Ian K Ramdhanie, msC,
Although the 12-year-old girl who was beaten by her mom in a Facebook video which has since gone viral says it was an act of love on the part of her mother, Police Commissioner Stephen Williams says the woman could still face charges for her actions. He made the comment yesterday during the weekly press briefing at Police Administration Building, Port-of-Spain, in the wake of calls from some sectors of the public for action in the matter.
Williams admitted he had not seen the video but assured the police would investigate after being informed that the incident was a local incident. The six-minute video, which was posted on Sunday, shows the mother administering close to 63 lashes to her daughter with a belt, mostly on her arms and back, while scolding her for sending out an indecent picture of herself on Facebook.
Asked if charges could be laid against the mother, since many people who commented on the video labelled the action as abusive, Williams said: “If there is a video that reflects a person physically beating a child or a person that could be effectively investigated and there could be a prosecution.” He added it was not up to the police to differentiate between abuse and discipline and if they were not clear they would rely on the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The girl yesterday apologised to her mother and the public for the behaviour which led her mother to take such drastic measures in another post on Facebook. Her elder sister spoke before her in the post, defended her mother’s action and apologised for her sister’s errant ways but said that was what led to the beating. The girl’s older sister said their mother, a single parent, tried different ways to discipline the pre-teen but nothing worked.
She added that the girl was allowed to join the networking site in order to communicate with her family, since she lived at her grandmother’s house for some time so that she could attend school. “My mom is very sorry, not for what she did but for what happened with the video,” the older sister said. She added that her mother put a stop to her sibling’s wrong doings, which included posing in her underwear and uploading the picture to Facebook as well as propositioning for sex.
The older sister said the direction her sister was heading was one of teenage pregnancy and called on viewers of the viral-beating video not to judge their mother. “We should not judge her. I am sure five years down the road my sister is not going to bring home a belly. Before I could not have said that. She learned her lesson. “My mom is not a bad mother. She is one of the best mothers in the world and would go to the ends of the world for us. I would say this was love.”