First court ruling in China against sexual harassment on public transportation | Society News | SupChina
Free

We're a new type of news publication

China news you won't read elsewhere.

Weekly Newsletter

Get a roundup of the most important and interesting stories coming out of China.

Podcasts

Sinica, TechBuzz China, and our 6 other shows are the undisputed champs of China podcasts. Listen now.

Feature Articles

Interactive, web-based deep dives into the real China.

Premium

Join the thousands of executives, diplomats, and journalists that rely on SupChina for daily analysis of the full China story.

Daily Newsletter

All the news, every day. Premium analysis directly from our Editor-in-Chief Jeremy Goldkorn.

24/7 Slack Community

Have China-related questions and want answers? Our Slack community is a place to learn, network, and opine.

Free Live Events & More

Monthly live conference calls with leading experts, free entry to SupChina live events in cities around the world, and more.

"A jewel in the crown of China reporting. I go to it, look for it daily. Why? It adds so much insight into the real China. Essential news, culture, color. I find SupChina superior."
— Max Baucus, former U.S. Ambassador to China

Free

We're a new type of news publication

China news you won't read elsewhere.

Weekly Newsletter

Get a roundup of the most important and interesting stories coming out of China.

Podcasts

Sinica, TechBuzz China, and our 6 other shows are the undisputed champs of China podcasts. Listen now.

Feature Articles

Interactive, web-based deep dives into the real China.

OR… for more in-depth analysis and an online community of China-focused professionals:

Learn About Premium Access Now!
Learn More
Minimize
Learn More
Minimize

First court ruling in China against sexual harassment on public transportation

Shanghai has stepped up its initiative to combat sexual harassment on the city’s public transit system, sentencing one man to six months in prison after he groped an adult woman and an underage girl on a subway train.

According to the indictment (in Chinese), the incident occurred on July 1, when the 34-year-old sex offender, whose last name is Wang, was caught grabbing the victims’ breasts and other body parts on a Line 8 subway train. After the woman called Wang out for his molestation, he was surrounded by other passengers on the train, and then apprehended by the police as he attempted to flee the scene.

bbb32cf7ly1g6f3mgxjx6j21hd0u0qv9

Wang was arrested on indecency charges in August and sentenced to six months in jail by the Jing’an District People’s Court, making him the first person to be criminally punished for groping passengers on public transportation in the city.

Sexual assault on public transit is alarmingly common in China. According to a 2015 nationwide survey (in Chinese) conducted by the China Youth Daily, more than half of the 1,117 female respondents said they had experienced some form of sexual harassment on a bus or on the subway. Over 70 percent of the participants, including the 906 male participants, urged legislators to toughen laws against mass transit gropers and create a blacklist for repeat offenders.

saltypig

But while the problem has gained increasing attention since the #MeToo movement took off in China last year, the crime of forcible touching is classified as a misdemeanor by Chinese laws. Before Wang’s case, offenders managed to get away with less-severe penalties like 15-day “administrative detentions” without any time in real prison.

There are also practical difficulties for feminists who try to raise public awareness about the  issue. In 2015, five female activists were detained after attempting to launch a campaign against sexual harassment on public transportation.

180919145409 02 beijing sexual harassment exlarge 169

That didn’t deter other courageous feminist individuals and groups from speaking up. In 2017, after failed attempts to display advertisements against sexual harassment at subway stations, Zhāng Lěilěi 张累累, an activist in Guangzhou, successfully encouraged 100 volunteers to wear placards with anti-sexual-harassment slogans while riding the subway, which generated a lot of lively discussion on the internet.

Last year, the state-run Beijing Women’s Federation ran an awareness campaign in parts of the capital’s subway system. Its posters called upon people to “not act like a silent lamb” or “an indifferent onlooker” if they see a passenger being groped.

Share
Jiayun Feng

Jiayun was born in Shanghai, where she spent her first 20 years and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism at Fudan University. Interested in writing for a global audience, she attended the NYU Graduate School of Journalism for its Global & Joint Program Studies, which allowed her to pursue a journalism career along with her interest in international relations. She has previously interned for Sixth Tone and Shanghai Daily.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.