The teenage parents of a toddler thought it would be funny to make their daughter smoke marijuana and force her to drink beer. Even though it is a form of abuse, they did all this so that they could capture it on video. It is unclear who shared the video on social media, but since then, it has gone viral.
According to the reports, the parents 18 and 17 hail from Formosa in Argentina. They have a daughter, who features in the video. She appears either intoxicated or terribly tired, as she keeps on swaying throughout the video. Loud music is playing in the background as the man, most probably her father feeds her something.
The father puts some white powder on a piece of paper and takes it near the toddler’s mouth. And within the next 15 seconds, he puts a bottle of beer followed by a live cigarette to her lips. We can hear laughter in the background, most probably the mother and a friend. And as the father puts a cigarette to the little girl’s lips, the mother is heard saying, “no, Raquel…” a bit half-heartedly.
The girl is safe now
As soon as the video was shared, people started pointing out the cruelty against the poor angel. The parents tried to defend themselves, claiming that they never gave the child anything. It was just a ruse to capture a funny video. However, like the rest of the world, even I fail to see the humour in the video.
According to reports, the Staff from the Police Investigation Brigade, the Secretariat of the Ministry of Childhood and authorities of the Juvenile Prosecutor’s Office rescued the girl. The parents are also suspected of giving the girl cannabis to smoke. Thankfully, she is now safe with her grandmother while the parents face the law.
As the mother is just 17, she is not yet an adult. And so, she is going to be tried by the juvenile court. Not much is known about the father, other than his detention by the law enforcement authorities.
Negligence is also a form of child abuse recognised by the Ministry of Social and Family Development, Singapore. According to the MSF,
Child abuse is defined as any act of commission or ommission by a parent or guardian which would endanger or impair the child’s physical or emotional well-being or that are judged by a mixture of community values and professionals to be inappropriate.
So, in addition to physical and sexual abuse, neglect and emotional abuse also fall under the purview of child abuse. Sadly, the incident of child abuse has spiked in the recent past.
According to a report, the MSF probed 873 child abuse cases in 2016, almost 60 per cent more than the 551 cases in 2015. The news about the little boy who died after being repeatedly beaten and forced to eat chilli is still fresh on our minds. While the teenage parents from Argentina were not this cruel, they definitely endangered the life of their little one.
The key to a successful rescue of a child who undergoes abuse is actively spotting signs of abuse. Here are the signs that a child is being abused.
- Behaviour changes in children when they suddenly stop being their cheerful self.
- Display of rage, aggressive and antisocial behaviour
- Loneliness and lack of friends
- Fear of going to sleep
- Cuts and bruises that may not be logically associated with a fall
- Frequent falls and hospital visits
- Fear of meeting a particular person or temperament changes at a certain time of the day.
What can an ordinary citizen do?
If you spot a kid displaying one or more of these signals, it may just be a silent cry for help. If you know the parents, you can judge if the ‘disciplining’ is going too far. Grandmas and grandpas, it is OKAY to interfere in your children’s affairs if you see your grandchildren displaying these signs.
As a responsible citizen, get in touch with the proper authorities. You can always contact the police on 999 if you hear an abuse happening in your neighbourhood. The other option is to contact organisations like Children’s Society and Touch Community services
Mums and dads, think carefully before you do something as moronic as these parents did. Ultimately, it is our future you would be toying with.
(Image: screen grab)