Girl's severe beating part of a 'common' pattern

Updated: 2015-04-17 07:16

By Zhu Lixin in Hefei(China Daily)

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An 11-year-old girl who was thought to have been severely beaten by her mother sustained head injuries caused by sharp objects, according to reports.

The girl, who lives in Lu'an, Anhui province, also has soft tissue injuries to the shoulders, and was found with bloodstains on her feet and legs.

Girl's severe beating part of a 'common' pattern

An injury is visible on the shoulder of an 11-year-old girl, who was allegedly seriously beaten by her mother in Lu'an, Anhui province. Provided to China Daily

Police said on Thursday that the girl's mother had beaten her. Local media reported that her teachers repeatedly found new injuries, but she refused to tell them how they had occurred.

She was beaten for returning home five minutes late, according to Anhui News Channel.

Zheng Deyue, director of the news office at Lu'an government's publicity department, said the injuries were the result of "carelessness" when the parents disciplined the girl rather than deliberate abuse.

"It's common in China that parents use physical punishment," said Zheng. "Parental custody may not be revoked because of this physical punishment. "Too much media exposure will cause a rift between the girl and her parents, bringing disaster to the family."

Zheng added that the girl's father was physically disabled, and the mother has no regular job.

Weng Chaohui, a city publicity official, said, "The local government has asked a psychological expert from a local university to give the girl professional counseling."

Weng also expressed concern that media exposure could harm the family.

Earlier this month, another case aroused nationwide concern about what some see as a need to amend the Child Protection Law. A 9-year-old boy was beaten by his adopted mother, who was arrested in Nanjing, Jiangsu province.

Zhang Feifeng, a lawyer for the Nanjing Women's Federation, said the law does not require courts to evaluate the psychological harm caused by abuse when considering their verdicts.

"In one case, a teacher walked away after doctors found no severe wounds on the abused victim's body," Zhang said. "In those circumstances, abusers are not sent to prison."

Zhang said the "no plaintiff, no judge" rule is applied to abuse cases, which means that judicial authorities do not take the initiative to investigate if a victim remains silent.

"Children generally have no ability to protect themselves," Zhang said. "They often dare not tell others what happened on them if the abusers are their guardians or other people they have close relationships with.

"Amendments should be made to the current law to better protect children."

Cang Wei contributed to this story.