In a horrific case of domestic violence in Zhoukou city, Henan province, a 25-year-old woman named Li Hongxia was strangled to death by her husband while in the hospital recovering from a two-day operation after a miscarriage.
According to Li’s older sister, Li’s husband Zhang Yazhou came into the ward and strangled Li while she was resting in bed and made a quick getaway afterwards. Soon after, doctors and nurses discovered Li’s body and quickly contacted her family.
It seems the sad story leading to Li’s death began during the beginning of February, near the end of the previous lunar year. Li and her husband were meeting relatives but Li wished to leave early. With Zhang repeatedly urging her to stay, Li reasoned that it was getting close to Chinese New Year and it would be better if she left now to avoid the worst crowds.
But as soon as Li had finished talking, her husband flew into a rage, hurling insults and even taking a wooden stool and attacking Li with it. Li’s head was quickly covered in blood and her husband cursed while chasing and beating her. It wasn’t until Zhang’s parents intervened him that the attack stopped, Sina reports.
On February 23rd, Li was entered into a hospital to undergo surgery due to a miscarriage. But two days later, at 5pm, her husband entered the ward and strangled her to death.
After the incident, local police investigated and detained Zhang on the charge of a “family dispute.”
Sadly, domestic violence isn’t uncommon in China; a 2015 survey by All China Women’s Federation saw 30% of 270 million families affected by family violence, with 16% of women saying they had been beaten by their partners and 14.4% of males admitted to beating their wives. In China, a quarter of divorces are due to domestic violence, CCTV reports.
A study in 2013 found that 50 percent of Chinese men admitted to physically and sexually abusing their partners.
The All-China Women’s Federation also reports that about a quarter of all women have suffered violence in their marriage, though only 40,000 to 50,000 complaints are registered each year. Of the cases reported last year, almost 90% involved abuse of wives by their husbands.
Strangely, only last December did China pass its first domestic violence law, which finally comes into effect on March 1.
The law covers both psychological and physical abuse and allows victims to file for restraining order against abusers. Police must also respond within 72 hours after a case is filed, and abusers must bear criminal responsibility if a crime is committed during the violence.
Though it is seen as a major breakthrough for victims of domestic violence in China, the law fell short for the gay community as it does not extend to same-sex couples.
By Kitty Lai
[Images via Sina]