In a first-of-its-kind initiative to bring down the number of domestic violence cases in the country, the city of Yiwu in eastern China is launching a searchable database for couples to check whether their partner has a history of domestic abuse before deciding to get married.
While the list will only be made accessible to Yiwu residents, the offenders mentioned in the database are from across the country. The database, which will be unveiled on July 1, includes the names and information of those who have been convicted, subjected to restraining orders or received jail terms for reported domestic abuse cases since 2017, The Guardian reported.
Several government-run women’s bodies, including the Yiwu Women’s Federation and the All China Women’s Federation, have partnered with the city administration to launch the pilot project. “In many cases, the parties involved only know about domestic violence after marriage. By establishing an inquiry database, partners can know beforehand and consider whether to marry,” Zhou Danying, Vice-Chairman of Yiwu Women’s Federation, told Chinese news outlet The Paper.
To access the database, a Yiwu resident must provide both their own ID as well as that of their partners while applying to the marriage registry office. Users are only allowed to search the database twice in one year, and can look up the records of a maximum of two people.
Additionally, several measures have been laid down to protect the privacy of residents who make use of the facility as well as the people whose details they are looking up, officials said. If a Yiwu resident is found using or disseminating the information they have gathered from the database for the wrong reasons, they are liable to face legal action, officials said.
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