After at least 15 years of pressure by women’s groups, lawyers, and publicity in China, as well as by the international community, the draft Anti-Domestic Violence was issued by China’s State Council Legislative Affairs Office on November 25. It follows many years of academic and professional exchanges and international conferences on domestic violence legislation. The timing may be to coincide with the UN’s Days of Activism Against Gender Violence.
The comment period is one month. The draft is available here. An English translation of the draft and official explantion has been prepared by Chinalawtranslate.com (thank you to the team). The translation of the draft is available here and the explanation here. The draft contains important content, including:
- definition of domestic violence;
- establish a domestic violence reporting system
- protection orders;
- requirements for courts in matters involving domestic violence;
- local government establishment of domestic violence shelters.
- Unmarried couples are not covered by the draft law (but by other legislation). (Drafts of local legislation have also started with this position. In Shenzhen, the Procuratorate advised against this, as mentioned in this earlier blogpost).
Comments may be made electronically at: firstname.lastname@example.org. cn; or by mail at: Box 2067, Beijing, PRC 100035, attention Anti-Domestic Violence Law Consultation; (北京市2067信箱（邮政编码：100035),请在信封上注明“反家庭暴力法征求意见).
After the State Council finalizes the draft, it will submit it to the National People’s Congress (NPC), for further discussion and possibly more public consultation. It appears passage of the law will come in 2015. Once its passed, further legislation will be needed, including a judicial interpretation by the Supreme People’s Court, to address the evidentiary and other issues in the law. Earlier posts on domestic violence are linked here, there, and there. Local governments have started drafting their own legislation, including Shenzhen and Guangdong.