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Call for Woman's Refuge to Combat Domestic Violence
The Foshan Women’s Federation has submitted suggestions to relevant departments to establish a sanctuary for female victims of violence from the city. Domestic violence has become a serious issue over the past two years in the city, according to statistics from the federation.

Why are women prone to domestic violence? Statistics from the Foshan Women’s Federation, Guangdong Province, show that domestic violence in worker and farmer families accounts for the largest proportion. However it is also known to exist among the educated. In respect of age, young and middle-aged couples experience domestic violence the most.

Over the past two years, the Foshan Women’s Federation received a total of 10,852 letters and visits, of which 6,284 or 57.9 percent belonged to the category of marriage and family. And in this category, 563 or 8.96 percent were related to domestic violence with details of husbands attacking wives accounting for 93.4 percent.

A major part of these complaints occurred in worker and farmer families. However, white-collar families of a higher education level were also included. Young and middle-aged couples occupied a major part as they were also facing pressures from families and work and in their marriages in the period following their wedding, leading to conflict and domestic violence.

Beside workers and farmers, attacks occurred from cadres, college professors, senior engineers, physicians and doctors. For example, one couple in Chancheng District of Foshan are both intellectuals. The wife is often badly battered by her husband, who is known to have had an extra-marital affair.

Except for general physical attacks, domestic violence also involves sexual abuse and mental torture. As most of these incidents happen inside families, a comparatively concealed place, irregularly and repeatedly, outsiders are unlikely to know of it. Therefore, even though there may be complaints, collecting evidence is always difficult.

A survey conducted by Foshan Women’s Federation says poor mutual affection and domestic economic pressure are some of the major reasons for domestic violence. Additionally, extra-marital affairs and male chauvinism are also triggering factors. Furthermore, some woman who blindly give in to the attacks or are even ready to suffer humiliation because of their children’s “happiness” could also boost aggression from the perpetrator of the violence.

The Foshan Women’s Federation has already submitted suggestions to relevant department to establish a women's sanctuary which could extricate the female victims from the dangers of such a violent environment.

(China.org.cn by Zhang Tingting, May 19, 2003)

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