The Interaction of the Alternative Website and Mass Media In China: Case Study of www.stopdv.org.cn (Symposium on Gender and ICT, Amsterdam, Jan 17, 2003)
Publication Date: Jan 2003
The 'stop domestic violence' website was set up in 2001 by the Chinese Law Society as part of the project Domestic Violence in China: Research, Intervention and Prevention. Currently only a tiny percentage of the Chinese population has access to Internet. Therefore this website focused on mass media as an important target group through which to reach the public more broadly. The site provides interactive resources about domestic violence and encourages the media to make use of the information to share with the public an understanding of domestic violence from a gender perspective, as well as encouraging people to intervene to prevent it. Stopdv.com linked up with television to create the first Chinese soap opera that dealt with the issue of domestic violence - Do Not Speak to Strangers. When the playwrights were still writing the scenarios, the website staff participated in the planning and introduced concepts related to domestic violence, gender analysis, law and social resources. Since the TV play was shown, Beijing Maple Hotline (a women's helpline) reports an increase in phone calls about domestic violence. One caller said that before watching the televisions play, she had no idea what domestic violence was and that she did not realise that beating was a form of domestic violence. Another woman told the counsellor 'have you seen the television series? I am that leading role woman. I just bear everything'.