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Wednesday, April 6, 2016, 16:45

Woman's claim of assault at hotel triggers outrage

By Liu Wei
Executives of the Yitel hotel in Beijing's 798 Art Zone, where a woman said she was followed and harassed by a man, apologize for the incident on Wednesday. Wang Zhuangfei / China Daily

An online post in which a woman claimed she was assaulted at a four-star Beijing hotel while staff turned a blind eye has triggered public anger and calls for more protection of women.

Beijing police said on Wednesday that they are conducting a "thorough investigation" into the case. The hotel has apologized and promised to tighten management and improve service.

The woman, known only by her Sina Weibo account name "wanwan_2016", related her description online on Tuesday night. She said that she was followed and attacked by a stranger in Yitel Hotel in Beijing's Chaoyang district at about 11 pm on Sunday, and that several passers-by and a hotel employee did nothing.

The woman also posted video clips recorded by the hotel surveillance camera.

The woman had recorded the video clips from a computer monitor while watching the surveillance video with police. Beijing newspaper The Mirror quoted police as saying that the videos the woman posted were real.

The clips show a man taking the same elevator as the woman and exiting on the same floor. While she pauses to look for her door key in the hallway, the man suddenly drags her and appears to choke her and cover her mouth to keep her from screaming.

Several people, including a hotel staff member, are then seen passing by in the clips without offering help. The hotel staff member asks the man and woman not to fight in the corridor.

Finally, some guests realize that it is an attack and come to the woman's aid. While they are calling the police, the man runs away.

The entire incident, which the woman said was a rape attempt, lasted about six minutes.

Woman's claim of assault at hotel triggers outrage

University students hold placards on Wednesday at the gate of the Yitel hotel to voice support for the victim and raise awareness about personal safety in public places. Wang Zhuangfei / China Daily

The woman said police also paid little attention when she reported the attack, so she went online to complain about the hotel and the police.

China Daily called the woman's mobile phone several times on Wednesday, but the calls were not answered, and the woman did not reply to text messages.

Although some facts were awaiting clarification, the issue became one of the hottest topics on Sina Weibo on Wednesday, and the woman's micro-blog postings were forwarded millions of times.

The majority of netizens expressed sympathy for the woman and anger at the hotel and called for more protection of women.

The hotel issued an apology on Wednesday afternoon.

At a news conference at the hotel, manager Liu Hongni said: "We had mistakes or flaws in security measures and services. We will make corrections to avoid similar incidents."

Liu said the hotel would cooperate with the police investigation. She did not take any questions.

The hotel's parent company, Homeinns Hotel Group, a popular budget hotel chain in China, also apologized in a statement and said it will improve security checks and patrols in all of its hotels.

caoyin@chinadaily.com.cn

Woman's claim of assault at hotel triggers outrage

A still image taken from video of the incident shows the woman and the alleged attacker on Sunday. Provided to China Daily

Safety tips

Three potential lifesaving tips for those in danger, especially women

1. Do not cling to your belongings as it may enrage an attacker.

2. Yell to attract attention.

3. Call police at the first opportunity.

Tips for women in public

1. Try not to travel alone on lonely or poorly lit streets.

2. Go to bright places and call for help if you are being followed.

3. Try not to carry valuables and find someone to accompany you if you need to use a public toilet at night.

Tips for women in hotels alone

1. Choose qualified hotels.

2. Do not give out your name or mobile phone number, and be vigilant when strangers try to strike up a conversation.

3. Lock the door, including the chain, after entering a room.

4. Call room service if windows or doors are broken.

Tips for women in elevators

1. Try to avoid taking an elevator alone with males at night.

2. Pay attention to the floor button pressed by strangers. 3. Do not turn your back on strangers.

4.Make sure you know the location of alarm buttons.

Tips for women in underground parking garages

1. Park your car in an area that is monitored.

2. Go into crowds or stores if someone is following you.

3. Take elevators instead of stairs.

Source: chinanews.com.cn

Woman's claim of assault at hotel triggers outrage
A screen snap from a surveillance camera . ( Photo / IC)

A screen snap from a surveillance camera . (Photo / IC)
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