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York University

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Domestic Abuse Paper Writing, 4000 words till the end.

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Explanation & Answer

Attached.

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A Comparison of Domestic Abuse Legislations and Perspectives between China, the United
Kingdom, Hong Kong, and Singapore

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"Only by severely punishing such a thug who brutally domestically assaults his wife can Ms. Xie, who
was hurt by him, feel a little bit relieved; [it] can also make the netizens who are angry from behind the
screen feel a sense of relief."1

1

Spicy New Language Wu Neng'en. A Sichuan woman was subjected to long-term domestic violence and had multiple
internal organs injured and had to wear a fecal bag for life. The perpetrator was too cruel. 163. Com, (26 June 2023).
https://www.163.com/dy/article/I85RFTN70553J4DY.html

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Table of Contents

Introduction ..............................................................................................................................................................4
Chapter 1: China and the United Kingdom ...........................................................................................................8
Domestic Abuse Laws in China ............................................................................................................... 8
UK Domestic Laws ................................................................................................................................ 11
Recommendations for China .................................................................................................................. 12
Chapter 2: China and Hong Kong ....................................................................................................................... 16
Court Cases of Domestic Abuse in China .............................................................................................. 16
Court Cases of Domestic Abuse in Hong Kong ..................................................................................... 18
Recommendations for China .................................................................................................................. 21
Chapter 3: China and Singapore ......................................................................................................................... 23
Overview ................................................................................................................................................ 23
Interact with National Bodies in China .................................................................................................. 23
Interact with National Bodies in Singapore ............................................................................................ 24
Recommendations for China .................................................................................................................. 26
Conclusion .............................................................................................................................................................. 26
Bibliography ............................................................................................................................................................ 29

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Introduction

The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic revealed an ongoing, relatively invisible societal
problem that had been hidden in plain sight despite its importance. COVID-19 caused a drastic increase
in cases of domestic abuse, more than has ever been previously witnessed, especially in China2.
However, the domestic abuse issue is not new, as many women and children have died at the hands of
their abusers, while others have faced permanent disabilities over the years. For years, numerous cases
of domestic violence across the globe have happened, with little to no attention given to dealing with the
issue. The majority of cases of domestic violence happen between married couples, like the case of Ms
Xie from Chengdu, quoted at the start of this chapter. Ms Xie, a pseudonym to protect her identity, was
domestically abused 16 times by her husband to the point of narrowly escaping death; she eventually
initiated divorce proceedings due to several factors that are common amongst other domestic abuse
cases, including fear, legal limitations, and hope. In the last incidence of domestic abuse, she almost
died, and arriving at the hospital 20 minutes later could mean her death. Ms Xie thought her husband
was a good-hearted person, and that is why she had given him multiple chances without knowing it was
likely encouraging him to increase the intensity of the physical abuse3.

Domestic abuse cases such as Ms Xie's are commonplace in many parts of the world. Thousands
of women and children die each year, while others are left with physical and psychological scars and

2

Kunasagran, Priya Dharishini, Khalid Mokti, Mohd Yusof Ibrahim, Syed Sharizman Syed Abdul Rahim, Freddie Robinson,
Adora J. Muyou, Sheila Miriam Mujin, Nabihah Ali, Gary Goh Chun Chao, Rudi Nasib, and Abraham Chiu En Loong, "The
global landscape of domestic violence against women during the COVID-19 pandemic: a narrative review," Korean journal
of family medicine 45, no. 1 (2024): 3.
3

Spicy New Language Wu Neng'en. A Sichuan woman was subjected to long-term domestic violence and had multiple
internal organs injured and had to wear a fecal bag for life. The perpetrator was too cruel.

5

lifelong disabilities due to the abuse. Many victims cling to the hopes that their partners will change
because they were once good people. Unfortunately, while some cases are identified and proper
measures are taken early, others go unrecognized until the victim is either murdered or severely injured 4.
However, the case of Ms Xie also indicates legal barriers as another key factor behind domestic abuse in
marriages and the lack of reporting and consequences, legal or otherwise. Despite frequent abuse, there
was no legal action taken against the husband. Moreover, it was only after the intervention of the
Women's Federation of Wuhou District in Chengdu that her husband was arrested and charged5.
Many perpetrators of domestic violence do not face any legal repercussions, and this just gives them the
courage to continue mistreatment of their victims. During COVID-19, cases of domestic violence were
taken seriously because of the high rates, with some locations (such as China) seeing a trebling of
known instances of domestic abuse. The main trigger of the rapid increase in domestic violence was due
to isolation incidents, where couples had to stay indoors for weeks on end. It became evident to many
women that no matter how long they waited, a person who domestically abuses others would not
suddenly have a change of heart, and therefore, this led to a substantial increase in divorce rates at the
time. Isolation was ideal for domestic abusers; it gave them time and space to perpetuate such violence
as they knew their partners had no recourse to leave, to be seen in public or work and would thus beat
them and convince them not to report it or cover it up was made the easier. In addition, the case was
made all the worse by a general lack of education and awareness by many of the victims of domestic
abuse on their rights under the Law.
While domestic abuse is prevalent in all countries, COVID-19 revealed that China has a major
issue compared to other countries, as almost half of married women have reported some domestic abuse,

