China passes its first domestic violence law

Portraits of Chinese female activists known as "the feminist five," who were arrested and investigated by police in April for their campaigns against domestic violence and for more public toilets for women, are shown during a protest for their release. (REUTERS/Tyrone Siu)

China passed its first domestic violence law this weekend protecting both married and unmarried couples that cohabitate — the first such law targeting violence in the family, according to Reuters. The new law covers physical and psychological abuse, including verbal threats, and makes it easier for alleged victims to obtain restraining orders. The passage of the law marks a change for Chinese society, where about a quarter of women have suffered violence but few report it to police, according to the report. Only 40,000 to 50,000 domestic violence complaints are registered each year. According to the Associated Press, women’s advocates have been pushing for a domestic violence laws for 10 years but faced resistance from traditionalists who felt that family conflicts were private. “Relations between family members are complex, it is this complexity that has caused us much delay in promulgating this law,” said Guo Linmao, a member of the legislative affairs commission of the legislature.

Read the full story at The Global Post and ABC News.

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