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Personal protection decrees introduced in more courts

07-14-2010 10:12 BJT

BEIJING, July 13 (Xinhaunet) -- Personal protection decrees are now available for victims of domestic violence in 20 local courts in Southwest China's Chongqing municipality and 21 courts in Northwest China's Shaanxi province, local high courts said.

Courts in Chongqing and Shaanxi are the latest to provide such protection to plaintiffs before and throughout the trial process. Jiangsu and Hunan provinces adopted such measures in 2008.

According to Chongqing courts, plaintiffs of lawsuits involving marriage, custody rights, inheritance rights and human rights can apply for the decree 15 days before and six months after the trial.

The definition of domestic violence has also been broadened, from physical and verbal abuse to sexual violence, mental torture and economic control, local media reported.

Applicants for a protection decree should present evidence to show they have suffered, or are likely to suffer, domestic violence. If a protection decree is issued, alleged abusers will be banned from following or spying on applicants, entering the applicants' residence or disposing of jointly owned property without permission. Disturbing the applicants by phone, mail or via the Internet is also forbidden.

"The decree makes domestic violence the fight between public power and abusers, and prevent serious crimes from happening thereafter," said Liu Qun, a judge from Yuelu district court in Changsha of Hunan, a pilot court that introduced such a practice in 2008.

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