4

Spicy New Language Wu Neng'en

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“”

6

including physical, sexual, psychological, and financial, among others6. The key to deterring a crime
like domestic abuse is ensuring strict measures are placed on the perpetrators and potential perpetrators,
such that the cost of committing domestic abuse is more than the personal satisfaction and power they
gain from it. However, China looks like an ideal environment for domestic abuse; the legal system does
not take reports and subsequent legal cases seriously compared to other countries like the UK. China
passed its first anti-domestic violence law in 2016 after tireless efforts from women empowerment
groups such as the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF)7. Despite the passage of the Law, there are
other sectors of the Law that make domestic abuse readily accessible for the perpetrators and difficult to
escape for the victims, as indicated in the COVID-19 period.
Previously, traditional family values have long been embraced, meaning that domestic violence
was not generally solved on a legal basis8. For people in marriages seeking divorce, many legal barriers
also make them stay longer in the marriage and thus increase the risks of domestic violence. This
indicates many legal aspects related to domestic abuse that the Chinese legal system opts for to improve
its protection for victims of domestic abuse, like the case of Ms Xie. An in-depth analysis of domestic
abuse from a legal perspective in China can help in determining how the legal limitations contribute to
the high cases of domestic abuse and thus develop possible remedies for the policymakers to consider9.
The research aims to show how the UK provides a comprehensive guideline to the legislation and
punishments of domestic abuse that China should adopt, the Supreme Court rulings of Hong Kong, and

6

Allen-Ebrahimian, Bethany, “China's domestic violence epidemic,” Axios (7 May 2020).

China Daily, New legislation outlaws domestic abuse” China Law Information (1 Mar 2026).
http://lawinfochina.com/Search/DisplayInfo.aspx?id=14917&lib=news&keyTitle=domestic%20abuse&keyCTitle=
7

8

Cao, Jiepin, Xu Liu, and Rosa M. Gonzalez-Guarda, "Trapped in My Roles as a Woman With No Help: Experiences of
Intimate Partner Violence Against Chinese Women," Violence against women 29, no. 5 (2023): 964-986.
The Guardian, “How the law is failing domestic abuse victims” China Law Information (30 Sep 2022).
http://lawinfochina.com/Search/DisplayInfo.aspx?id=35546&lib=news&keyTitle=domestic%20abuse&keyCTitle
9

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the interaction of national bodies as adopted by Singapore. The first chapter focuses on examining the
legal consequences of domestic abuse in China compared to the UK. A critical examination of the legal
approach that the UK takes to deal with domestic abuse compared to China highlights one of the main
reasons why domestic violence rates are so high in China as compared to the UK. A comparison of
China with the UK is critical because the UK has already enacted its anti-domestic violence law in
1976, the Domestic Violence and Matrimonial Proceedings Act, meaning that they have vast experience
in case procedures and court rulings10. The reason is that the act has undergone several updates to make
it effective in responding to the needs of the victims of domestic abuse through arguments in the legal
cases and evaluation of how individuals are responding to the punishments. A comparison of the
punishments for domestic abuse in China and the UK will determine the possible strengths and
weaknesses of the punishments implemented by China for domestic abuse. UK has gained much
knowledge on the approaches they can use to punish individuals for domestic abuse due to the
experience gathered since the 1970s when the Law was first enacted.
The second part will focus on the Supreme Court rulings on China and Hong Kong domestic
punishment. The rulings of the cases help shape future punishments and policies as they reveal possible
limitations in dealing with the case of domestic abuse, as the legal arguments are presented in diverse
perspectives based on the context of a case and the evidence. A comparison of the court arguments made
in China and Hong Kong to reach verdicts of the cases will help explain the reason for implementing
different punishments to prevent domestic abuse. The third chapter will examine the most effective
approaches to preventing domestic violence besides the legal system. It involves examining approaches
taken by other countries to minimize domestic abuse and create awareness among the public, which will
help determine the approaches that China can utilize to create more awareness and education regarding

10

Scott, Kevin, "The Domestic Violence and Matrimonial Proceedings Act 1976," Trent LJ 4 (1980): 29.

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domestic abuse11. The comparison will mainly be based on China and Singapore. The chapter focuses on
helping individuals understand all the types of domestic violence and ways they can get support if they
are victims or witness a domestic abuse incident.

The comparison of China with the UK, Hong Kong, and Si...


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