China’s southern Guangdong province has determined that minors who witness domestic violence may be considered victims themselves, having suffered emotional if not physical abuse.
According to local media, the standing committee of Guangdong’s provincial legislature adopted the new Measures for the Implementation of the Domestic Violence Law at a meeting Wednesday.
Slated to come into effect on Oct. 1, the measures also clarify that acts such as “confinement,” “stalking,” “harassment,” “defamation,” “causing one to freeze or starve,” “leaking one’s private information,” and online abuse all constitute domestic violence.
In December of last year, the province drafted a regulation to expand the interpreted scope of China’s national anti-domestic violence law. Chen Yongkang, deputy director of the congressional committee that drafted the document, said at the time that it was in response to growing instances of online abuse, in which people were leaking their partners’ private information, including photos.
After China enacted its landmark anti-domestic violence law in March 2016, provinces were given some freedom to interpret the legislation as they saw fit, as well as take additional measures to protect victims and punish perpetrators.
In March 2019, the Hunan provincial branch of the All-China Women’s Federation, the country’s state-backed women’s rights group, announced that it would help male victims of domestic violence secure personal protection orders — an expanded application aimed at including all victims irrespective of gender.
Last month, the city of Yiwu in the eastern Zhejiang province introduced the country’s first-ever provision allowing residents to check whether their partners have histories of domestic violence.
Editor: David Paulk.
(Header image: Jun Pinzon/EyeEm/People Visual)