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Domestic Violence Victim Speaks Out on Weibo: “He Cut Off My Nose”

“My name is Li Yun, I am 30 years old, and am a victim of long-term abuse by my husband” – a female victim of domestic abuse has taken her gruesome story online. Her husband has cut off her nose, she says – she now needs money to complete her surgery. Li Yun’s story, that went viral on Weibo, raises public awareness on domestic abuse in China.

Manya Koetse

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“My name is Li Yun, I am 30 years old, and am a victim of long-term abuse by my husband” – a female victim of domestic abuse has taken her gruesome story online. Her husband has cut off her nose, she says – she now needs money to complete her surgery. Li Yun’s story, that went viral on Weibo, raises public awareness on domestic abuse in China.

The topic ‘Woman suffers domestic violence: nose was cut off’ (#女子遭家暴割鼻#) became trending on Sina Weibo on April 20, when netizens collectively responded to how netizen Li Yun (李云), a citizen from Taizhou in Zhejiang province, told her followers how she has been a victim of severe domestic abuse for years. The woman told her shocking story on her Weibo account on April 19, 2016:

liyunstory

My name is Lu Yun, and I am 30 years old. I’ve been married for 8 years and have suffered long-term abuse by my husband. I’ve suffered in silence for the sake of my daughter. I would’ve never expected him to get more and more extreme; to the point of him cutting off my nose.

That day, my husband had too much to drink, and we had an argument in the living room. My child was already asleep and he wanted to go to his native village in the middle of the night and I did not agree. I didn’t argue with him as I was lying on the bed sleeping with my back towards him. He took my razor blade and cut my nose. He said my nose was my best-looking feature, so he’d better cut it off. At that time, I had no idea and thought he’d used his fingers to scrape my nose. But later I felt the blood rushing out, and I stood up and asked him how he could do this to me. He grabbed a towel and strapped it around my neck; I could do nothing but try and pull the towel away with my hands when he heartlessly tore my nose down – I could do nothing but cry out. It woke up my child and she came crying. It wasn’t until then that he let go of the towel. Without my child, I probably wouldn’t be here today.”

Li Yun proceeds to explain how she called the emergency number 120 with the last strength she had. Doctors at the hospital could do little to save her nose, so Li later had to see a specialist in Wenzhou. Constructing her (partially artificial) nose would cost over 300,000 RMB (46,000 US$), she was told. Li proceeded with the first surgery, which she could afford with the 60,000 RMB she borrowed from friends. For her second surgery, and to be able to send her daughter to school, she calls on the help of China’s netizens to help her so she can get the surgery she needs to make her nose look normal enough to find a job and take care of her daughter.

li and daguhterThe photos that Li posted of her nose, and her little daughter who, she says, asks her mum daily when she can go to school.

 
Over 480.000 netizens had read about this story by April 20, responding to it in great numbers and condemning the husband’s “beastly behavior”. Many commented to wish Li Yun a speedy recovery.

Several Chinese media have followed up on the story and spoke to Li Yun. Sina Zhejiang writes that since the attack took place in April of last year, Li can only breathe through her nose.

Some netizens also put Li’s story in a bigger context, linking it to China’s overall problem of domestic abuse: “The punishment for this kind of maltreatment of women is too light,” one netizen says: “The law is hopeless this way – women really have to look out for themselves and be very cautious when getting married.”

China’s first anti-domestic abuse law just came into effect on March 1st of this year. According to state media estimation, one in four married women in China have experienced some form of domestic violence, although the real figure may be much higher, since many women do not report cases of abuse.

Due to the new law, victims of domestic abuse can go to court to seek a restraining order, which could potentially force the abuser out of the home. But, as Asia Times reports, critics say the legislation still doesn’t go far enough.

News outlet China.org reported that local police have placed Li’s husband on their “wanted list” since last June, but that the man still remains at large.

After today’s trending topic, more people will undoubtedly be on the lookout for him. “If they catch him, let them first cut off his nose, too!”, one netizen writes.

