Chinese city to adopt premarital inquiry system to prevent domestic violence

Xinhua
Yiwu is to adopt a new inquiry system making domestic-violence records available to people before they get married, in a move to prevent and reduce cases of domestic violence.
Xinhua

Yiwu City in Zhejiang Province is to adopt a new inquiry system making domestic-violence records available to people before they get married, in a move to prevent and reduce cases of domestic violence.

The system will include a database of cases of physical abuse against spouses, parents and children that have been penalized by the court and public security departments since 2017, according to a guideline released on Monday by the city’s court, public security, women’s federation and three other departments.

A person may apply to find out whether his or her prospective marriage partner has a record of domestic violence via the inquiry system, said the guideline, which will take effect from July 1.

Zhou Danying, vice president of the women’s federation in the city, said that domestic violence has become a social issue that violates women’s rights and affects family stability, but the means of preventing it are currently limited.

The premarital inquiry system will play both a warning and preventive role to curb domestic violence, Zhou said.

To protect people’s privacy, the guideline forbids the copying or dissemination of the information held on the system, and those who use it illegally will be held responsible under the law.

Zhou said that each applicant is allowed to make no more than two inquiries about domestic violence within a year, and for no more than two potential marriage partners within a year.

Gong Junting, director of the city’s marriage registration center, said inquiry applicants must submit identity information when making their request, along with agreeing to confidentiality rules.

“The establishment of the system will only serve as a reference for marriage registrations to minimize domestic violence, and it is up to the applicant to make the final decision on whether to marry the person,” Gong said.

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