Protection orders offer shield against domestic violence
March 01,2017   By:Xinhua
LANZHOU, March 1, 2017 -- Fu Lian's nightmare of constant beatings by his daughter-in-law has ended. She is facing criminal charges for violating a protection order granted by a local court.
Personal protection orders are a powerful legal weapon for victims of family violence and were a major feature of the country's law against domestic violence, which took effect on March 1, 2016.
The law challenges the deep-rooted belief in Chinese culture that domestic violence is a private matter which should be kept within the family to avoid the shame of exposure to police or courts.
Fu lives in a remote village in Huachi County in northwest China's Gansu Province. The wife of Fu's younger son would often beat him due to land disputes and domestic squabbles. For a long time, he hid his suffering from all but close relatives.
However, the old man changed his mind and sought a protection order after being hospitalized following an assault by his son's wife last April, when the county's women's federation was publicizing the new law.
"In the first few days after the protection order was issued, the woman behaved. But then she thought it was just a sheet of paper. She beat Fu again and left him with a bone fracture," said Dong Fengling, head of the women's federation of Huachi, which handed down seven orders over the past year.
As a consequence of violating the order, the daughter-in-law was detained in accordance with the law. A court hearing is pending.
The anti-domestic violence law allows victims of family violence or those who face immediate danger to file for a personal protection order from local courts. The courts are obliged to grant or deny within 72 hours, or within 24 hours in urgent cases.
With the protection order, abusers must stop committing violence. They may also be ordered by the courts to stop contacting victims and their close relatives, or to move out of their home.
If abusers violate the order, they face a fine of up to 1,000 yuan (145 U.S. dollars), as well as a 15-day detention, while perpetrators of serious offences could face criminal charges, according to the protection order rule.
Domestic violence victims are a huge but silent group in China. According to the All-China Women's Federation, nearly 25 percent of Chinese women have suffered domestic violence to different extents in their marriages, though only some 40,000 complaints are lodged with the federation each year.
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