Abused women and their protection in China


University of British Columbia

Date Issued


Document Type



Master of Laws - LLM




Violence against women, especially wife abuse, is a social problem that exists in almost every country in the world. China is no exception. Statistics show that wife abuse in present-day China is prevalent and serious. However, this social problem was largely invisible until the early 1990s. At present, it is still not recognized at the official level and there has been no systematic in-depth research on it to date. North American feminists have long realized the seriousness of this issue and have since done a great deal of research with respect to the causes, prevalence and control of wife abuse. Their perspectives reflect the social reality in North American countries, but are they useful for other countries? This thesis tries to explore a feminist approach to the analysis of violence against women in the home in China's context, especially the lack of political will, which inevitably results in the failure of the criminal justice system to enforce the laws against wife abuse. The thesis tries to prove that violence against women in the home is a serious social problem in China that must be recognized and dealt with effectively. In order to control it, a sincere political commitment to deal with the problem is of paramount importance. The joint efforts of all social sectors, the criminal justice system in particular, are vital to guarantee gender equality in the private sphere. The thesis considers western feminist theories with respect to violence against women in the home as a gendered issue and the impact of feminist perspectives on controlling wife battery in western countries; investigates the dimensions and causes of wife abuse in China, demonstrating that this abuse is an unrecognized but serious social problem in China; explores the existing legislative protection of crime victims in China; analyzes the existing problems with the criminal justice system with respect to providing assistance to battered wives; discusses various reasons why the criminal justice system fails battered women in China, including the factors of state policy, women's federations, patriarchal ideology, mass media and social indifference, and gives suggestions on how to prevent and control spousal assault.


Abused women -- China; Wife abuse -- China; Feminist theory; Criminal justice, Administration of -- China

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