• Sun
  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 4:05pm
NewsHong Kong
SOCIETY

Young mainland women 'marrying elderly Hong Kong men to get residency'

Welfare group sees rise in abuse cases in which old men who married young mainlanders are forced into divorce and evicted from their flats

PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 March, 2014, 11:56am
UPDATED : Saturday, 08 March, 2014, 2:41am
 

All Uncle Law, 83, wanted was someone to share his life with. And when he met a young mainland woman, he thought he had finally found "the one".

They married after meeting in Hunan province in 2010 and had a son the following year. But last year, just six months after his wife and son obtained their one-way permits to live in Hong Kong, Law's world fell apart.

After months of abuse, including public humiliation, he was divorced, lost custody of his son, then three, and was evicted from his 150 sq ft public flat.

Law's story is not unusual, according to welfare agency Against Elderly Abuse, to which he was referred in December. But the agency said he was the oldest of 100 elderly men who sought its help last year.

"In the beginning, the couple had disputes over trivial matters," assistant executive director Roy Lam Man-chiu said.

"She then complained about their poor living conditions, argued over money and their relationship, and shouted at him every day.

"She also accused him of impotence in front of his friends and neighbours. This made him feel ashamed and embarrassed. He was afraid to go out and meet neighbours and friends."

Social Welfare Department figures show the number of cases involving abuse of the elderly rose 44 per cent to 589 last year, from 408 in 2012. There were 368 reports in 2011 and 319 in 2010.

Psychological abuse, the category under which Law's case falls, almost doubled to 73 cases last year from 36 in 2012 - the most since 2009. Lam said the 100 abuse cases his agency handled last year compared with just dozens in previous years.

Responding to a Post enquiry, the department did not offer an explanation for the rise in elderly abuse cases, but said the government took such cases seriously and would not tolerate abuse.

Law was ordered to move out of his flat after his wife, then in her 30s, won custody of the child. The Housing Authority said that in the case of a divorce, it usually allowed the custodial parent to keep the flat.

Lam said many elderly people who did not know how and where to seek help ended up homeless. But the agency has helped Law find another flat through the Housing Department's compassionate rehousing scheme.

Lam said he believed the main reason mainland women married elderly men in Hong Kong was to get residency in the city and seize their flats. In similar cases his welfare agency handled, most of the women were from Hunan and Hubei provinces and in their 30s, and their spouses were all public housing tenants over 60 years old living on welfare, he said.

Social-welfare sector lawmaker Peter Cheung Kwok-che said the rule awarding a flat to custodial parents protected wives and children from hostile husbands. He said the government at best could only take remedial action such as offering men evicted from their flats after divorce a rental allowance of around HK$1,500.

Men over 60 should think carefully if a young mainland woman agreed to tie the knot, Cheung said, adding it could be "too good to be true".

Echoing Cheung's advice, Lam from Against Elderly Abuse said: "Lust? Use caution."

 

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17

This article is now closed to comments

don67
Without further mentioning the burden to the HK taxpayer, it's just wrong to have kids when you're so old. The kid is basically certain to grow up without a father from a very young age.
toysoldier2006
He should've used a condom in the first place. It's pointless in complaining afterwards.
Dai Muff
That's what prenups are for.
SpeakFreely
"He said the government at best was only able to take remedial action such as offering men evicted from their flats after divorce a rental allowance of around HK$1,500 to rent a bedsit apartment." Why would we want to waste tax payers money to help a selfish old men to commit a crime of marrying a young women and bearing a child that he can't afford in the first place? He was so selfish to ruin a life of a young women and the child. If he wanted a partner as a companion only, marry or live with an old women to help out each other, or stay single!
SpeakFreely
An old n poor man marrying a young women and have a child is like committing crime. What do you expect the young women to do, selfish? How are you going to raise your kid? This is crime, sorry, despite I sympathize you. If you really want to get a partner, get a old women as a partner. To be fair.
george.ks.wong@gmail.com
For a guy in his 80s living in public estate, couldn't blame him for not thinking pre-nup
Dai Muff
Sex IS healthy activity.
ejmciii
Wow, who saw this coming.....no pun intended (well, just a little one, considering the topic at hand).
Dai Muff
"Echoing Cheung's advice, Lam from Against Elderly Abuse said: "Lust? Use caution.""
If the men recognised it as mere lust and acted accordingly they would not need caution. Where they are suckers is that they allow themselves to believe it is love.
meoii
If people just think it's mainlanders, I hope people get a reality check. Turks and Germans, Mexicans and American, Chinese and Americans, Africans and English/French etc. The common denominator is women with a purpose + horny men.

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