加强“公权力”对未成年人的监护

关键词:未成年人  家暴  公权力

摘要:本文对未成年遭受家暴进行分析,简述了家暴对未成年的影响。并借鉴其他国家利用公权力保护未成年的有效措施,结合国情,提出相关建议。

一、家暴的影响及问题

有位哲人曾说“幸福的人用童年治愈一生,不幸的人用一生治愈童年”。处在家暴阴影下的孩童,过早地经历家暴带给他们的伤痛,有些恶劣影响甚至可能伴随一生。

家暴践踏孩子的尊严,破坏家庭的和睦,影响社会的稳定。在传统观念的影响下,中国父母容易产生“孩子是自己私有物”的想法,秉持着“不打不成才”的理念,对孩子实行“棍棒式”教育。对未成年人的打骂在中国社会归之为“家务事”,是教育孩子的一种手段。若非未成年人遭遇到严重的虐待,一般的家暴行为难以引起周围人关注,相关部门也难以介入。

《中华人民共和国反家庭暴力法》对“家庭暴力”做出定义:“本法所称家庭暴力,是指家庭成员之间以殴打、捆绑、残害、限制人身自由以及经常性谩骂、恐吓等方式实施的身体、精神等侵害行为[1]。”随着社会的发展,人们受教育与认知水平提高,家暴的形式不再仅限于传统的几个种类,“目睹家暴”也被纳入家暴的范畴。2019年11月27日,《广东省实施〈中华人民共和国反家庭暴力法〉办法(草案)》提请会议审议中,第58条明确规定,目睹家庭暴力的未成年人是家庭暴力受害人[2]。家暴形式的多样化,增加了未成年人遭受家暴的风险。学者 SpringerK.W认为,随着年龄的增长,遭受过父母虐待的未成年人,将常年被抑郁、焦虑、愤怒等情绪及一系列生理不适症状所困扰。该论文自2007年被发表在国际防止虐待和忽视儿童协会官方期刊上以来,总计被引次数超过850次。此外,家庭暴力具有代际传播的特性,这些未成人极有可能在成年后对自己的配偶、下一代使用暴力。这是一个典型的恶性循环,不仅是对个体和家庭,对社会和国家亦是不可小觑的隐患。

父母作为未成年人的监护人本应承担起照顾生活、保护其合法权益的义务,而现在,许多施暴的家长却成为孩子噩梦的来源。根据我国2020年通过的《民法典》规定,只有在严重侵害被监护人或使被监护人处于危困状态[3],人民法院根据个人或者组织的申请,才可撤销监护人的资格。最高法公布被撤销监护人资格典型案例中,福建省林某某(女)多次使用菜刀割伤年仅9岁的亲生儿子小龙(化名)的后背、双臂,用火钳鞭打小龙的双腿,并经常让小龙挨饿。虐待行为多次且严重,在经过村委会申请后,法院依法撤销林某某对小龙的监护人资格,指定梧店村民委员会作为小龙的监护人[4]。小龙遭受的属于非常直观的严重创伤,因此能被及时发现、介入、审判,但是有更多的孩子他们遭受的家暴隐蔽性强,难以被发觉或裁量,这也是撤销父母监护权看似强硬,却在实际判决中难度较高的原因。难道对未成年的保护只能依靠监护人吗?难道一般的家庭暴力就不值得关注了吗?答案一定是否定的。

二、国外措施借鉴

当今世界公权力介入到传统司法领域已成为一种趋势。我国在处理家庭暴力事件时,可以考虑借鉴其他国家行使公权力干预监护的做法。如,在日本《民法典》中规定了“父母控制制度”和“未成年监护权”两个系统,其监护制度属于私法的领域。但在2011年的民法修订中提出了“监护权丢失”系统[5],政府通过家庭法院来限制父母的监护权。

