What happened to ‘Lhamo’ from TikTok? Livestream video makes the New York Times

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Lhamo, a farmer living in southwestern China, gained 200,000 followers by posting videos of her outdoor lifestyle. During a Livestream from her kitchen on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, a man entered and Lhamo screamed, then the screen went black, as reported by The New York Times.

She had been doused in gasoline and set one fire, and two weeks later she died. Her ex-husband is being investigated for the attack.

What do we know about Lhamo?

Lhamo found fame on Douyin by showcasing what life is like as a Tibetan farmer. She posted videos of herself cooking, gardening, singing and walking in the mountains around her village. Her fans enjoyed her cheerful and hardworking content.

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She lived in a small village within the area of Aba, known as Ngaba by Tibetans. Lhamo met her ex-husband, a man named Tang Lu, when she was just 18. Her sister claims to have noticed bruises on her sister’s face and body several times, including a dislocated elbow. Lhamo divorced her husband in march, but after alleged threats from Tang Lu saying he would kill their children if she did not return to him, they remarried.

Lhamo reported counts of domestic abuse from her husband to the police several times. On hearing that she had remarried her alleged abuser the authorities said, “this is your personal family matter.”

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Over 400 of her followers tuned into the Livestream when she was attacked. However, the screen went black before her fans could see what happened to her.

And what happened to her?

Lhamo died two weeks after being admitted to hospital. Her case led to the creation of the #LhamoAct hashtag, calling for stronger enforcement of domestic violence law in China. The hashtag had been censored within a day on one of China’s most popular social media platforms, Weibo. Other censored hashtags include #StopNotActing and #PunishNotActing.

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The domestic violence law assured women that there would be more police investigations and greater access to restraining orders, but the law is not widely enforced. This in turn means victims of abuse are more likely to stay in abusive relationships and keep quiet.

Nearly 1000 women have been killed by their husbands or partners since China’s law against domestic violence was enacted in 2016, per women’s rights group, Beijing Equality.

National Domestic Abuse Helpline (UK) – 0808 2000 247

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US helpline and website, offering more information for those affected.