Some Chinese families are suffering from an increase in emotional abuse, a survey conduced in the southwestern municipality of Chongqing has revealed.
The study, conducted by the Chongqing Municipal Women's Federation, shows that 60 percent of the complaints received by the federation in the first two months of the year involved marriage and family life. Half of the cases concerned emotional abuse.
Emotional abuse includes such behavior as a spouse not returning home after a day's work, refusing to provide money for the upkeep of children, not saying anything or verbally abusing a partner.
Wang Jianhua, an official with the federation, said emotional abuse was a mechanism used to make others feel isolated and lonely. It occurs between spouses or between parents and their children.
Wang declined to give specific examples to protect the privacy of victims. Uneducated or jobless women or the elderly in poor health tended to be victims, she said.
Wang attributed the increase in such abuse to a lack of relevant laws or regulations to deal with such behavior.
(China Daily February 26, 2004)