A man in China who ignored calls from his home-alone, five-months pregnant wife while he was out carousing with friends – almost causing her to miscarry – has shocked mainland social media.
The man’s selfish actions have also reignited an online debate over the country’s plummeting marriage rate.
Viral footage from the recently released documentary television show, Hello Police, shows a late-night incident recorded by the body camera of a police officer in Fujian province, southeastern China.
In the video, a five-month pregnant woman asks for police help to take her to the hospital because she is feeling pain in her stomach and cannot get in touch with her husband, who is out drinking with friends.
Officers keep calling the husband on the way and only manage to get an answer minutes before they reach the hospital.
The man, who has not been identified, later said his phone had run out of power and he was downstairs at his home.
Doctors discovered signs of a possible miscarriage but managed to save both the mother and her baby.
Online observers expressed disbelief and branded the husband “irresponsible” and “useless”.
“I am speechless. I cannot believe he left his pregnant wife alone at home while he went drinking with his friends,” said one person on Weibo.
“I can’t imagine a man like this could get married! Of what use is he if he could offer zero help to his wife and child when they are in danger?” said another.
A third person chimed in: “The woman should assert her independence and call the ambulance service in the first instance next time. Her husband is unreliable.”
A number of people said the story had given them “another reason to shy away from marriage”.
There is a growing community, mainly women, on mainland social media, who have vowed to remain unmarried and have no children as they believe marriage and parenting rob them of their money, time, freedom, and even safety.
Despite the passing of an anti-domestic violence law by China in 2015, many think the punishments for domestic violence are inappropriate.
In 2019, a 28-year-old beauty influencer, Yuya, accused her live-in ex-boyfriend, known online as Tuotuo, of abusing her and published a surveillance video showing him dragging and beating her in an elevator.
The man only received 20 days of administrative detention according to the anti-domestic violence law which also applies to live-in couples.
The number of marriages in the country hit a record low in 2022, according to the latest data released by China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs.
It slumped around 10 per cent from 7.63 million marriages in 2021 and stood at a record low since the data was first released in 1986.