Luohu District Court
The Luohu District Court (the Luohu court), which hears cases arising from the primarily urban Luohu administrative district in Shenzhen, in late March posted on its website (and Wechat account) an overview of the 24 domestic violence cases that it has heard in the last 3 years. The court identified four trends and “take-aways”:
- there has been a trend towards an increase in the average age of abusers, from 31-45, to over 60;
- the educational level and professional background of abusers has shifted to university educated, working in government agencies or foreign invested enterprises;
- the type of domestic violence has shifted from simple physical violence to emotional and economic abuse, creating more evidentiary difficulties and analytical issues for the courts; and
- the victims have become more aware of their legal rights. Victims are moving away from traditional attitudes of accepting domestic violence as part of family life to using the law to protect themselves, and are calling the police when domestic violence occurs and applying for civil protection orders.
The Luohu court saw the following take-aways:
- more psychological support should be provided locally, in residential areas, to prevent domestic violence from occurring;
- local institutions for resolving domestic disputes should be strengthened; and
- more should be done to make the public aware of domestic violence legislation.
This report from one district court reflects many of the messages about domestic violence being conveyed by the Supreme People’s Court. Further reports on the drafting of the domestic violence interpretation are awaited, to see whether it will involve the procuratorate, public security, and other authorities.