Demand that Police Prevent Violence Against Women

People's Armed Police Squad

Target: President of China Xi Jinping

Goal: Prevent violence against women by investigating cases and punishing abusers

Li Yan, 43, had her death sentence overturned by China’s Supreme People’s Court. Convicted of killing her husband, Tan Yong, Yan was driven to murder after her husband relentlessly abused her for years. This case, and its ultimate decision, has highlighted the fact that China has done very little in protecting women against violence. The country needs to step up and provide legal and physical protection for all women in the country.

Li Yan’s torment began soon after she was married in 2009. Her husband constantly beat her, and at one point cut off one of her fingers. He also stubbed her face with cigarettes, and during the freezing winter, locked her onto the balcony for several hours with little clothing. Li contacted authorities about the abuse, and even had to be hospitalized after one such attack. Even though police took pictures of her injuries, they did not pursue the case.

Her trial has since been overturned, and the case moved to the Sichuan Provincial High People’s Court for a retrial in May 2014. Yan’s case has exposed the corruption and negligence of the Chinese police force. The police were very well aware of the fact that this poor woman was being abused and did nothing. China lacks few legal protections for women who are victims of abuse, and this problem needs to be rectified. Urge the Chinese government to craft laws that protect women and urge their police force to investigate and prosecute abusers.


Dear President Xi Jinping,

As I am sure you are aware, China’s Supreme People’s Court recently overturned the death sentence of Li Yan, who was convicted of murdering her husband. After years of abuse at the hand of her husband with no police protection, Yan probably felt that the only way to get away from her husband was to kill him.

This outcome saddens me, as the death of her husband could have been prevented if Li Yan actually received police protection and if authorities investigated the matter. Yan had to be hospitalized after one such attack, and her husband cut off one of her fingers-this should have alerted authorities to the severity of the situation. I am writing to urge your government to craft laws to protect women, and make the police force investigate cases of abuse. Women like Li Yan shouldn’t be forced to kill their abuser to leave a violent situation. They should be able to rely on the police.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: BrokenSphere via Wikimedia Commons

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