|As she was attempting to live stream, her ex-husband doused her in petrol and set her on fire. Lamu, Chinese social media star suffered 90% burns on her body. She died two weeks later after the attack at the age of 30.
Lamu, from China’s Sichuan province, had more than 782,000 followers on Douyin, also known as China’s version of TikTok. She made posts about her rural life. She gained millions of ‘likes’ and praises for not using makeup in her videos.
On 14 September, Lamu’s screen blackout right after she started live streaming, according to state-media outlet the Beijing Youth Daily.
The incident involved her ex-husband, identified by his surname as Tang. He had broken into her house armed with a knife and petrol.
Lamu was then taken to a local hospital, according to Jinchuan County Public Security Bureau. Later, she transferred to Sichuan Provincial People’s Hospital for further treatment.
According to The Paper, her followers provided financial help after her family requested for help. In 24 hours, the followers raised 1 million yuan (RM 612,172) for Lamu.
What happened between Lamu and the ex-husband?
Beijing Youth Daily reported that Tang had a past of domestic violence. It is also reported that Lamu’s sister often mentioned that Tang hit Lamu. Earlier this year in May, the couple divorced. They have two children, and each gained custody of one child.
Soon after the divorce, Tang threatened Lamu to marry him in order to keep another child alive. Lamu later married him, but ran away. Tang grew frustration and reportedly questioned relatives for Lamu’s whereabouts. Tang also hit Lamu’s sister as she refused to expose Lamu’s location.
Following the incident, the family members lodged a report to the police. But the police did not take actions.
On 14 September, police detained Tang for suspicious “intentional homicide”.
China’s legal system on divorce grants sparked concerns
More than 70 million people reportedly used a hashtag mentioning Lamu’s death
Her unfortunate death received a major discussion on Weibo, China’s social media site. The incident gained more than 70 million people using a hashtag mentioning her death.
One of the social media users stated that she hoped women were given more security. But police officials attacked her by saying, “Where were you when a report was made? Why didn’t you care?”
Many victims who suffered from domestic violence had encountered difficulties in China’s legal system in the past.
This year, early 2020, a husband beat his wife so brutally that she jumped off a window to escape. For her own safety, she attempted to divorce him. But the court rejected the grant to divorce even with CCTV footage as proof.
Later, she brought the incident up to social media by uploading the video. Thousands of people defended for her and the court later granted her divorce.
Also early in the year 2020, China introduced the 30-day “cool-off” period for the couple who intend to divorce. The period is to allow both parties to reconsider their decision. But the “cool-off” period caused many worrying concerns for the victims of domestic violence.
The law which will be set to come into effect in 2021, is not applicable to families with a history of domestic violence. But right groups said with major concerns that not all cases were reported to the police.
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Prepared by: Florin Hoo