Discuss Domestic Violence > Hong Kong Women's Conference

It is inspiring to know that women everywhere are fighting to end the same problem. I was fortunate to attend the 8th Annual Women's Commission Conference in Hong Kong this year with my dear friend and Executive Producer of Someday MinhTu Van. While at the conference, we attended a few panels, one of which reviewed Hong Kong’s initiatives to address “family violence”.
It is impressive the types of initiatives they have taken to make their legal and social work systems approachable to women who are dealing with issues of domestic violence. Hospitals are outfitted with specific rooms for victims, where both police and social services can go to comfortably ask victims what happened and how they would like to proceed. Incidents are recorded in a single national database at the head police office, so that social workers and officers do not have to repeatedly ask a woman multiple times to describe the incident.
While a friend of mine – who works closely with law enforcement in the US – suggested that repetition is one way to confirm that testimony has not been falsified, I still think this sort of thing is really of benefit. With issues of domestic violence, family members tend to be more focused on finding a discrete solution and less interested in filing suit. Hence, repetition, in my personal opinion, is probably not the best thing to ask of a victim.
There were several touching accounts made in person by some of those who had employed resources available in HK. I was fascinated by the additional difficulty that HK has with respect to citizenship. Hong Kong, even more so than New York, is a commuter city, with many residents being in China or some other nation’s jurisdiction. Many victims do not have family support nearby, or due to cultural reasons for which they could not go to their family for assistance. As the Police Commissioner replied to a woman’s more personal question about children being moved from HK to either China or nearby Singapore, I got a sense of how complicated the issue is for this protectorate. The audience was in near tears multiple times during the 2 hour break out session of the conference.

September 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMay Ling