The awareness of sexual assault – 性侵意识的唤醒
by Yunmei Li, Girl Up In-Country Consultant, China
On 5th April 2018, an article went viral online. The author, Li Youyou, friend of Gao Yan, report on Douban that Nanking University professor Shen Yang had sexually assaulted Gao Yan and slander she was in mental disorder 20 years ago, resulted in her suicide.
At that night, Li Youyou was interviewed by media, claiming Gao Yan was sexually assaulted by Shen Yang in the name of love when she studied in Peking University. Gao Yan committed suicide on 11th March 1998 after she tried cutting wrist, sleeping pill and gas poisoning. The reason why she chose to make it public is because she is inspired by the similar case of Luo Qianqian, who reported on Weibo about sexual assault and the university decided to dismiss his master supervisor.
Within a day, Nanking University responded to public that Shen Yang is not qualified as a professor, suggesting his resignation. Shanghai Normal University, who hired Shen Yang as guest professor, also dismissed his position, responded that they have zero tolerance to teachers who has ethics problems.
Currently, over 70 universities students are alumni are initiating a campaign, advocating universities to make policy to prevent sexual assault between teachers and students. Over 10 thousand people gave jointly signature. The Ministry of Education and some university has responded publicly with positive attitude.
Before Luo Qianqian, sexual assault, sexual harassment, especially between teachers and students in university was not taken seriously. With more and more online report, media press, advocacy, the awareness is being raised, girls are learning self-protect, teachers are being warned not to get abnormal close relationships with students. It is a good sign in China.