Activists welcome China's 1st domestic violence law, but warn it doesn't cover gay couples

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Activists have welcomed China's first national anti-domestic violence law although they warned it does not cover sexual violence or gay couples.

The law was approved Sunday by China's legislature.

Women's federations and civil organizations have been pushing for a law to protect victims of domestic violence for more than 10 years. In that time, almost all the country's provinces have instituted regulations against domestic violence.

The official Xinhua News Agency says the law defines domestic violence as physical, psychological and other harm inflicted by family members with beatings and verbal threats listed as examples. It covers cohabiting, unmarried heterosexual couples.

Longtime campaigner Feng Yuan welcomed the law Monday, but said it doesn't protect gay partners or state clearly whether sexual violence is covered.