– By Manya Koetse

©2016 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

Manya Koetse is the founder and editor-in-chief of whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer, public speaker, and researcher (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends, digital developments, and new media in an ever-changing China, with a focus on Chinese society, pop culture, and gender issues. She shares her love for hotpot on hotpotambassador.com. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

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China and Covid19

Announced Changes in Nucleic Acid Testing and Further Easing of Covid Measures Across China

Bus and subway operators in Beijing will no longer refuse entry to passengers without a 48-hour negative nucleic acid certificate.

Manya Koetse

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On Monday, directly after that noteworthy unrest-filled weekend, the hashtag “Multiple Locations Announce Nucleic Acid Testing Changes” (#多地核酸检测通知发生变化#) went trending on Chinese social media, receiving over 660 million clicks by Monday evening.

Immediately following demonstrations in Beijing and a second night of protests in Shanghai and elsewhere, various Chinese media reported how different areas across the country are introducing changes to their current Covid19 testing measures.

On Wednesday, November 30, China’s vice-premier Sun Chunlan made remarks at a meeting on epidemic prevention, underlining the importance of “constantly optimizing” China’s Covid-19 response and talking about a “new stage and mission” – without ever mentioning “zero Covid.”

This is what we know about easing Covid measures thus far:

▶ Strict lockdowns have been lifted in Guangzhou, Zhengzhou, and Chongqing.

▶ On November 28, Guangzhou announced that people who do not actively participate in social life will no longer need to participate in continuous nucleic acid screening. This includes elderly people who stay indoors for long periods of time, students who take online classes, and those who work from home. The change will apply to residents in seven districts, including Haizhu, Panyu, Tianhe, and Baiyun (#广州7区无社会面活动者可不参加全员核酸#).

▶ Guangzhou, according to Reuters, also scrapped a rule that only people with a negative COVID test can buy fever medication over the counter.

Harbin will follow the example of Guangzhou, and will also allow people who are mostly based at home to skip nucleic acid test screenings.

▶ Same goes for Shenyang, and Taiyuan.

▶ In Chongqing, various districts have done widespread Covid testing campaigns, but the local authorities announced that those communities that have not had a positive Covid case over the past five days do not need to participate in nucleic acid screening anymore. This means an end to district-wide testing.

▶ On November 30, Beijing also announced that it will start exempting some people from frequent Covid testing, including those elderly residents who are bound to home and other people who do not go out and have social interactions. This also includes younger students who are following classes online.

▶ Starting from December 5, bus and subway operators in Beijing will no longer refuse entry to passengers without a 48-hour negative nucleic acid certificate (announced on December 2nd).

▶ Although not officially announced, there have been various social media posts and reports about Covid-positive people in Beijing being allowed to quarantine at home if they meet conditions.

Chengdu Metro announced on December 2nd that it will no longer check passengers’ nucleic acid test reports. Passengers still need to scan their travel code and those with a green code can enter. Other public places will reportedly also start to accept the ‘green code’ only without a time limit on nucleic acid testing.

Tianjin metro announced that the 72-hour nucleic acid certificate check will be also be canceled for passengers on the Tianjin metro lines. As in other places, people will still need to wear proper face masks and undergo temperature checks.

▶ In Hangzhou, except for at special places such as nursing homes, orphanages, primary and secondary schools, people’s nucleic acid tests will no longer be checked in public transportation and other public places. They will also stop checking people’s Venue Codes (场所码).

By Manya Koetse , with contributions by Miranda Barnes

 

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China and Covid19

The ‘Blank White Paper Protest’ in Beijing and Online Discussions on “Outside Forces”

As people in Beijing, Shanghai, and other places take to the streets holding up white papers, some have dubbed this the “A4 Revolution.”

Manya Koetse

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A majority of social media commenters support those who have recently taken to the streets, using blank sheets as a sign of protest against censorship and stringent Covid measures. But there are also online voices warning Chinese young people not to be influenced by ‘external forces.’

Over the past few days, there have been scenes of unrest and protest movements in various places across China.

