A man cycles past a wall painted with an anti-domestic violence slogan in the rural province of Hebei in Northern China. (AP Photo/Elizabeth Dalziel)
A man cycles past a wall painted with an anti-domestic violence slogan in the rural province of Hebei in Northern China. (AP Photo/Elizabeth Dalziel)

(BBC) – The new bill defines domestic violence for the first time and offers clear guidance on restraining orders.

Activists have welcomed the move but say the law does not go far enough.

Nearly 40% of Chinese women who are married or in a relationship have suffered abuse, according to state media.

Domestic abuse has long been seen as a private matter in China despite the scale of the problem, says the BBC’s Martin Patience in Beijing.

It was only in 2001 that physical abuse became grounds for divorce.

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