Divorce in China
Filed in World Divorce News: Even though the divorce rates in China are higher than they have ever been and continue to climb, compared to the U.S., China’s divorce rate is comparably low. At first blush, one might think that there are cultural and social attitudes towards marriage that are responsible for these lower rates in China. In other words, do the Chinese simply have more respect for the institution of marriage than we do in the West? Perhaps. But also possible is the fear of reprisal and the stigma that women in particular fear this is responsible for them staying in marriages, even ones that are hazardous to their very lives.
Chinahumanrights.org recently reported on the plague of domestic violence that is rampant in China. Just recently, a young Chinese woman’s eyeball was gouged out by her vicious, angry Chinese husband. Thankfully, she left that marriage. She obtained a divorce. But many similarly situated women stay in abusive marriages. Women, just like they are around the world, are often more likelty to be the victims of domestic violence than men. But for many Chinese women, divorce is not an option because they simply don’t have the financial wherewithal to take care of themselves and minor children alone. Also, even in the case of domestic violence, many mothers fear losing custody of their children to their abusive husbands. So they stay in the marriages. And tey continue to be abused rather than get divorced. Many are calling for the government of children and the legislature, to enact laws to protect women who stay in violent domestic situations. As it now stands, the law seems to be very lax in dealing with the perpetrators of domestic violence in China. Often, the victim is blamed for the situation.
To obtain a divorce for domestic violence in China, civillaw requires a wife to be able to prove in court that her husband beat her, though any injuries that she may have sustained have usually healed by the time the hearing is held, Jiang pointed out.
“In some cases, a victim submits a certificate from a hospital confirming her injuries, but the husband is still able to argue that his wife was injured in another way,” she said.
Current laws and regulation are also unhelpful to women who do not want to divorce their husbands, said Xia Zhengfang, a judge who presides at the No 1 civil law courtof the Jiangsu Provincial Higher People’s Court.
“For most women who suffer domestic violence, divorce is not their first choice, since they may lose financial resources or be forced to leave their children if the marriage breaks up,” Xia said.
“So it is crucial to be able to restrain violence.”
So, the takeaway is, that the divorce rate in China is definitely a lot lower than it is here in the U.S. But that may be due in part to the types of policies in China that leaves women in China feeling like they are not “free” to get a divorce. Some of China’s laws and policies arguably allow they type of “human rights violations” that may be keeping certain classes of women as second class citizens who remain in dangerous and unhealthy marriages. The reasons they ultimately stay are not that hard to understand: they fear losing their children to their abusive husbands if they get a divorce and they fear becoming economically eviscerated by a divorce.
Read more at chinahumanrights.org