In a move hailed by activists, China has drafted its first national law against domestic violence. This is the first time such attacks have been legally defined, and the new law will make the process for getting a restraining order easier. For the most part, domestic violence has long been treated as a private matter in China. For instance, less than two decades ago, physical abuse was not acceptable as grounds for divorce. The law will require that police respond to reports of domestic violence and that schools, hospitals, and other institutions report cases, but advocates say the law falls short because it does not include unmarried and divorced couples. According to data from a women’s rights advocacy group, nearly 40 percent of Chinese women who are married or in a relationship have experience physical or sexual violence.
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