Hotel Staff, Guests Do Nothing as Woman Attacked

Video of the attack has gone viral in China
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2016 6:15 PM CDT
Hotel Staff, Guests Do Nothing as Woman Attacked
Still from a video showing a hotel employee watching as a man attacks a female guest Sunday in Beijing.   (YouTube)

A man attacked a woman in a hotel hallway Sunday in Beijing for minutes on end as hotel staff and other guests ignored the situation, the Washington Post reports. Video of the attack has since gone viral on Chinese social media, bringing attention to the country's issues with sexism and violence against women. The victim, who identified herself as Wanwan on social media, was looking for her room key after stepping out of an elevator when the man attacked her. He grabbed her, choked her, and attempted to drag her down a stairwell. At least four other guests got off the elevator in the middle of the attack and did nothing. Wanwan says a hotel employee intervened only to ask her to quiet down. The attacker finally ran off when a woman reached out to help Wanwan up off the ground.

The response to the video has been almost as disturbing as the attack itself. China's People's Daily Online implies the attack wouldn't have been noteworthy if it was "just another brawl between lovers" or "just another couple arguing." The Post notes anti-domestic violence laws were only recently passed in China. Wanwan, who called police dispatchers in the middle of the attack, says she was told it wasn't "within our responsibility." She was later told she would have to wait days for an investigator to look into it. And an initial investigation by police minimizes the attack, saying Wanwan wasn't injured or robbed and the attacker "seemed drunk." reports the hotel issued a statement after the video went viral claiming staff tried to stop the fight. It also allegedly tried to bribe Wanwan to delete the video. (More violence against women stories.)

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