Crazy English founder apologizes for beating wife

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, September 12, 2011
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Li Yang [R] sits with his wife at a desk. [File photo]

Li Yang, one of China's most famous English teachers, apologized for beating his American wife more than a week after she posted photos of her injuries on the web and triggered a wave of condemnation.

"I wholeheartedly apologize to my wife Kim and my girls for committing domestic violence. This has caused them serious physical and mental damage," Li said on his microblog at, the country's most popular social media site, on Saturday.

In another posting, Li said he was receiving counseling at his wife's request.

In an interview with the Beijing News on Sunday, Li said he had been a "negative example" and hoped his case would help accelerate China's legislation to prevent domestic violence.

"Kim said she received messages of sympathy and support from many other domestic violence victims," Li said. "I decided to cooperate after she said she was doing so [making the issue public] to help other families with similar problems."

Li said he and his wife reconciled at the police station on Friday, and he agreed to no longer commit violence, apologize on the web, seek counseling and donate 1,000 yuan (156.5 U.S. dollars) to a counseling center for women.

He has been the target of derision and vituperation on microblogs, with thousands of Internet users, including his students, venting fury and contempt for his behavior.

"I don't mind being bombarded by the netizens. I'm sorry for having let my students down, but teachers make mistakes, too", he said. "It's important that they all learn a lesson and fewer domestic violence cases will be reported in the future."

Li, 42, is a mechanics major but is best known for his "Crazy English," a popular method of language learning that involves yelling at the top of one's lungs.

He was at the center of public condemnation after his wife Kim Lee put up posts on the web accusing him of abuse.

"Li Yang, you need help", she posted on Sept. 4, with a photo showing her bleeding left ear. Earlier posts, the oldest of which was dated Aug. 31, showed her swollen forehead and knees.

She also posted details of the violence, which stopped only after one of her daughters screamed and scratched Li's arm. Kim then ran to the police station with her daughter and was sent to hospital by police officers.

The couple has three daughters.

China is yet to draft an independent law on domestic violence, as currently only a few clauses in other laws, such as the Marriage Law, have addressed some aspects of the offence.

The top lawmaking body, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, decided on Aug. 14 it would mull an anti-domestic violence law, but no exact timetable is available as to when the new law will be enacted.

The All China Women's Federation (ACWF) found in a 2007 survey that domestic violence existed in 30 percent of the 270 million Chinese families, with over 85 percent of the sufferers being women.

About 100,000 Chinese families break up each year as a result of domestic violence, the ACWF reports.

Domestic violence has spread, not only because of a lack of laws against it, but also the fact that many Chinese people believe that domestic violence is a private affair and police should stay out of it.

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