In late 2014, China drafted its first national law against domestic violence.
Looking around the country, one sees a population that is easy to rile. Tempers run high, altercations have little restraint within boundaries and conflicts within the household frequently turn physical.
On television, in the news, first hand and certainly recounts from friends and colleagues have shown me that numerous altercations between spouses and lovers are fought not only with harsh words, high decibels and the threat or action of departure but with:
Pushing, Slapping, Clawing, Kicking, Beating with fists, Beating with belts, Beating with misc objects nearby, Threatening with knives, etc.
While few will disagree with physical violence being categorically wrong. The reality sees a society numb to the topic and individual responsibility.
Even as the country’s new domestic violence hotline is bombarded with calls, the public generally responds to such matters with indignant fire when it’s one’s own family member or close friend but with complete inaction, giving significantly more weight to the circumstance (who might be right and who is wrong in the argument) rather than one spouse should not have severely beaten their partner.
I’ve come to see in recent years that often times one side gives as good as they get. Surely situations play a role (the singular women with no close family nearby to aid her has very little power).
When a situation is brought forth with outside listeners, the inquiries of “why did you beat your husband repeatedly and hold a knife to his throat?” The heated replies are most frequently:
He – lied to me about X/refused to answer about/was out with X doing Y/have these text messages on his phone/wouldn’t do Z/doesn’t do A when I have told him to N-times
often times accompanied by:
I was so angry and couldn’t control myself
I heard that one often, in many situations, “couldn’t control myself.” It seems to be accepted that when emotions arise powerfully one “cannot control oneself.”
I woefully disagree.
I watch these things unfold around me in the little and not so little ways. I hope the society will experience a noticeable shift in my lifetime.
I hope to see it.
As the ability to see ones “wants” clearly and “act” in ones momentary and long term desires involves managing oneself, one’s actions and (therefore) one’s emotions.
The actions of the a population when 40% of its women claim have experienced domestic violence have significant implications in its other sectors, particularly if it hopes to continue its already well-stagnant economic progress.