A video of a single mother from Trinidad and Tobago beating her 12-year-old daughter with a belt for sharing sexually explicit pics of herself on Facebook has gone viral, sparking a conversation about corporal punishment.
A video was posted on Facebook last Sunday, showing Helen Bartlett, a mother of four from Point Fortin, beating her daughter while hurling profanities at her. The video shows the angry mum raining blows on the girl, who whimpers in pain. Foreigners may feel the beating is shocking and call it child abuse but we Africans have probably seen or experienced worse.
The woman has since said she does not regret beating the girl the way she did and is prepared to go to jail to set her wayward young daughter on the right path. She said since their father left them, the young girl has been unmanageable and she’s scared the girl will either end up pregnant or killed.
What sparked the brutal beating last Sunday according to the mother was a text message exchange between the young girl and a teenage boy who was trying to convince her to have sex with him.
After reading the messages, the mother said she accessed her daughter’s Facebook profile and discovered photos of the girl posing ‘seductively’ in her underwear.
“I stand firmly by my decision. I will go to jail for it,’ the woman said. ‘I know people are saying the authorities should charge me for abuse.’
The young girl has since refuted reports that she attempted suicide after the video went viral and her school mates started to taunt her. She also spoke in support of her mum, saying the beating didn’t make her feel like her mum didn’t love her.
‘I am very sorry for bringing shame on you and the family. I know you love me dearly. And I love you dearly, too.’
A lot of girls need this #honestopinion