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Fighting Domestic Violence
The 23-episode TV series, "Don't Talk to Strangers," had Beijing audiences glued to the screen last week, raising the issue of domestic violence once again.

Like a plague, domestic violence has occurred in 30 percent of 270 million Chinese families and about 100,000 marriages are broken each year due to domestic violence, according to statistics from the All-China Women's Federation.

Family violence not only disturbs the harmony of families, but also threatens the stability of the society, experts said.

In the TV drama, the heroine suffered greatly at the hands of her abusive husband - a story that is common in real life.

Following an argument with her husband, Shuang Lianying, a farmer in Shayang County in Central China's Hubei Province, was seriously burned when her husband poured boiling oil onto her face on January 28, according to a People's Daily report.

"I never dreamed a person who I used to love would be so cruel," said Shuang, who was determined to divorce her husband after receiving hospitalization.

Data from women's organizations indicate that most domestic violence cases occur between husband and wife and that 90 to 95 percent of the victims are women.

Fortunately, more and more women are becoming aware of the gravity of domestic violence, said Wang Xingjuan, a senior expert with the Maple Women's Psychological Counseling Centre in Beijing.

In March, the centre investigated 24 family violence cases, 54 percent of which wives described abuse by their husbands, Wang said. The abusers tend to be husbands who are violent, autocratic or hotheaded at home, Wang said.

Wang stressed legislation on anti-family violence as a prerequisite for rooting out the problem.

(China Daily April 5, 2002)

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