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Outrage in China Over Domestic Violence Cases Sparks Debate on Marriage Pitfalls

1. A Disturbing Killing Sparks Outrage A video of a man repeatedly running over his wife with a car in Shandong province has caused widespread shock and anger. The incident, which occurred in broad daylight, was filmed by a witness and circulated on social media.

2. Police Detain Husband After the Gruesome Attack The Dongying city police announced the detention of a 37-year-old man involved in the killing. They revealed that the 38-year-old woman was his wife, and the murder was motivated by “family disputes.” The investigation is ongoing.

3. Rising Trend of Domestic Violence Cases This attack is the latest in a series of high-profile cases highlighting domestic violence issues in China. Recently, a man in Guangdong province stabbed his wife and sister-in-law to death, while another woman in Chengdu was brutally attacked by her husband. These incidents have fueled discussions about the dangers of marriage.

4. Social Media Outcry and Fear of Marriage The video of the killing quickly became a trending topic on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform, with millions of views. Many people expressed shock and horror at the extreme cruelty displayed in the attack. Young people, in particular, cited these cases as cautionary tales that make them wary of entering into marriage.

5. Inadequate Protection for Victims These incidents have brought attention to the perceived lack of protection for victims of domestic violence and the challenges they face when trying to leave abusive marriages. The difficulty of obtaining a divorce on grounds of domestic violence has added to the fears surrounding marriage.

6. Domestic Violence as a Private Matter Historically, domestic violence in China has been seen as a private family issue. It was only in 2016 that the country implemented an anti-domestic violence law, which defines and addresses physical and psychological abuse. However, the enforcement of the law remains inconsistent due to deep-rooted patriarchal culture and systemic barriers.

7. Ineffective Response to Domestic Violence Despite some progress, experts argue that the response to domestic violence cases is often inadequate. Police and courts still tend to treat violence between family members less seriously than violence between strangers. As a result, many victims do not receive timely assistance, and preventable tragedies occur.

8. Challenges in Escaping Abusive Marriages Obtaining a divorce based on domestic violence is extremely challenging in Chinese courts. Judges frequently deny divorce petitions, even when strong evidence of abuse is presented. This prolongs victims’ exposure to violence and perpetuates their suffering.

9. Societal and Political Pressures Judges face practical and ideological pressures when handling divorce cases. Overworked judges often deny petitions to quickly close cases, but there is also an ideological emphasis on preserving marriages. This pressure has increased under Xi Jinping’s leadership, who promotes traditional family values.

10. Impact on Birthrates and Government’s Goals China’s declining marriage and birth rates have created additional pressure to preserve marriages. However, denying victims of domestic violence the right to divorce is counterproductive to the government’s goal of promoting births. Liberating women from abusive marriages is more likely to encourage fertility and healthier relationships.

The recent surge in domestic violence cases in China has sparked outrage and reignited discussions about the risks associated with marriage. These incidents have highlighted the need for better protection for victims, as well as the challenges faced by those seeking to escape abusive relationships. The Chinese government is now faced with the challenge of addressing these concerns while also encouraging marriage and addressing the country’s population crisis.

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