A Chinese father who took photos of himself abusing his 20-month-old daughter may go unpunished by police, according to the mother.
The mother, Xu Ting, said her estranged husband, Xu Qian, in an act of revenge, sent her photos and videos of their daughter suffering various forms of abuse.
The footage and photos, which include an image of the toddler crying while inside a dog cage, and one showing her face under a man’s foot, were posted by Ting’s friends on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, and have since gone viral.
The pictures were taken in the Qian’s home in the city of Chaozhou in south China’s Guangdong Province.
After the footage was published, local police said an investigation was underway, in a post on their Weibo account on April 18. Initial findings showed that the girl has no physical injuries, and some of the photos are not of the child, police said.
Qian admitted to the police that he sent the photos, but did not explain why he did so, the police added.
Images include the girl locked in a metal cage, a picture of her leashed to a door handle, and a photo showing an adult’s bare foot on the girl’s face as she lays on a tile floor.
Other photos show the girl in tears, and a young child’s arms covered with red marks.
Images also included conversations between Ting and her friends, in which the mother said Qian would often physically abuse her.
“I’ve reported this to the police [before], whenever he hits me, I call the police,” Ting wrote to her friend in the messages shared on Weibo. “Every time the police come, all they do is criticize him, then say that men have a lot of stress, and women should be forgiving.”
In China, police criticism is the equivalent of letting someone off with a warning.
Qian and Ting currently live separately, with their daughter living at her father’s home. While the pair agreed to get a divorce at the end of 2018, they have no yet done so.
“[My family] is afraid if I get a divorce, it will influence my younger brothers’ and sisters’ chance of getting married,” Ting wrote in a message.
“My family members don’t dare to help me.”
Ting has attempted to take legal action, but to no avail. “I asked a lawyer, he said that since the pictures don’t have [the father’s] face, the law won’t recognize it,” Ting said in another message. “It needs video to count.”
The police investigation is ongoing, according to the Weibo post.