Woman from Henan Church Hid in Shanghai after Years of Domestic Violence, Killed by Husband

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File Photo (photo: Pixabay)
By Ruth WangOctober 17th, 2016

On Oct 13, 2016, a case was a publicly heard in Shanghai No.1 Intermediate People's Court. In this case, the wife left her husband in Henan in 2012 to escape a prolonged period of severe domestic violence, and since then had settled down in Shanghai with her daughter. In order to not lose face, the husband went to Shanghai to find his wife, followed her to a butcher's shop, took a meat cleaver and a kitchen knife by his side, and hacked at her, which made her dead. he court will announce its verdict later.

According to the report from the Paper, Niu and his wife Zhang were both from Henan and farmed for a living. Though having been married for more than 30 years, they didn't live in harmony. Zhang left her husband in Henan in 2012 to escape a prolonged period of severe domestic violence, and since then had settled down in Shanghai with her daughter. It made Niu lose face that his wife left home. He wanted to know where his wife was and was stopped by their children, who were afraid that their mother would restarted being beaten. In March,2016, Niu tracked her down by train after he found their son's student card showing he attended a school in Situan Town, Fengxian, Shanghai.

On March 18, Niu saw his wife near a church in Fengxian's Situan Town. He wanted Zhang to go home with him. After he was refused by Zhang, he followed her to a butcher's shop, and then the tragedy happened. 

On the court, when the prosecutors questioned Niu the reason why he killed his wife, Niu answered: "My wife left home many years ago, and I thought she had an affair. When I picked up the knife, I thought she had an affair at home, so I cut her down." When the prosecutors questioned him whether he had the evidence for it, Niu said: "She has call records with other people."

According to Niu's daughter's testimony, her father did a long-term severe domestic violence to her mother. "Dad always scolded mom and tried to beat her to death, I often saw my mother be beaten black and blue, and hid in the room alone crying. Sometimes mother was beaten so hard that she had to be sent into the hospital. She got incontinence and lost consciousness of lower limbs." Niu's daughter said, her mother did all the work. In her father's eyes, it is a waste of time to have faith and she should be responsible for the farm work.

The certificate issued by the relevant medical institution shows that Niu even killed Zhang's embryo when he was beating her.

However, Niu denied he was a wife beater.He said they had had a physical struggle only once and on most of the occasions they just quarreled.

In Dec 27, 2015, the NPC Standing Committee adopted the " Anti-domestic Violence Law of the People's Republic of China". This is China's first anti domestic violence law, the law went into effect in March 1, 2016. Prior to this, there is no particular domestic violence laws in China. Because according to the traditional Chinese ideas, "thou shalt not share family scandals", which often had this problem overlooked. In response to this, some experts commented that the anti domestic violence law makes the family is no longer isolated from society.

The problem of domestic violence is common in China. According to the All-China Women's Federation, the 1/4 women suffered from different degrees of violence in marriage. However, the number of people who report to the police for domestic violence is very small. In the case reported in 2014, on nearly 90% of the occasions, the husband did domestic violence to his wife. But the domestic violence is hardly talked about, and the China society rarely talk about this topic. What was the real cause of social concern and explore on this topic is a TV drama "don't talk to strangers", which was the first anti domestic violence drama . Since then, the strong concern of social public on domestic violence was raised. After the introduction of the domestic violence law, Feng Yuanzheng,who starred in this drama, sent this message to his micro-blog at the first time. In this drama, he played as an intellectual, who abused his wife at home.

In 2004, an article from "Chongqing and the World" mentioned a set of data which is still widely used today to show the prevalence and severity of domestic violence problem. Among 270 million Chinese families, about 30% of them have different levels of domestic violence, on 90% of the occasions, the perpetrators are men. According to a new survey by the All-China Women's Federation, among all the interviewees, there are 16% women admitted to be beaten by their spouse, and 14.4% men admitted to beat their spouse. As a result of domestic violence, 100 thousand families disintegrate every year. The domestic violence is often happened among young and middle-aged couples. The survey shows that domestic violence exists in the family of 20 to 80 years old, of which 20 to 40 years old family is more possible to have this problem, which is more than 65%.

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