Topic: The Application of Battered Woman’s Syndrome in Chinese Domestic Violence Cases

Abstract:  For many Chinese women home is not a safe place. In China’s long history, domestic violence has typically been a gendered issue. It has been criminalised in recent years until the passage of the Anti-Domestic Violence Law in 2015. Violent treatment continues to damage women psychologically and physically. However, because domestic violence used to be recognised as familial matter rather than a criminal issue, it has been ignored frequently by the public. The field of study on violence against women in China, therefore, remains insufficiently investigated, particularly the question of how women become victimised and why some battered women do not attempt to escape from battering relationships. Thus, this thesis examines a theory in the realm of domestic violence- namely the Battered Woman Syndrome (BWS). This theory has been used to explain the psychological impact on battered women in many Western societies, and it will be investigated to consider whether it is helpful in understanding the circumstances of Chinese battered women. A comparative research method is utilised to explore the applicability of this theory to the analysis of domestic violence in China.

Presenter: Quzisuan (Charlotte) Zhang, MPhil Candidate, TC Beirne School of Law

Contact: Ruth Delaforce –

More Information: All welcome, no RSVP required


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