In the lead up to China passing its first domestic violence law, we worked with 40 local lawyers to promote a more protective and responsive justice system and help victims of abuse.

With the law’s adoption in 2016 and subsequent spotty implementation, the lawyers continue to call for reform. Many local authorities favor traditional approaches to resolving disputes over issuing personal protection orders. Too few resources have been allocated to train local actors on helping victims, and clear divisions of responsibility and oversight are lacking.  

When asked to reflect on the meaning of their collaborative work to combat domestic violence, one lawyer described a feeling of “sailing against the river,” but noted how having an opportunity to challenge the situation as a group of lawyers was effective and empowering.