By The Law Offices of Ronald H. Kauffman of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Domestic Violence on Monday, January 18, 2016.

Roaring into the 21st Century, China approved its first law against domestic violence. The law “prohibits all forms of domestic violence” to protect people from abuse in the home.

The new law was approved after a seven-day session of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, and will come into force on March 1st.

In China, “the most heated arguments were over the definition of ‘family member’ and what constitutes “domestic violence.”

Who are Family Members?

Under current law, family members are blood relatives, people related by marriage, and those related by adoption.

The new domestic violence law includes an article that covers “people who live together” for example, guardians and their charges, those living in foster families and people in cohabiting relationships. Cohabiting relationships are not recognized under current Chinese law.

In Florida, “Family” includes people who you are related to by blood or marriage; spouses, ex-spouses, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles; parties intimately involved and living together but never married; adopted children; step-parents and step-children, and others or a person who is the parent of your child, regardless of whether or not you have ever been married or lived together.

What is Domestic Violence?

In China, the new law defines domestic violence as physical, psychological, or other harm, as well as verbal abuse. Sexual violence has not yet been written into the law.

In Florida, “domestic violence” can include: assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any other criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death.

According to the All-China Women’s Federation, almost 25 percent of Chinese women have experienced violence in their marriage, yet the organization said it receives only 40,000 to 50,000 complaints from women each year.

Until 2001, when China amended its marriage law, abuse wasn’t considered grounds for divorce and violence in the home has traditionally been regarded as a private matter to be dealt with by family members.

I’ve written about domestic violence issues many times. In Florida, as opposed to China, there are four kinds of civil injunction petitions that can be filed:

(1) domestic violence,

(2) sexual violence,

(3) dating violence, and

(4) repeat violence.

Each type has different requirements based on your relationship with the other person, and what occurred.

The China Daily article is here.

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