Minitrue: Manage Opinion on Abductee Turned Teacher

The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online. The name of the issuing body has been omitted to protect the source.

Regarding the old story “Gao Yanmin: From Kidnapped Girl to Most Beautiful Rural Teacher,” all websites must pay close attention to and manage . Resolutely delete any malicious remarks attacking the government or the social system.  (July 30, 2015) [Chinese]

In 1994, Gao Yanmin, an 18-year-old woman from Henan, was kidnapped in Shijiazhuang, Hebei after being lured to a train station there under the false pretense of employment. She was sold three times in four days before being forcibly settled with a husband in rural Hebei, where she was subject to intense physical and sexual abuse. After a series of thwarted escape and suicide attempts, Gao resigned herself to her fate. Being the only village resident to have finished middle school, she became a teacher and devoted herself to her students. In 2006 local media dubbed her “the most beautiful rural teacher” (最美乡村教师) in an article on her tragic story, and she was later given a provincial award. Her story reverberated nationally, inciting public outrage over official inaction on . In 2009 her story was turned into the motion picture “Story of an Abducted Woman” (《嫁给大山的女人》).

Gao Yanmin’s story has again become the center of public debate. China Daily reports:

Gao’s story has been noticed and posted online again by an Internet user this week then soon spread like a virus on most Chinese news outlets and popular social networks like Sina Weibo and WeChat.

Netizens questioned the narrative that minimized the problem of human trafficking and abduction while focusing instead on Gao’s resignation to her fate. They felt that the people responsible for her plight were not held accountable, and that it was a twisted value system that held her up to be a role model for accepting her fate.

A Weibo user said: “I could not understand why the social tragedy and embarrassment became a model.” Another Weibo user commented: “How could you have the nerve to ask a victim to shoulder the responsibility while letting the traffickers go unpunished?”

Zeng Yaxian, writer and columnist with news portal sina.com, called for an end of hardships for Gao and a return of her dignity. […] [Source]