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Early interventions to curb domestic violence

By Zhang Zhouxiang | China Daily | Updated: 2019-05-24 07:36

A VIDEO SHOWING a woman with a baby beside her being beaten by a man for 40 seconds has been widely spread online. According to the local police in Heshan, Guangdong province, the man and woman are a couple, and the woman installed a hidden camera to collect evidence of the man's abuse. China Daily writer Zhang Zhouxiang comments:

According to the All-China Women's Federation, 30 percent of married women in China suffer from domestic violence, and they won't call the police until they have suffered serious physical abuse 35 times on average. Most of the victims do not seek help from the police until three years after they have suffered their first beating.

Worse, domestic violence accounts for 40 percent of all cases in which a woman is killed.

The whole of society has a responsibility to curb domestic violence.

The help that the society can provide ranges from reporting domestic violence cases to the police to giving moral and legal support to the victims.

However, in judicial practice, law enforcers often fail to do enough. Just like Ouyang Yanwen, a policewoman specializing in domestic violence cases, said, there are great difficulties for the victims of domestic violence to collect evidence, because the violence happens mostly inside their own homes, without any witness. Had the woman in the Guangdong case not installed the camera in advance, she would not have got the evidence she needed.

Law enforcers need to do their jobs by helping the victims collect evidence, but many of them lack necessary training. Without ample evidence, the police cannot act, which in turn emboldens the perpetrators as they feel they can escape punishment.

That can be changed by strengthening the training of the police so that they know how to deal with domestic violence cases better. Besides, social organizations such as women's federations have a bigger role to play, by helping the victims hire lawyers or training them to better collect evidence. Only with such actions can domestic violence be curbed.

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