A quarter of Chinese women suffer domestic abuse

By: Big Issue  11-11-2011

By Sabrina Mao and Michael Martina

A quarter of Chinese women have suffered domestic abuse, the government said in a survey issued last week, showing the ongoing struggle of women in a society in which Chairman Mao Zedong once famously said women hold up half the sky.

The definition of domestic abuse includes physical assault, deprivation of personal freedom, illegal control of income, rape and verbal humiliation, the official Xinhua news agency said of the survey, conducted by the All-China Women’s Federation (ACWF) and the National Bureau of Statistics.

Of more than 105 000 women surveyed last December, 5.5% said they had been physically assaulted. The rate was 7.9% in rural areas and 3.1% in urban areas.

The news agency did not say why it took so long to release the survey results but it noted that domestic abuse became widely discussed last month after a Chinese celebrity’s wife posted online photos depicting her alleged abuse.

China does not have an independent law on domestic abuse, Xinhua reported, and only a few laws, such as a marriage law, address the crime.

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