he Chinese consulate in New York has warned Chinese tourists that in the United States fights between spouses are not seen as a “trifling matter” like they are back home after one traveler was arrested on domestic violence charges following a public scrap with his wife.
In front of their hotel in New York, the man and his wife, surnamed Zhang, got into an argument which escalated into shoves from both sides. Two passersby saw what was going on and reported the incident to the police who quickly took away the husband.
Zhang was then left to contact the consulate for help as her husband faced trial. The court proceedings caused them to miss their flight back home.
In a WeChat notice about the incident, the consulate cautioned tourists that in the United States fighting between couples is considered domestic violence and taken very seriously by law enforcement agencies, explaining that the situation in the US is nothing like in Chinese television dramas where a fracas on the street will simply be ignored by passersby.
The notice goes on to explain that rather than a private matter, domestic violence is considered a criminal offense in the US, meaning that the victim will not able to withdraw the case after proceedings have begun. Such proceedings could result not only in costly court fees and delays, but also a protection order which would prevent the couple from living together.
The consulate concludes by reminding Chinese citizens traveling to the US to learn about the country’s laws and regulations and the cultural differences between China and the US before arriving so that such incidents can be avoided in the future.