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Legislators Question Anti-family-violence Items in Marriage Law; Amendment Draft

Xinhua, 26 April 2001

BEIJING, April 26 (Xinhua) -- China's top legislators urged the amendment draft of China's Marriage Law, now reviewed by the country's top legislature, to include more precise items against family violence.

Clear regulations are expected to add in the amendment draft on whether community organizations and police get involved in family violence cases when the victims do not ask for help, said Shu Huaide, member of the Standing Committee of the Ninth National People's Congress (NPC), China's top lawmaking body.

According to the amendment draft, community organizations and police bear the responsibility to stop family violence and maltreatment of family members if victims ask them to do so. This was a great improvement in the fight against family violence, said Nie Li, another NPC Standing Committee member.

The original Marriage Law offered victims of family violence and maltreatment the right to turn to community organizations and police but did not demand that those organizations and police must offer the help.

However, it is possible that the victims are not able to ask for help because of threats and surveillance by the family member who is violent or the victim is unable to ask for help because they are too young or too old, said Shu.

Family violence happens in 30 percent of Chinese families, according to surveys conducted by the All-China Women's Federation.

Out of 270 million families in China, more than 100,000 break down every year because of family violence.