The Phenomenon of Violence Among Chinese School Girls Exposed on Social Media

August 31, 2019 Updated: September 7, 2019

Warning: Video contains images that could be disturbing to some viewers.

News Analysis

Seemingly every few weeks on Chinese social media, a new video comes out about a group of middle school students attacking and insulting one targeted girl.

In the most recent video, a primary school girl, whose face is censored, is attacked by a group of boys, kicked and slapped inside a classroom, and then finally approached by a woman, who slaps her in front of everyone, according to an Aug. 26 report by Chinese online media Feng Videos.

The girl was bullied at a school in Rucheng City of Hunan Province, China on Aug. 25, according to Feng Videos. The report stated that the incident is being investigated by police.

Group Bullying

The videos and events almost always turn out the same way, but the recent video is an exception. In most videos, one individual girl, generally middle school aged, sometimes younger, is cornered by a group of girls. She is verbally berated, then slapped and sometimes kicked for whatever wrong the larger group feels she committed.

The girls will generally endure the punishment without expression and without fighting back.

Also, at least one of the girls involved records the incident for an unreported reason. These videos generally then find their way onto social media, followed by online news organizations reporting about them.

However, in this video, an adult also takes part in the abuse.

The video shows a girl in a light blue shirt being slapped and kicked in the back by a group of students. Most of them appear to be boys, but at least one girl can be seen in the background. After the girl is thrashed for a moment, the children stop and walk away, giving way for a woman in a black dress.

The girl turns and faces her, and after the person holding the camera backs up, the woman slaps the girl across the face once. The woman seems to say “Why are you afraid of me?” as she strikes the girl, as seen in the footage. Several other students appear to run out of the room as this happens.

Bully Precedent

The unfortunate abuse the girl suffered is not an isolated incident of group bullying in China.

On May 11, a video made rounds on Chinese social media of a 15-year-old girl beating a 12-year-old girl in a hotel, according to Chinese news outlet Beijing Times. The older girl accused the younger of speaking badly of her. The video involves at least three girls cornering the 12-year-old, one recording and two violently interrogating her. The three girls, based on their physical height, all appear to be older than the 12-year-old.

They slap her face, pull her hair, and fling her around the room. The girl recording the video even laughs as the younger girl is nearly thrown to the floor.

In another instance, Chinese social media was quick to point out how many times two girls slapped one another in a 35 second video. The incident occurred on April 22, and one girl was slapped 14 times, according to Chinese news outlet Headline News. The report mentioned that the attack happened because the girl being slapped multiple times accidentally stepped on the other girl’s foot while on a trampoline.

Younger girls are involved, too. On March 8, a group of primary school girls cornered one girl, holding her by the collar, according to The Beijing News. Another girl off camera slapped her and yelled at her, pointing a finger in her face. Over a month later, on April 27, public officials made the parents of the offending girl apologize to the victim and her family.