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Whipped, Beaten And Filmed For Facebook

This image is taken from a video circulated on social media of the incident. The Tribune has further amended the image to prevent the identification of the young woman involved.

This image is taken from a video circulated on social media of the incident. The Tribune has further amended the image to prevent the identification of the young woman involved.

By Morgan Adderley

Tribune Staff Reporter

madderley@tribunemedia.net

POLICE are investigating the circumstances behind a video circulating on social media of a young girl being beaten for allegedly coming home late. 

Police said the girl and a parent have been identified.

Over the course of the one-minute, 30-second video, the girl is punched in the head, beaten with a belt, and struck with a stick by an older woman. 

The video was posted in a local Facebook group, but has since gone viral and has been shared on international pages, including Media Take Out, where it received over 164,000 views and 8,600 shares up to press time.

At the beginning of the clip, the girl, still partially in her school uniform, is backed into a corner. 

At first, she is standing and using her arms to protect her head from the belt. She can be heard screaming: “I can’t take these waps (sic)!”

At another moment, she is on the floor, and being struck about the arms and legs with a stick. Eventually the woman drags her out of the corner, climbs over the girl, and begins punching her in the head.

“I sorry,” the girl can be heard sobbing.

The person recording the video can be heard shouting, “You wan’ come home 10; after 10 in the night?” and “Ya think ya is woman?! Goin’ by man (sic)!”

The person recording the video adds: “People helping you, loving up on you. Ya get lunch money, clean clothes on ya skin, everyday ya have something to eat. And this what you wan’ do? You wan’ go with man? Learn ya education!” 

In all there are nearly 40 blows with either the leather belt, stick or the woman’s fist, all the while the girl trying to protect herself.

National Security Minister Marvin Dames addressed the video yesterday. While speaking to reporters outside Parliament, he admitted that he had seen it and referred the matter to the police. 

“The police, if they’re investigating it, I’m certain the commissioner is very much aware of it and so we’ll see what they come out with.

“At the end of the day, we cannot, no matter what, we cannot condone abuse.”

When asked if he would classify the woman’s actions as abuse, or whether it was simply part of Bahamian culture as some social media users tried to argue, Mr Dames said: “I’m not going to speak to that particular matter because obviously the police will have a look at it, and I don’t want to in any way prejudice their investigations.

“But it points certainly to a fact that we have challenges within our homes with parenting as well as with relationships and we have to find the most humane way to address those issues.

“And this is what we’re doing with programmes like Citizen Security and programmes that you will see through Social Services, coming from the Ministry of Youth, and National Security as well.”

“We have to work with building families. It’s as simple as that.”

Yesterday, Supt Shanta Knowles said police were in the early stages of the investigation. 

“The young girl and a parent has been identified,” Supt Knowles said. “Police are in the early stages of this investigation and as information becomes available, updates will be given.”

Education Minister Jeff Lloyd also acknowledged the video and said officials are investigating.

Up to press time, the video posted in the Facebook group had been shared hundreds of times. 

Responses varied, with many Facebook users condemning the beating. Some even referring to it as “abuse” and called for it to be reported to Social Services.

Some said the beating was warranted, and likened it to their own childhood experiences. 

Others said the punishment was fine but criticised the fact that it was recorded and posted on social media.

Yesterday, Facebook had a warning label over the video, telling users that it “may show violence against a child or teenager.” The message also says: “We haven’t removed it from Facebook because it may help rescue the child in question.”

Comments

rawbahamian 1 year, 4 months ago

When children of that age decide that they are men or women even while still in school then they simply need to be shown the door and invited to do as they please in their OWN home !

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John 1 year, 4 months ago

The reaction to this video is mixed because at first many thought it was the parent (mother) beating the child. Then it was revealed that both the child's parents are deceased. But that does not excuse a child for coming home from school at 10 pm. An now social media is associating this video with a wanted poster put out by the police for a man wanted for a sex offence. A similar video was put out by an American parent last year, when she found out her daughter was posing for an older man in her underwear. Of course the parent beat the young girl on camera, made her tell all her friends on Facebook that she was not 18 as she had posted and but a school age girl. So how do parents discipline children today with cameras in every corner and everything finding its way on social media. Of course there are parents who don't believe in beating children, but they too can end up on Facebook or on social media in a moment of harsh reprimand of a child. Then what effect will police involvement have in this particular matter? Should Social Services not gotten involved first and then determine if there was need for police action? The child has no biological parents alive so authorities must ensure that she is not being abused. But the intervention must be at the level that there can be a continued relationship between the child and the guardians or the child is removed from the home where the alternative housing is not the girls industrial school if it is not warranted.

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tetelestai 1 year, 4 months ago

John, I will respectfully disagree with the gist of your argument. Regardless of the girl's circumstances (or the guardians' for that matter), that type of abuse inflicted on that minor, and it was abuse, should not be tolerated by any level headed adult.

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John 1 year, 4 months ago

obviously there are cultural differences between you and me. And a parent is not (usually) level headed when they dish out that kind of punishment when a child comes home after hours. they are already sick with fear and worry so they "half kill' the gal with beating for showing up safe after making them worry so much and for so long.

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joeblow 1 year, 4 months ago

Its always those who are most emotionally distanced from an event who have the most to say! That said, discipline is necessary and it may take many forms, but abuse is not!

