Sexual harassment and assault

Sexual harassment and assault

Latest news and features on sexual harassment and assault, including accusations of misconduct and developments in the #MeToo movement.

Bullied and sexually assaulted for months, school tells gay high school student to ‘deal with it’
When Xiaohao, a pseudonym, was a freshman in high school, his peers spent months bullying him emotionally and physically, including repeated instances of sexual assault. All because he is gay.  In the most harrowing incident, Xiaohao was stripped naked, pinned to the ground and forced to watch pornography while someone stimulated his genitals. The bullies filmed the incident.  He remembered one of the abusers asked, “Shouldn’t this give you pleasure since you are gay?”  Xiaohao, who made his experience public last Saturday, routinely asked for help from the school administrators, who told him to endure it.  “I am a homosexual. My dorm-mates bullied me. But the teachers asked me to put up wit
A child rapist’s five-year prison sentence sets off a wave of anger
A lenient sentence for a man who raped a five-year-old girl in China has deepened a rift between the public perception of child sexual assault and how the crime is treated by the law.  The 20-year-old man, surnamed Li, was sentenced to five years in prison and fined US$510 on January 15 by a local court in the southwestern province of Yunnan. The sentence caused outrage in China, with many people calling for a harsher sentence and even the death penalty.  Li is the uncle of the victim and he brought the girl to a public restroom at a local bus station and raped her, said the court’s statement. Li visited the girl’s family last August and took her out at night, saying he wanted to buy her can
Enough victim blaming: ad pulled after women lead internet outrage
A Chinese company’s new video advertisement for women’s makeup remover wipes has been savagely panned by online critics, forcing the ad to be pulled and the company apologizing twice. Purcotton, owned by Winner Medical Co., released the video last week on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, showing a young girl scaring off a would-be attacker with her naked makeup-free face after using the cleansing wipes. The 26-second video ad was pulled after online users denounced it as “demonizing” female sexual assault victims. The offending ad showed a young woman walking down a street at night followed by a masked man. As the stalker gets closer, the woman pulls out a cleansing wipe to quickly re
Alleged sexual abuse of teen girl prompts calls to raise age of consent
In a case that has thrown a spotlight on China’s age of consent laws, a businessman has denied accusations that he assaulted a 14-year-old girl and described the relationship as romantic. The alleged victim, who is now 18, told Chinese media outlets South Reviews and Thepaper.cn in April that the man, who adopted her in 2015, sexually assaulted her over the course of more than three years. She said the assault first took place when she was 14 years old. Lawyers say the businessman, Bao Yuming, may be able to defend himself by asserting the alleged sex was consensual. The case is being investigated by police in the eastern city of Yantai, where Bao lives.  In a response to South Reviews, Bao
China’s subway cars for women are duds
Ten years after she was groped by a man on a Beijing bus, Wanda is still haunted by the memory. Now 31, Wanda – who asked to be identified only by her first name – said she froze when a man pressed himself against her on the bus and began thrusting his lower body at her. That was but one of several times she experienced sexual harassment on public transport. Wanda said she had also been flashed at in public and, just last year, was forced to block a man with her purse when he tried to touch her leg on a train. Wanda’s experience is not unusual, but attempts to address the problem of sexual harassment on public transport in China have met with mixed results. Two major cities in southern China
China must do more to protect children from sexual abuse
Last month, the Supreme People’s Court of China published four so-called typical cases of sexual abuse of children. The top court vowed to use all means, including the death penalty, to punish child sex offenders. I feel encouraged by the news as it shows China is adopting a zero-tolerance attitude. I was also a victim of child sex abuse, one of many girls molested by a teacher at my primary school in the eastern city of Nanjing. This is a hidden but growing epidemic. News portal Caixin.com reported that some 8% to 12% of China’s 270 million minors might have experienced sexual assault, including rape for 1%.  “It means that nearly 30 million Chinese children could have been the victims of s
He was caught on camera touching his daughter. Police say it’s OK
Public outrage has followed a police decision not to press charges against a father who was filmed kissing and caressing his young daughter on a train in southeastern China. In a video, which went viral this week, the 30-year-old man is seen fondling a young girl sitting in his lap. The man lifts the child’s shirt, strokes her back and tries to kiss her on the mouth. The girl appears to be trying to push the man away. “The father then put his hands under her pants. The girl then said, ‘father, you are touching my buttocks again, it’s painful.’ She continued to struggle,” a female passenger who filmed the video told the Hangzhou-based newspaper City Express, adding that she had not filmed thi
How safe is ride-sharing in China?
It was just past 10am on a Friday morning in late August, and a 16-year-old girl by the name of Zhang had to go to the bank. So she did what 20 million Chinese people do every day: she hailed a taxi through the popular Didi Chuxing ride-booking app, China’s biggest hailing platform. Soon enough she received a notification that a “Master Sun” was en route to her home in the eastern port city of Yantai. Minutes later, he called to confirm the pickup point. She got into the taxi, which turned out to be unlicensed. The driver’s name was not Sun, as the Didi app had showed, but Zhang Weixing, 36. As he drove off, he told the teenager how much he liked her. He said he wanted to go to the seaside w
A public suicide, and the onlookers who jeered
Warning: this story contains details that some may find distressing. The suicide of a 19-year-old girl in northwestern China has prompted a collective wave of soul-searching online. Last week, the teenager, identified as Ms Li by police, was discovered sitting on the edge of a building in Qingyang, a city in Gansu province. Rescuers spent hours trying to convince her to return to safety. The same couldn’t be said for some of the onlookers. They shot videos and live-streamed the incident from their mobile phones. In one of the most circulated videos, a woman said the girl was being a coward for not jumping. In some of the social media posts, some onlookers said she should take her own life so