Unresolved Problem of Domestic Violence in China: The Case of a Brutally Killed Social Media Celebrity
China & Human Rights
Global Human Rights Defence
Last week, the intermediate People’s Court of the Aba Tibetan and Qiang ethnic minority autonomous prefecture of Sichuan province sentenced a man to death who brutally killed his ex-wife. A famous Chinese TikToker, Lhamo, who had hundreds of thousands of followers, was set on fire by her ex-husband during a live stream last year. After a month in intensive care with severe burns, she finally succumbed to her wounds. The woman suffered domestic abuse from her ex-husband for a long time and tried to report the man to the local police several times to protect herself and their children. However, her complaints were dismissed as the police regarded them as a family matter.
Shocked by the inaction of the authorities, followers, as well as other famous people, drew attention to the case and the overall negligence of domestic violence in the country. With hashtags such as LhamoAct#, people have been pleading for new regulations that would allow an instant divorce and protection for victims in abusive households. Despite the existing domestic violence law, which was enacted in 2016, its enforcement has not been very effective. Although the legislation brought the attention of the Chinese public to the problem, much stricter law enforcement on a local level is still required.
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