While there were protests in Shanghai for the second night in a row, Beijing also saw crowds gathering around the Liangmahe area in the city’s Chaoyang District on Sunday night.

Some videos showed crowds softly singing the song “Farewell” (送别) in commemoration of those who lost their lives during the deadly inferno in Urumqi.

Later, people protested against stringent Covid measures.

“The crowds at Liangmahe are amazing,” some people on Weibo commented.

Photos and videos coming from the area showed how people were holding up blank sheets of white paper.

Earlier this weekend, students in Nanjing and Xi’an also held up blank paper sheets in protest of censorship and as the only ‘safe’ way to say what could otherwise not be said. This form of protest also popped up during the Hong Kong protests, as also described in the recent book by Louisa Lim (Indelible City: Dispossession and Defiance in Hong Kong).

The recurring use of blank paper sheets led to some dubbing the protests an “A4 Revolution.”

“When can we have freedom of speech? Maybe it can start at Beijng’s Liangmahe,” one person on Weibo wrote on Sunday night.

Another Beijing-based netizen wrote: “Before going to sleep I saw what was happening in Liangmahe on my WeChat Moments and then I looked at Weibo and saw that the Xicheng area had added 279 new Covid cases. I started thinking about my own everyday life and the things I am doing. I can’t help but feel a sense of isolation, because I can’t fight and do not dare to raise my voice.”

“I didn’t dare to believe this is happening in 2022. I didn’t dare to believe this is happening in Beijing. I do not dare to believe that again it will all have been useless tomorrow morning,” one Weibo user commented.

During the night, various people at the scene shouted out things such as “we want to go out and work,” and other hopes they have. One person yelled: “I want to go out and see a movie!”

“I want to go and see a movie.”

The phrase “I wanna go watch a movie” (“我要看电影”) was also picked up on social media, with some people commenting : “I am not interested in political regimes, I just want to be able to freely see a movie.” “I want to see a movie! I want to sit in a cinema and watch a movie! I want to watch a movie that is uncensored!”

Despite social media users showing a lot of support for students and locals standing up and making their voices heard, not everyone was supportive of this gathering in Beijing. Some suggested that since Liangmahe is near Beijing’s foreign embassy district, there must be some evil “foreign forces” meddling and creating unrest.

Others expressed that people were starting to demand too many different things instead of solely focusing on China’s zero Covid policies, losing the momentum of the original intention of the protest.

Political commentator Hu Xijin (胡锡进) also posted about the recent unrest on his Weibo account on Sunday night:

The people have the right to express their opinions, and you may have good and honest aspirations and have the intention to express legitimate demands. But I want to remind you that many things have their own rules, and when everyone participates in the movement, its direction might become very difficult for ordinary participants to continue to control, and it can easily to be used or even hijacked by separate forces, which may eventually turn into a flood that destroys all of our lives.”

Hu also called on people to keep striving to solve existing problems, but to stay clear-headed, suggesting that it is important for the people and the government to maintain unity in this challenging time.

The term “outside forces” or “external forces” (外部势力) increasingly popped up in social media discussions on late Sunday night.

“I worry a lot of meddling by external forces. Let’s be vigilant of a color revolution. I just hope things will get better,” one netizen from Hubei wrote.

“Young people should not be incited by a few phrases and blindly follow. Everyone will approve of people rationally defending their rights, but stay far away from color revolutions.”

The idea that foreign forces meddle in Chinese affairs for their own agenda has come up various times over the past years, during the Hong Kong protests but also during small-scale protests, such as a local student protest in Chengdu in 2021.

The term “color revolution” is recurring in these kind of discussions, with some netizens suggesting that foreign forces, such as the CIA, are trying to get local people to cause unrest through riots or demonstrations to undermine the stability of the government.

“It’s not always external forces, it can also just be opposition,” one person on Weibo replied: “In every country you’ll have different opinions.”

“What outside forces?” another commenter said: “I’m not an external force! I am just completely fed up with the Covid measures!”

Read more about the “11.24” unrest in China here.

By Manya Koetse , with contributions by Miranda Barnes

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