An alleged case of domestic violence, considered one of the darkest aspects of society anywhere, has recently become the center of attention on Chinese social media. While many details remain to be confirmed, one thing should be crystal clear: domestic violence against women has no place in China.
Over the weekend, a first-person account of years-long domestic violence by a former female journalist has gone viral, prompting huge attention and outcry. In addition to Chinese netizens, social media accounts of the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the women’s federation of Qinghai Province, where the alleged domestic violence took place, have promptly sent a clear message: domestic violence is not a family matter, but shall be condemned unequivocally and subject to legal consequences where appropriate.
The personal account has been put under the microscope, and exact details and circumstances are now heatedly discussed online, some of which are being disputed. What’s not in dispute, however, is that domestic violence is strictly prohibited by law in China. In fact, the dedicated Law of the People’s Republic of China Against Domestic Violence has been in effect since March 2016. The law states that combating domestic violence is a joint responsibility of the state, society and every family, and the state prohibits any form of domestic violence.
Domestic violence is a common problem facing many countries. In China, its existence also spans places with different levels of economic development and various local customs. The level of economic development and the customs of specific localities, however, cannot and must not be cited as excuses for domestic violence. On the other hand, it should also be abundantly clear that it’s domestic violence that should be denounced, rather than specific regions, customs, or ethnicities.
Sometimes, victims have been hesitant to speak up for various complex reasons. Blaming the victims does not help. What’s helpful is a holistic approach by society to prevent and stop domestic violence. All relevant organizations, including and particularly government authorities, must be on high alert against domestic violence and extend a helping hand to victims. That would send a life-changing — if not life-saving — signal to women at their darkest moments in life.
A popular Chinese saying goes that women are playing the important role of “supporting half of the sky.” Indeed, the official recognition of women’s social status in China has become significantly higher.
However, there is always an absolute need to eliminate prejudice, discrimination, and violence against women and make gender equality a social norm and moral imperative observed by all.
Protection of women’s rights and interests has become a commitment at the national level in China. Although there is still a long way to go and real hard work needs to be done, as the viral account and related discussions have proved, China is committed to making sure women are free from domestic violence as well as promoting a society of inclusive development.