domestic abuse china

Social Change Sees More Wives Physically Abusing Their Husbands

New domestic violence law covers men and women abusers

According to a national survey conducted by Chinese child care portal, nearly 70 percent of female respondents from the Province of Guizhou admitted to verbally or physically abusing their partner. Some also admitted to giving their partners the silent treatment. By comparison, 52 percent of male respondents admitted to similar behavior, which also included scolding, humiliation, and marital rape.

The survey consisted of 2,500 married men and women, half of which were between 25 and 30, and nearly 60 percent of which have a college education or higher.

The China Marriage and Family Affairs Consulting and Research Center released a similar report which showed that, since 2012, it has seen a strong increase in “husband-battering”.

According to Shu Xin, Director of the China Marriage and Family Affairs Consulting and Research Center, “… women are becoming more independent and have a higher family status in many families, especially those in big cities, which is very different from the traditional culture in China.”

China’s first anti-domestic violence law recently took effect, and a husband-battering case has already gone to trial. A Shanghai court heard the case involving a 48-year-old man suing his wife for divorce, and custody of their child, for violent and repeated abuse. The man allegedly suffered dislocated joints and bruises to his elbows after being repeatedly abused by his wife.  According to Wang Zhiguo, a publicity officer at the Shanghai Pudong New District People’s Court, the man said his wife humiliated him with “degrading words”.

Not all of the behaviours admitted by the women in the survey were legally abusive: “… some of the behaviors, such as (giving the silent treatment), were not included as behaviors of domestic violence in the law, they cause mental suffering in the long run, and the marriage falls apart in some cases,” said Zhu Meihua, a sociology professor in the department of social work at East China University of Science and Technology.

Charles Liu

The Nanfang's Senior Editor