‘I WILL MAKE A JAIL!’
By NEWSDAY REPORTERS Thursday, April 24 2014
THE WOMAN who beat her 12-year-old daughter and posted a video of the beating on social network site Facebook on Easter Monday, yesterday defiantly declared she was not sorry for what she did and is prepared to go to jail for her actions.
“I stand firmly on my decision regardless of the authorities wanting to charge me...I will make ah jail if I have to,” the mother of four told a morning talk show host yesterday on i95 FM radio. The woman said she had no regrets beating her daughter with a leather belt and then posting a video of the beating on Facebook.
The video of the beating, which took place over the long Easter weekend, went viral hours after it was posted on the popular social media website and up to yesterday the video had been shared over 10,000 times and generated hundreds of comments both in support of the mother and condemnation of her action.
The child was beaten for posting photos of herself clad only in her underwear on her Facebook page.
The video stirred intense public debate on the issue of corporal punishment and whether or not the woman had gone too far in disciplining her child. It prompted head of the Child Protection Task Force Diana Mahabir-Wyatt to describe the beating as “vicious, brutal and sadistic.”
Manager of the Police Service’s Victim and Witness Support Unit, retired police officer Margaret Sampson-Brown, was aghast when she saw the video and said the beating was not an act of discipline but one of abuse and called for the mother to be charged.
But on the morning talk show yesterday, the mother said she was not sorry for beating the child saying her action was necessary to prevent her child from possibly becoming pregnant and not knowing who the father of the child is.
“I did what I had to do because I do not want my child coming home at 14 or 15 with a belly (pregnant) and telling me she don’t know who the daddy is. I want my daughter to be an example to society,” the woman said.
She noted all the negative comments about her action from members of the public but said she noticed no questions being raised by the father of the child who she claimed is a policeman. She desribed her daughter as a very intelligent child who was doing well at school, but she said the child suffered low esteem because of the absence of a father in the home.
Speaking at the weekly press briefing at Police Administration Building in Port-of-Spain, Acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams confirmed to reporters that an investigation will be launched into the video with a view to bringing criminal charges if the investigator so recommends.
He however cautioned that the police must first verify the video is authentic and originated from this country. “We have to verify this event. If it is a local incident then we will investigate the extent of the use of force by the parent or whoever was in the video with the child. It will require an investigation by the police.
“If there is a video that will reflect an individual...whether it is a parent or anyone else, beating a child then that person could face a charge if the investigation warrants such a course of action,” Williams told reporters.
“I love you mom”
Meanwhile, both the beaten 12-year-old child and her elder sister, posted a video on Facebook both defending the actions of their mother with the beaten child apologising for her behaviour and telling her mother that she loved her.
“Ok, so to my mom, I want to say I am very sorry for the shame I brought to you and my family. And I am positively sure in a way (sic) that this will never happen again. I know you love me dearly and I love you too,” the child said as she sat next to her older sister.
“And to all young girls who are watching this or saw the video, know that it is not because my mom wants me to be all crazy and psyched up. You watch this video and learn from it. You make your life better from this video and try not to do the mistakes that I made because trust me nobody likes getting licks.”
Prompted by her sister, the beaten child added, “And embarrassment. You may try to do it (post images or videos on Facebook) for the fame but realise that you are a special piece of God’s puzzle and you will fit in somewhere or somehow,” the 12-year-old said.
The child, who appeared very relaxed in the video which at midday yesterday already had 4,000 shares and 2,000 “likes” on Facebook, then laughingly said she would not take her own life over the beating.
“And I will never kill myself ... I love myself too much, too much to kill myself. Good night to everyone and thank you for watching our video and I hope that it touched your life and you learned from it,” the child said.
The beaten child spoke at the tail end of the video which began with her elder sister making a stout defence for their mother’s action, saying, “This was a complete last resort for my mom. That 12-year-old girl...my sister, has been putting my mom through a lot of trauma every day.”
The elder daughter explained during the video, that her younger sister at one time was not living at their mother’s home but was at the home of their grandmother and Facebook was the only medium she (the beaten child) could interact with the rest of the family.
“My mom is very sorry for what...not for what she did but for what happened with the video seeing that it went all viral. She did do it because Facebook is where my sister had her so called fame and her rant and rave and my mom knew that she would have had to put a curb to it because the road my sister was heading down was teenage pregnancy,” the elder sister said in the video.
“My mom saw this action as a way to curb this and we cannot judge her for that because no parent wants that for their child...and this was the only way she could have stopped it. My mom is not a bad mother.
“She does not frequently curse us or abuse us as what people are saying. She is one of the best mothers and she loves us dearly and she would go to the end of the earth for us. This was love because any parent that didn’t love their child would have left them to their own devices.”
The elder sister said she was sure her younger sister who was beaten had learned her lesson. “I am pretty sure she won’t be on FB until she is 65. So that is the reason for posting this video. We just want to let you know that our mom saw this as the best means that a single mother of four could do to deal with this situation.
“There is no male figure in this house. She is doing it on her own. We as her children fully support her and she did not put us up to this (making this video). She is in her bedroom sleeping, crying, praying...everything. She did not do this to get no Facebook fame or anything. She was doing this to get her daughter to learn a lesson. She was honestly trying to teach her daughter a lesson,” the elder daughter said.