美国通过专门的机构儿童福利局对未成年的监护进行干预,儿童福利局全程参与到未成人受虐待或忽视的案件中。儿童福利局拥有调查的权利,在接受民众的举报后,指派一位儿童保护专员24小时联系被举报的家庭,同时有60天时间与举报人联系来调查真实情况,在情节严重时可向法院起诉。[6]此外,美国在社区配备专业人士为处于困境的未成年人提供帮助和救济。

加大在防止家庭暴力上以预防为主,除了在《刑法》[7]上有明确规定以外,联合学校教学进程,从幼儿园开始向孩子灌输如何防止家庭暴力的理念[8]。这些国家在处理和应对家庭暴力时,不仅做到了有法可依,并且有针对性地设立相关管理部门落实各项法律法规,同时利用公民教育加强家庭暴力的预防性工作,积极利用公权力保障对未成年人的保护。

三、相关建议

“家暴儿童”因暴力行为的隐蔽性,主体身份的特殊性,施暴手段的多样性等原因而难以及时被发现和干预。为了有效制止“家暴儿童”的发生,进一步保障儿童合法权益,应当完善“预防、干预、救济”机制,综合形成三位一体的防治体系。

(1)预防上加强民众反家暴的意识

目前我国群众的观念依旧停留在“不打不成才”的状态,尤其是在欠发达的农村地区。由于父母文化水平的欠缺,缺少合理的管教方法,在极端情绪之下会采用较为极端的管教方式,如:殴打,辱骂等方式。加强民众的反家暴意识应当以政府作为主导,创新传播宣传机制与形式,加强政府与村委会的合作。定期派专业人士向群众宣传反家暴相关法律,引导社会群众改变传统观念,提高整个社会对未成年权利的认知,为未成年的成长创造法治环境。

(2)干预上形成联动机制

完善落实《反家庭暴力法》第14条所规定的强制报告义务制度。现有的强制报告义务主体上范围不全面,并未覆盖到全体人民。其次,未履行报告义务的责任机制不具体[9];《反家庭暴力法》第35条规定“造成严重后果”是给予相关人员和机构处分的前提,阻碍了强制报告的实施效果,削弱了报告主体履行职责的积极性。

另一方面因为“家暴儿童”空间上具有隐秘性,使公安机关难发现、难干预。政府可以主动联合学校,医院,社区等有关机构,在发现儿童出现生理或心理健康问题时,及时联系公安或妇联进行有效的干预。

完善强制报告机制,培育国民主动报告干预意识;联合民众,政府,学校等有关单位多方面干预家暴。

(3)救济上完善司法救济机制

我国司法实践中贯彻“谁主张谁举证”原则,家暴案件中由受害人来举证。由于受到家暴儿童年龄较小,很多受到家暴的儿童不懂得如何维护自己的合法权益,亦没有能力来为自己申诉,更不可能让作为法定监护人的施暴者来举证。对此,可以放宽未成年在举证方面的门槛,将一部分举证责任转移到施暴者,扩大线索、证据的来源。

四、结语

2016年3月1日,中国正式实施《反家庭暴力法》,表明国家将致力于禁止任何形式的家庭暴力。据全国妇联信访统计数据显示,2017年妇联系统收到家暴投诉44071件,2018为39371件,2019家暴投诉为36002件[10]。由此可见,专项法律的颁布对于降低家暴的发生确有成效,但具体的实施力度上依旧存有可待完善的空间。孩子是祖国的明天与希望,我们迫切希望能够建立起一套完善的庇护机制,从制度层面维护其根本权益。同时,也希望全社会有更多人参与到反家庭暴力和未成年人保护的行动中来,共同守护他们的成长与发展。

撰稿:付钰浈

翻译:王艺琳

编辑:丁心睿

Strengthen the Guardianship of ‘Public Power’ over Children

Keywords: children, domestic violence, public power

Abstract: This article analyzes the domestic violence suffered by children and briefly describes the impact of domestic violence on them. We can learn from the effective measures of other countries to use public power to protect children and put forward relevant suggestions based on national conditions.

