Volunteer are helping the mother of a 3-year-old boy sue the boy's father for sole custody.
Xiaozhe (not his real name) was taken by his father, surnamed Lyu, to Foshan, Guangdong province, to find his mother, who had left home because of domestic violence. On Aug 10, the drunken father broke four nails of his son.
After a seven-day administrative detention by Foshan police, Lyu was set free and took Xiaozhe out of the local welfare institution.
After that, Lyu and his son begged and slept on a flyover near the Hongyun bus station, he told Southern Metropolis Daily.
He held his son in his arms and placed a notebook in front of them that said "Begging for a warm-hearted person to give us fare home".
But Lyu admitted he would not go home even if someone offered the fare or his family members came to take them back.
"I will take my child to look for my wife. We won't go back unless we find her. It's good for my child to follow me. He will not be wronged. It's no big deal as we die together," he said.
Many volunteers from around the country have recently become involved in the case. On the evening of Aug 23, Lyu allegedly injured two volunteers who had confronted him in the hotel room they obtained for the father and son.
Lyu got a 10-day administrative detention, and Xiaozhe was again sent to the welfare institution.
With the efforts of volunteers, Xiaozhe's mother showed up. The woman, surnamed Liang, entrusted the volunteers and a Guangzhou-based nonprofit legal service organization to sue Xiaozhe's father to end the relationship with him, obtain sole custody, and punish Lyu for his abuse of Xiaozhe.
However, Liang was still in great fear of Lyu's violence and the difficulties of dealing with him.
"We hope Liang can get sole custody. We're willing to offer her economic support," said Lu Lan, a volunteer.