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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 editor-in-chief of www.whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer and consultant (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends in China, with a focus on social media and digital developments, popular culture, and gender issues. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

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China Local News

On Wuhan’s ‘Reopening Day’, Even Traffic Jams Are Celebrated

As the COVID-19 lockdown has ended in Wuhan, many people are happy to see the city’s traffic finally getting busy again. “I hated traffic jams before, now it makes me happy to see them.”

Manya Koetse

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It was chilly and grey in Wuhan when the coronavirus epicenter city went into a full lockdown on January 23 of this year. On April 8, 76 days later, it is sunny and twenty degrees warmer outside as people leave their homes to resume work or go for a stroll.

The end of the Wuhan lockdown is a special day for many, as the city finally lifted the 11-week-long ban that shut down all travel to and from the city in a radical effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.

On Wednesday, city residents returned to work as public transport started again. Roads, bridges, and tunnels were reopened, and the local airport resumed flights.

On Chinese social media, various hashtags relating to the Wuhan lockdown end have become popular topics. Using hashtags such as “Wuhan Lifts the Ban” (#武汉解封#), “Wuhan Open Again after 76 Days” (#武汉暂停76天后重启#), and “Wuhan Reopens” (#武汉重启#), the end of the coronavirus ban is a much-discussed news item, along with the spectacular midnight light show that was organized to celebrate the city’s reopening.

The Wuhan lightshow, image via Xinhua.

“Today has finally arrived! It’s been difficult for the people of Wuhan,” some commenters write.

According to China’s official statistics, that are disputed, over 3330 people have died from the new coronavirus since its outbreak; 80% of these fatal cases were reported in Wuhan. On April 6, authorities claimed that for the first time since the virus outbreak, there were zero new COVID-19 deaths.

Some state media, including People’s Daily, report that the reopening of restaurants and food shops is going smoothly in the city, as people – for the first time since January – are back to buying pan-fried dumplings and noodles from their favorite vendors.

Meanwhile, the fact that the traffic in some Wuhan areas is back to being somewhat congested is something that is widely celebrated on social media.

Some call the mild traffic congestions “great”, viewing it as a sign that the city is coming back to life again after practically turning into a ghost town for all these weeks.

“I hated traffic jams before, now it makes me happy to see them,” one Weibo commenter writes.

“I won’t complain about congested traffic again, because it’s a sign the streets are flourishing,” another Weibo user posted.

While netizens and media outlets are celebrating the end of the lockdown, several Chinese media accounts also remind people on social media that although the ban has been lifted, people still need to be vigilant and refrain from gathering in groups and standing close to each other.

For more COVID-19 related articles, please click here.

By Manya Koetse (@manyapan)
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China Local News

Online Anger over “Special Treatment” for Quarantined Foreigners in China

Are foreigners in quarantine being treated better than Chinese nationals? This Nanjing Daily article has triggered controversy.

Bobby Fung

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On March 27, an article titled “For the Good Health of 684 Foreigners” (“为了684个“老外”的安康”) sparked controversy online over the alleged special treatment of foreign nationals during their mandatory 14-day quarantine period.

According to the article published by Nanjing Daily, Nanjing’s Xianlin Subdistrict set up a special WeChat group for foreign nationals and their families returning to the city after the Spring Festival holiday, which coincided with the outbreak of the new coronavirus.

In special WeChat groups, subdistrict officers, doctors, translators, and property managers provide assistance and daily services to these China-based foreigners. Examples of such “daily services” include delivering fresh bread or contacting pet boarding facilities.

“One young man loved online shopping on Taobao, and once we delivered twenty packages for him within one day,” one member of the service group told Nanjing Daily.

Although foreign residents in China and foreigners with previously issued visas are currently no longer allowed to enter China, they needed to undergo a two-week quarantine period upon entry until the travel ban of a few days ago.

Jiangsu Province, of which Nanjing is the capital, tightened quarantine rules on March 23, making every traveler from abroad subject to a centralized quarantine (e.g. in a hotel) for fourteen days.

The special services for returning foreigners reported by Nanjing Daily triggered controversy on Chinese social media this week. Many netizens criticized it as a “supra-nationals treatment” (超国民待遇).

Under one Weibo post by media outlet The Cover (@封面新闻), which received over one million views, many people are criticizing local officers’ favorable treatment of foreigners. One commenter writes: “Will they provide the same comprehensive services to their compatriots?”

Another person writes: “Why don’t they also adhere to the slogan of ‘Serve the People’ (..) when dealing with Chinese citizens?”

In discussing the supposed inequality between the treatment of foreigners and Chinese nationals in quarantine, many netizens raise a recent example of a quarantined Chinese student who asked the civil police staff for mineral water. In a video that circulated online in mid-March, the girl quarrels with the police for not being offered mineral water. The student, demanding mineral water over the available boiled tap water, was ridiculed for suggesting that having mineral spring water is a “human right.”

Ironically, the Nanjing Daily article explicitly mentions how the Xianlin Subdistrict deals with foreigners drinking purified water: “[This] Laowai [foreigner] wants to drink bottled purified water, [so] we bought four barrels for him (..) and carried them from the community gate to his apartment.”

The contrast in treatment of quarantined foreigners versus Chinese nationals prompted some Weibo users to reflect on their previous remarks on the female student: “I apologize for previously mocking the Chinese student at the quarantine center in Pudong, Shanghai, for demanding to drink mineral water,” one commenter writes.

In response to the online controversy, the office of the Xianlin Subdistrict clarified that Chinese nationals would receive “corresponding services” during their quarantine period. Some netizens question what these alleged “corresponding services” exactly entail.

In another media report, the official reply was that “the Subdistrict treats Chinese and foreign citizens the same.”

Over recent years, there have been many online controversies on the issue of privilege in China. Earlier this year, there was public outrage over two women driving a Benz SUV into the Palace Museum, where cars are usually not allowed.

The issue of the perceived privileges of foreigners in China has particularly triggered anger among netizens. The “preferential treatment” of overseas students and the “dorm disparities” between Chinese and foreign students in China, for example, previously became major topics of online discussion.

A popular WeChat article that comments on the Nanjing controversy of this week also lists examples of special treatment for foreigners, including cases where foreigners were not fined when breaking rules in China or being “treated better” in other ways. By now, the article has received over 100,000 views.

For more COVID-19 related articles, please click here.

By Bobby Fung (@bobbyfungmr)

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©2020 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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