Hundreds of thousands of Sina Weibo users have reacted angrily to Chinese actor Jiang Jinfu’s admission of domestic violence against his girlfriend.
He made the admission in the early hours of Tuesday morning after the Japanese model Zhongpu Youhua posted pictures of her injuries on Instagram.
“Recently I have worried everyone who cares about me,” she wrote, adding that she is “still alive”.
“Lawyers and relevant personnel have asked that I don’t disclose much,” she said.
Despite Instagram being blocked in China, thousands of Chinese and Japanese speakers reacted angrily to her bilingual post.
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Mr Jiang has posted an apology on Sina Weibo, the Chinese social media platform, where he has 17 million followers. “This month I have spent confessing and being remorseful,” he says. “My impulsive behaviour hurt you and your family… I am ashamed of my actions… I will take responsibility for my actions and accept punishment. I sincerely apologise to everyone.”
The police have not yet issued a statement.
More than 163,000 Weibo users have responded to the apology.
Thousands have also commented angrily on media posts about the story.
“Domestic violence cannot be forgiven,” reads one comment. “My God, so many bruises,” says another.
“So much hate to reduce a girl to this…how cruel” said one user in a comment that has been liked 17,000 times.
Domestic violence in China
China’s first domestic violence law was enacted in 2016 and it was only in 2001 that physical abuse became grounds for divorce.
Despite the recent law, domestic violence cases remain difficult to win in court. In the 10 months after the law came in, says women’s rights organisation Equality, 142 abuse-related cases were brought to court in the city of Jinan. Only 14 cases, where the accused admitted to the allegations, resulted in divorce.
The domestic violence law has also been criticised for not including gay couples.
“Violence within families has traditionally been viewed as a private issue in China,” wrote wrote feminist campaigner Lu Pin in March this year. “One in which outsiders have no right to interfere.”
It is perhaps unsurprising then, that in this context, some Sina Weibo users leapt in to defend Jiang Jinfu saying he was “set up” and that “the girlfriend definitely had problems.”
UK only: If you, or someone you know, has been affected by domestic abuse or violence these organisations may be able to help. If you are in immediate danger, you should dial 999.
Chinese actor admits domestic violence}