Nor is it only women and girls who are victims. According to numerous stories leaked out of China by individuals at risk of death, the government also applies a variety of ruthless methods on other family members in order to enforce the policy. "The tactics used are utterly terrifying," says Littlejohn. Recalling a documented incident in March of this year, she says that family planning officials came to the home of a man in order to seize his sister for enforced sterilization. "When she wasn't home, they started beating his father. When he tried to defend his father, one of family planning officials took a long knife, plunged twice into his heart and the man died. That's murder."
Yet so far, the murderer has not been detained, and despite the family trying to get the story out, the media refuse to report on it. "The family planning officials are above the law, they can do anything and get away with it," says Littlejohn. "What they're doing is terrorizing the population."
The statistics related to China's one-child policy are staggering. Since it was implemented in 1979, the authorities boast that 400 million lives have been prevented. The government also says about 13 million abortions are carried out every year. That amounts to 1,458 every 60 minutes or, as Littlejohn puts it, "a Tiananmen Square massacre every hour."