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March 8, 2014

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Demand for comprehensive law to fight domestic abuse

LOCAL experts are calling for a detailed judicial interpretation against domestic violence following a recent case in which a wife was brutally beaten to death by her husband.

The restraining order for family disputes does not deter abusers as it does not include any punishment, experts said. Many cases go unreported as most women, brought up in age-old traditions, refuse to air their domestic complaints in public, experts pointed out.

In December last year, a woman was beaten to death by her drunken husband who suspected his wife was having an extramarital affair.

The man’s brother told the court she was often a victim of physical abuse. The couple had a 6-year-old daughter, who witnessed the incident.

In another case, a local woman filed for divorce after several years of domestic abuse. Her husband refused to divorce her despite being summoned by the court. He kept threatening his wife with short message and phone calls, which affected her psychologically.

The man said he wasn’t worried about the restraining order because the court could not arrest or punish him even if he defied the court order, Youth Daily reported.

There is no detailed regulation about legal liability if one defies the restraining order. It must be clearly stipulated to make it work, said Fang Jie, a lawyer with law firm Watson & Band.

Liao Peijuan, an associate law professor of Fudan University, said oral intimidation is the source of domestic violence, but the current law only states that intimidation is just a motive. It also makes it difficult for judges to deliver rulings.


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