Plea for action on domestic violence
Advocates mark 10th anniversary of family's killing with demand for more protection
Ten years on from the shocking killing of a mother and her two daughters, an advocacy group says the government is still not doing enough to protect victims of domestic violence.
Mourners gathered at the Tin Heng Estate in Tin Shui Wai yesterday to remember Kim Shuk-ying and her two daughters - six-year-old Li Yin-li and five-year-old Li Tsz-wan - who were chopped to death by Kim's husband on April 11, 2004.
Fresh flowers were placed on the estate and a minute's silence held to remember the tragedy.
"I couldn't forget it. I have never attended a funeral with three coffins put together before - the scene was so shocking and saddening," said Xu Meiqiong of the Association for the Survivors of Women Abuse.
Kim, 31, and her children were stabbed to death by her husband in their public housing flat in the remote New Territories town. One aspect of the case that shocked many was that Kim, who went home from a government-run shelter when her husband threatened to take the children to the mainland, was refused an escort by a police sergeant.
Her jobless husband, Li Pak-sum, 44, died days later after stabbing himself.
Xu, a friend of Kim's, said the tragedy raised awareness of women's rights when threatened with domestic violence. But she said the government had not done enough to prevent abuse.
"Domestic violence still happens on a daily basis nowadays," she said, citing the alleged murder of a woman and her two children by her partner, their father, in Shau Kei Wan last year.
"The government has to do more on education - both for victims of domestic violence and also the abusers," Xu said, suggesting abusers should be ordered to attend compulsory counselling to change their behaviour.
Chung Yuen-yi, a consultant to the association, said the system adopted by police in 2009 for classifying domestic violence cases had actually made the situation worse for victims.
"The number of domestic violence cases has seemingly dropped over the past few years, but this is just because the police changed their system, classifying many such cases as domestic 'incidents', which means there is no urgent follow-up on victims," Chung said.
She urged the government to make breaching an injunction under the Domestic Violence Ordinance a crime rather than a civil matter and to establish a court that specialised in hearing domestic violence cases.
The government commissioned a review of the Social Welfare Department's handling of the Kim case, which made 25 recommendations.
The jury at the inquest into the killings and suicide later urged the police to take a zero-tolerance approach to domestic violence.