China Cites 16-Year-Old Domestic Violence Survey to Criticize U.S. Human Rights

By Patrick Goodenough

April 12, 2011

( – In its annual rejoinder to the State Department’s report on human rights in China, Beijing’s communist government states that “one in four women [in the U.S.] is a victim of domestic violence.”

It attributes the figure to a CNN program on domestic violence from last October. That report cited the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), which in turn bases its data on a report by the Department of Justice and others, examining the results of a 1995-1996 survey.

That 16-year-old telephone survey found that 22.1 percent of women in the U.S. – a slightly smaller proportion than the “one of four” cited by CNN, NNEDV and China – had been “physically assaulted by an intimate at some time in their lifetime” (along with 7.4 percent of men).

Meanwhile, a much more up-to-date survey on domestic violence in China found that such violence was being reported in 31 percent of China’s 270 million families. In some rural areas the figure rose to around 62 percent of women.

The survey was carried out in 2008 by the All China Women’s Federation (ACWF), a body set up and controlled by the Communist Party of China.

The ACWF reports that its branches across the country receive between 40,000 and 50,000 complaints each year about domestic violence – more than those relating to any other issue.