- Officer from Shenzhen faces investigation after woman is dragged from flat and punched to the ground
- Victim said she was repeatedly assaulted by boyfriend, who threatened to kill her, but complaints to authorities solved nothing
A police officer from southern China was suspended and detained for five days after video of a man dragging a woman from a flat and punching her to the ground was shown on the internet.
On Wednesday, a statement from Baoan district police in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, said they responded to a call on Saturday night from a woman surnamed Tang who said she was being beaten by her boyfriend, surnamed Long.
"We found that Long, 24, a police officer with the bureau, was in a romantic relationship with Tang, 20," the statement said. "Medical records show that Tang had minor injuries."
On Sunday, video of the beating went viral on social media after broadcaster SZ TV's Spot News programme reported the incident and interviewed the victim.
Tang said she had been assaulted more than 10 times by Long in the past year and treated in hospital several times.
She said she could not break up with him because he had threatened her life. "He said he would wring my neck, die with me, and often said he would kill me," she said.
Tang, who gave Spot News photographs of a wrecked flat, also said she had reported Long to the police but that did not stop the beatings.
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Police said Long apologised to Tang on Monday and was forgiven. On Tuesday, he was detained for five days, suspended from duty, and was reported to the disciplinary department for investigation.
News of the boyfriend's detention did not prevent a public outcry and questions about why it took the authorities so long to answer Tang's complaints.
On Monday, Baoan Women's Federation said it had contacted the victim and was supporting her.
"The federation will keep an eye on developments," its message on WeChat said. "In the face of domestic violence, we hope you can use legal weapons to protect your rights. As domestic violence is difficult to spot, we also call for members of the public to report such incidents."
Authorities said Tang's safety was ensured as their investigations continued.
China's first official anti-domestic violence law took effect in 2016 and its definition included beatings, threats, and restriction of personal freedom. It said victims could seek restraining orders against abusers and call on women's federations and community officers for support.
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There have been public debates about whether enough was being done in China to help victims when authorities lacked the experience to deal with the problem and overcome a culture of silence on "domestic affairs".
In November, Chinese video blogger He Yuhong reignited the debate by telling her Weibo followers that her 44-year-old former partner, Chen Hong, had abused her throughout a year-long "nightmare" relationship. Police put the man under detention for 20 days.
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