1. The Impact and Problems of Domestic Violence

A philosopher once said that ‘lucky people use their childhood to heal their lives while unfortunate people use their lives to heal their childhood’. Children in the shadow of domestic violence experience the pain prematurely, and some of the bad effects may even last their lives.

Domestic violence tramples on children’s dignity, destroys family harmony, and affects their social stability. Under the influence of traditional concepts, Chinese parents are prone to the idea that ‘children are their own private property’, upholding the concept of ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’ and ‘stick-style’ education . Beating and scolding of children is classified as ‘family chores’ in Chinese society and is a method of educating children. If children are not severely abused, general domestic violence is difficult to attract the attention of people around, and it is difficult for relevant departments to intervene.

The Anti-domestic Violence Law of the People’s Republic of China defines ‘domestic violence’. ‘The domestic violence referred to in this law refers to the methods of beating, binding, mutilating, restricting personal freedom, and frequent abuse and intimidation among family members. The physical and mental violations carried out [“The People’s Republic of China Anti-Domestic Violence Law’[11]. ‘With the development of society, people’s education and awareness levels have improved, and the forms of domestic violence are no longer limited to the traditional types.’ ‘Witnessing domestic violence’ is also included in the category of domestic violence. On November 27, 2019, the Guangdong Province’s Measures for the Implementation of the Anti-Domestic Violence Law of the People’s Republic of China (Draft) were submitted to the meeting for deliberation. Article 58 clearly stipulates that ‘children who witness domestic violence are victims of domestic violence’[12]. The diversification of forms of domestic violence increases the risk of children suffering from domestic violence. Scholar SpringerK.W believes that children who have been abused by their parents will be plagued by depression, anxiety, anger and other emotions and a series of physical symptoms as they grow older. This paper has been cited more than 850 times since it was published in the official journal of the International Association for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect in 2007. In addition, domestic violence has the characteristics of intergenerational transmission, and these children will be very likely to use violence against their future spouses and  next generation. This is a typical vicious circle, not only for individuals and families, but also for society and the country as a hidden danger that cannot be underestimated.

Parents, as guardians of children, should have assumed the obligation to take care of their lives and protect their legal rights and interests. But now, many violent parents have become a source of nightmares for their children. According to the Civil Code passed in 2020, the people’s court can revoke the qualification of guardian only if it severely infringes the ward or puts the ward in a state of danger[13]. In a typical case of revoked guardian qualifications announced by the Supreme Court, Lin (female) in Fujian Province repeatedly used a kitchen knife to cut the back and arms of his 9-year-old son Xiaolong (pseudonym), and beat his legs with tongs. Xiaolong was often let hungry. This abuse was repeated and serious. After the village committee’s application, according to law, the court revoked Lin’s guardianship of Xiaolong and designated the Wudian Village Committee as Xiaolong’s guardian[14]. Xiaolong suffered a very intuitive and serious trauma, so he could be discovered, intervened, and tried in time, but there are more children who suffer from domestic violence that is concealed and difficult to be detected or judged. This is also why it seems compulsory to revoke parental custody , but with the higher difficulty in actual judgment. Can the protection of children only depend on guardians? Isn’t ordinary domestic violence worthy of attention? Those answers must be no.

2. Reference from Foreign Measures

In today’s world, public power has become a trend in the traditional judicial field. When dealing with domestic violence incidents in our country, we can consider using other countries to exercise public power to intervene in guardianship. For example, in Japanese Civil Code, two systems, ‘parental control’ and ‘minor guardianship’ are stipulated and the guardianship system belongs to the field of private law. However, the ‘loss of guardianship’ system was proposed in the 2011 Civil Law Revision[15]. The government should use family courts to restrict parental guardianship.

The United States intervenes in the guardianship of children through a special agency, the Child Welfare Bureau, which participates in cases of abusing or neglecting children. After receiving reports from the public, the Child Welfare Bureau has the right to investigate. It assigns a child protection commissioner to contact the reported family 24 hours a day. At the same time, it has 60 days to contact the reporter to investigate the true situation, and to the court in serious cases Prosecute[16]. In addition, the United States has deployed professionals in the community to provide help and relief to children in distress.