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ashley14 1 year, 4 months ago

Why does this generation put everything on facebook. Discipline is private in the home, but discipline should not inflict harm to someone. There is nothing wrong putting the fear of God in your youth, but not wounding them. That's abuse and messes up a persons mind. They then grow up and abuse their spouse and children.

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sheeprunner12 1 year, 4 months ago

After 8 years old ........ corporal punishment is meaningless ....... It only satisfies the passion of the adult perp.

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joeblow 1 year, 4 months ago

Children for whom beatings would work only need ONE, after that they will change their behavior to avoid getting another. For other children beatings mean nothing. It is for the sensible parent to find out what method of discipline would work best for their child, but under no circumstances is abuse to be encouraged.

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B_I_D___ 1 year, 4 months ago

I've only 'hit' one of my children...once...but it was a reflex reaction, she had grabbed at one of our pets in such a fashion that she could have injured the animals leg, I happened to be within arms reach and got a hand on her backside in hopes that it would startle her and she would let the animal go before she hurt it. To this day, I have never had to raise my hand at her again. We discussed the swat, if that's what you want to call it and she understood fully the reason why. No child deserves to be beaten.

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hrysippus 1 year, 4 months ago

You sound like you are sensible and loving parent. Thank you for sharing this story.

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DDK 1 year, 4 months ago

I would have thought there would have been more of an outcry as concerns this violent and, I believe, unlawful, attack on a human being by others. The girl could have been killed or maimed. The comments by Mr. Dames, like his comments on the recent images of police violence, seem lukewarm at best.

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TheMadHatter 1 year, 4 months ago

Poppin out puppies...with no regard to consequences or quality of life ----> that's our national passtime.

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John 1 year, 4 months ago

And what color are your puppies red nosed I bet.

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Porcupine 1 year, 4 months ago

Wow. Brilliant and thoughtful response.

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Aegeaon 1 year, 4 months ago

I really fail to see the point of Bahamian parents.

Beating children isn't love period, pain and love don't go together. That brings psychological confusion and eventual mental damage. In Facebook, the examples of people that grew up with beatings are shown brazenly and defending such madness. Most of the comments show immaturity and defending abuse.

The items that deal with children that fell out of line is even more questionable and flat out causes scars and bodily harm. A tree branch, the flat side of the cutlass, some wires and rocks?

What the hell were we thinking? For a set of people free from slavery, we sure repeated one of the slave masters' barbaric tactics. We should all never use physical force no matter what. Spare the rod and spoil the child? It's just another Roman Catholic indoctrination attempt at abusing those weaker than you then masquerade as love and caring?

No matter what type of disobedience your child did, it is your job to love and care for that child and help them learn and stay away from a burning fire. Not straight out whip them and call it love. Then trash talk American parents and call them bad parents when Bahamian parents can't do anything but beat their child,

It's time to learn and put away childish acts.

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joeblow 1 year, 4 months ago

you really loathe Bahamians, wonder why?

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Aegeaon 1 year, 4 months ago

You know... I don't hate Bahamians as a person, but I hate the stuff that we do that damages our reputation, sets the worst example of a country's society and trains their own kids to be just the same as the others. Our own Bahamian way of live is really destructive in government, society, financial institutions, education and more. People aren't inherently a problem, but our way of life is destroying us. No one else is doing the work.

What we could do instead, is brazenly tell our society and the government to start our own CPS (Child Protective Services), then punish parents who beat their children by law. That is going to be our first step into fixing society and getting back on track. That's all.

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Porcupine 1 year, 4 months ago

Perfect and true response. Thanks.

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jackbnimble 1 year, 4 months ago

Saw this video and frankly, I don't have a problem with a good cut behind (Bahamian style). Grew up with it and it never warped my thinking or gave me any psychological damage. In fact, I thank my parents every day for the person it made me. What I don't agree with, however, is those punches to the head. Now that is completely over the top. The parent/guardian has now crossed the line and this form of discipline is bordering on abuse. She could have controlled herself... and the person who posted it is equally as reckless.

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Porcupine 1 year, 4 months ago

One would think, looking at the results of our continued and undeniable social decay, that perhaps a new way of thinking and behaviour for our society is called for. Those who don't think they have any warped thinking problem or psychological damage ARE the problem.

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TheMadHatter 1 year, 4 months ago

John...flights leave for Haiti every day. What's holding you back? It's going to be a few years before we are exactly like them. You can enjoy the benefits now though. Do you need a donation to buy your ticket?

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My2centz 1 year, 4 months ago

Too many Bahamians have a warped sense of what doing the "right" thing is and so it's usually done for the wrong reasons including applause and admiration. In this case, taking in this parentless child was the so called "right" thing to do, even though there is clearly no genuine concern for her wellbeing. The fact that they allowed it to be recorded shows they wanted to humiliate her as well. I doubt they would do the same to their own child.

If this girl is as out of control as they claim, the last place she should be is with people who believe they can beat it out of her. A reality check from living in a girls' institution or the harshness of the streets, would have humbled her in no time. She would have real respect and appreciation for genuinely concerned people who try to help her in the future.

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John 1 year, 4 months ago

@ mad hatter I have never been to Haiti but I heard it is a nice place. And when I do go, which I intend to do, it will be by the sweat of my own brow and not by charity. So maybe you can find someone in your family to donate the ticket you in graciously offered to me. Either way a trip to Haiti will do wonders for them, especially when they come back and share their experience with you. You may not be mad anymore.

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John 1 year, 4 months ago

The Bahamian meaning of. ‘I ger kill you with da beating.’

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