Friday, 06. March 2015
02. 06. 14. - 16:00
A tragic Chinese schoolgirl - nicknamed Cinderella by local media - suffered such extensive abuse at the hands of her stepmother that she tried to end her life by drinking highly toxic pesticide.
And although her life was saved, she has now been removed from a hospital intensive care ward where she was being treated, because her father cannot afford the expensive medical bills.
Authorities say Xiao Ting, 12, drank the poison at her home in Da’an Township in China's Fuzhou City after one quarrel too many with her abusive stepmother.
Police said she was routinely mistreated, beaten, mocked and forced to take ice cold baths in the middle of winter by her father Cheng Tao's second wife.
"He probably knew what was going on but turned a blind eye for a quiet life," said a police spokesman. "Besides, he was a migrant worker who spent most of the year away working in another part of the country."
The stepmother, a woman named Luhua, apparently took against her stepdaughter when she married her father five years ago. According to police, she was "deeply jealous" of her and showed it with innumerable small cruel acts, which included never allowing her to eat meat in the house.
When she took the poison as a radical protest against her treatment her father came home and visited her in hospital. Doctors said she needed weeks of therapy - but he ordered her carried out of the intensive care ward simply because he could not afford to pay the bills.
"I am a simple man," he said. "I love my wife and daughter in equal measure and I don't know why it came to this. But I cannot afford to have her treated in hospital."
It is unclear what will become of 'Cinderella' in the future, although police say they have passed the case on to a social worker to deal with.
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