China, UN work to fight family violence

Updated: 2014-11-27 17:04

(China Daily)

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Domestic violence continues to be a global pandemic, with up to 70 percent of women experiencing spouse and intimate partner violence in their lifetime.

As the world marks the annual International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls on Nov 25, the Family Violence Law, which has been drafted and awaiting passage through the National People’s Congress, is expected to provide comprehensive national laws against such violence.

Currently, 125 countries have laws concerning various forms of family violence.

The International Day to Eliminate Violence against Women and Girls, first adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1999, is a day for everyone to work together in a concerted manner to raise awareness, challenge cultural norms that harm women and children, provide support for violence survivors, and advocate the adoption and implementation of laws to protect them.

In China, the UN Inter-Agency Task Force, which was set up in May 2012, has been working with the Chinese government on drafting of the legislation that intends to provide protection against all forms of family violence, including physical, mental, sexual abuses or neglect of people within a family.

Technical assistance from UN and global experts has focused on how to include protection and assistance to 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 in national court proceedings, and following up on rehabilitation and integration programs.

To commemorate the day this year, the All China Women’s Federation, in partnership with the UN Inter-Agency Task Force against Family Violence, will host a special media event with experts that will seek to highlight the situation in China, and build the momentum to prevent it.

"Violence within a family has terrible consequences, not just for those individuals, but also on the larger community and within society as a whole," said Abhimanyu Singh, chairman of the UN Theme Group on Gender.

He added that global evidence clearly demonstrates the impact domestic violence can have on communities.

"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," Singh said.