As­sess­ing other peo­ple’s prob­lems makes me cher­ish fam­ily life

China Daily - - CHINA - Wang Xin spoke with Cao Yin.

Wang Xin, 26, a so­cial worker in Fu­jian prov­ince who con­ducts pre­trial sur­veys.

Is­tarted con­duct­ing fam­ily-re­lated sur­veys for the In­ter­me­di­ate Peo­ple’s Court in San­ming, Fu­jian, two years ago, when re­forms were launched to im­prove do­mes­tic dis­pute hear­ings.

When the court gives per­mis­sion for a sur­vey to be con­ducted, my team spends 10 to 15 days col­lect­ing data. We sub­mit a writ­ten re­port to the court be­fore the case is heard.

As part of the sur­vey, I visit the res­i­den­tial com­mu­ni­ties and work­places of peo­ple in­volved in do­mes­tic cases, such as those wish­ing to di­vorce, to un­der­stand their fam­ily back­ground. I talk with their neigh­bors to find out how the fam­ily mem­bers get along with each other.

I also visit the school the lit­i­gants’ chil­dren at­tend to find out which party spends the most time look­ing af­ter them. The sur­vey is nec­es­sary be­cause most peo­ple com­plain about the other party in a law­suit and never ad­mit their own mis­takes. Our job is to pro­vide an in­de­pen­dent re­port to help them fig­ure out the source of their con­flict and how to solve it.

The sur­vey also pro­vides ref­er­ence ma­te­rial for the judges, in­di­cat­ing whether the mar­riage should con­tinue and if the case can be re­solved through me­di­a­tion.

We try to de­ter­mine the crux of a do­mes­tic dis­pute be­cause some cou­ples refuse to ex­plain mat­ters when they come to court, which doesn’t help to root out the source of the prob­lem.

In Oc­to­ber, I vis­ited a woman whose hus­band ig­nored re­peated re­quests for a di­vorce. Un­like some lit­i­gants who are talk­a­tive, the woman, a kinder­garten teacher, looked fright­ened when we met.

She was still re­luc­tant to talk with me even af­ter I showed her my iden­tity card, so­cial worker cer­tifi­cate and the per­mis­sion form signed by the court. How­ever, the next day, when she felt safe, she told me her hus­band had been vi­o­lent to­ward her for a long time but she hadn’t asked for help.

She hadn’t men­tioned the do­mes­tic vi­o­lence when she sub­mit­ted her di­vorce pa­pers, be­cause she was ashamed. Her hus­band tried to hide the prob­lem dur­ing the sur­vey.

My team wrote an assess­ment and sug­gested that the court should end the mar­riage and give the mother cus­tody of the cou­ple’s 2-year-old daugh­ter.

I have con­ducted more than 20 sur­veys in the past two years. All the cases have taught me to cher­ish my fam­ily life and main­tain good re­la­tion­ships with peo­ple.

I have oc­ca­sion­ally been threat­ened by emo­tional lit­i­gants via text mes­sages or phone calls, but I try to un­der­stand their mo­ti­va­tion and im­prove my work by pro­tect­ing their pri­vacy.

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