The disturbing news about a 45-year-old mother who was murdered by her own teenage daughter has brought to light the psychological effects that adolescents may face while being raised by a single parent.
Global Times reports of a 15-year-old girl who strangled her mother to death and stuffed her corpse in a suitcase. Zhang, the woman who is a lawyer from East China’s Shandong Province, was found dead at home on 23 May according to an obituary released by the law firm.
Chinese news media have reported that the girl, a high school student, has been detained by the police as a suspect for further investigation. The police said that the girl believed her mother was too strict with her which caused much conflict between them.
Zhang had divorced her husband when her daughter was three years old, and has since been raising her by herself.
A friend of Zhang shared with Chinese media that Zhang cared a lot about her daughter’s studies, and would pick her up and drop her off from school every day.
Another close friend of Zhang said that the woman was a teacher before she became a lawyer, and was seen as a kind person who never lost her temper with her daughter.
News about the tragedy prompted netizens to point out that the incident reflects a common problem in single-parent households, where children often rebel against being educated or suffer from psychological distress while their single parents are too busy at work.
A lawyer from Beijing, Liu Changsong, said that adolescents at the age of 15 often succumb to feelings of rebelliousness and that the way a parent communicates with their child can play a vital role in triggering irrational and radical behaviours in them.
After this incident was brought to light, people calling for the age of criminal liability for young people to be raised was brought to attention once again. Liu noted that if the 15-year-old is confirmed to be the murderer, she will not be able to avoid criminal penalties.
“A person who has reached 14 but not 16 who commits intentional homicide, intentionally hurts another person and causes serious injury or death, or commits rape, robbery, drug-trafficking, arson, explosion or poisoning shall bear criminal responsibilities,” according to China’s Criminal Law.
“However, anyone between 14 and 18 who commits a crime will be given a lighter or mitigated punishment.”
It’s disturbing to hear of a teenager murdering her own mother, but we have to acknowledge the fact that psychological issues in teenagers are prevalent as well.
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