UN Inter-Agency Task Force, which was formed in May 2012, has been working with the Government of China on the drafting of legislation that intends to provide comprehensive protection against all forms of family violence, including all forms of physical, mental, and sexual abuse or neglect within a family.

Technical assistance from within the UN and from global experts has focused on how to include assistance and protection for survivors, to punish and rehabilitate perpetrators, as well as highlight the different practices countries have adopted to ensure the respect, protection and fulfillment of the rights of survivors of family violence in national court proceedings and the ensuing rehabilitation and integration services.
The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, first adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1999, is a day for everyone to work together in a concerted effort to raise awareness for the issue, challenge cultural norms that harm women and children, provide support for victims of family violence, and advocate for the adoption and implementation of comprehensive laws to protect them.

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