Canada focuses on preventing domestic violence. In addition to the clear provisions in the Criminal Law[17], it also unites the school teaching process to instill in children the concept of how to prevent domestic violence from the time they are in the kindergarten[18]. When dealing with and responding to domestic violence, these countries not only have laws to follow, but also set up relevant activities and methods. The managing department implements various laws and regulations, at the same time, uses civic education to strengthen the preventive work of domestic violence, and actively uses public power to guarantee the protection of children.

3. Suggestions

‘Domestic violence children’ is difficult to be detected and intervened in time due to the concealment of violent behavior, the particularity of the subject’s identity, and the diversity of violence methods. In order to effectively stop the occurrence of domestic violence and further protect the legitimate rights and interests of children,  ‘prevention, intervention, and relief’ methods should be improved to form a trinity prevention system.

(1) Strengthen people’s awareness of anti-domestic violence in prevention

At present, the concept of the masses in our country is still stuck in the state of ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’, especially in the underdeveloped rural areas. Due to the lack of parental education and the lack of reasonable discipline methods, more extreme discipline methods, such as beatings or insults will be adopted under extreme emotions. To strengthen people’s awareness of anti-domestic violence, the government should take the lead, innovate communication mechanisms and forms, and strengthen cooperation between the government and village committees. Regularly send professionals to publicize anti-domestic violence laws to the masses, guide the masses of society to change traditional concepts, improve the society’s awareness of the rights of children, and create a legal environment for children’s growth.

(2) Form a linkage mechanism in intervention

Improve and implement the mandatory reporting obligation system stipulated in Article 14 of the Anti-Domestic Violence Law. The current mandatory reporting obligations are not comprehensive in scope and do not cover all people. Second, the responsibility mechanism for failure to perform the reporting obligation is not specific[19]. Article 35 of the Anti-Domestic Violence Law stipulates that ‘causing serious consequences’ is a prerequisite for punishing relevant personnel and institutions, which hinders the implementation effect of mandatory reporting and weakens the reporting entity’s performance The enthusiasm of responsibility.

On the other hand, because ‘domestic violence children’ are spatially secretive, it is difficult for public security organs to detect and intervene. The government can take the initiative to cooperate with schools, hospitals, communities and other relevant institutions to promptly contact the public security or the Women Federation for effective intervention when a child is found to have physical or mental health problems.

Improve the compulsory reporting mechanism and cultivate the citizens’ awareness of active reporting and intervention, unite the public, the government, schools and other relevant units to intervene in domestic violence.

(3) Improve judicial relief mechanism

Our country’s judicial practice implements the principle of ‘whoever advocates and presents evidence’. In domestic violence cases, the evidence is often provided by victims. Due to the younger age of children who are victims of domestic violence, they do not know how to protect their legal rights or appeal for themselves. We cannot count on the legal guardian of the abuser to provide evidence. In this regard, it is possible to relax the threshold for the proof of children, transfer part of the burden of proof to the perpetrator, and expand the sources of clues and evidence.

4.Conclusion

On March 1, 2016, China formally implemented the ‘Anti-Domestic Violence Law’, indicating that the country is committed to prohibiting any form of domestic violence. According to statistics of letters and visits from the China Women Federation, the Women Federation system received 44,071 domestic violence complaints in 2017, 39,371 complaints in 2018, and 36,002 complaints in 2019. It can be seen that the promulgation of special laws is indeed effective in reducing the incidence of domestic violence, but there is still room for improvement in the specific implementation intensity. Children are the future and hope of the country, and we are eager to establish a complete asylum mechanism to safeguard their fundamental rights and interests from the institutional level. At the same time, it is also hoped that more people in the whole society will participate in anti-domestic violence and minor protection actions to jointly guard their growth and development.

Writer: Yuzhen Fu

Translator: Yilin Wang

Editor: Xinrui Ding


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