In a shocking incident, a woman admitted to slapping an 8-year-old girl in the face on an MRT train. She apparently wanted the child to apologise for stepping on her foot before stepping off.
The woman has pleaded guilty on Friday (28 May) to one charge of voluntarily causing hurt to the little girl.
Woman Slaps 8-Year-Old Girl After She Stepped On Her Foot
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The incident took place on 15 July, 2020, when the 8-year-old and her mother were at Chua Chu Kang station. After boarding the MRT train, the girl accidentally stepped on Connnie Soh’s foot.
According to The Straits Times, the 45-year-old was talking loudly on her phone the did not hear the child apologise to her.
Soh then confronted the girl’s mother and asked her why her daughter did not apologise. An argument began as the mother insisted her daughter did say ‘Sorry.’
When the girl and her mother were about to exit the train carriage as they reached Yew Tee station, Soh slapped the child on her left cheek. This was in an attempt to prevent her from leaving the train without apologising.
The 8-year-old began crying so her mother called the police from the station. Afterwards, the girl was taken to National University Hospital where a doctor notes that she sustained a left cheek contusion or bruise.
The little girl was given a two-day medical certificate with an excuse from physical activity that year.
Woman Pleads Guilty For Voluntarily Causing Hurt
Deputy Public Prosecutor Joseph Gwee urged the court to sentence Soh with a fine of at least $5,000 for her actions. Her response to the incident was said to be an “objectively disproportionate one committed in a public place.”
Soh also faces one other charge of using criminal force to poke the nose of the child’s mother which will be taken into account during her sentencing.
She is scheduled for sentencing on 18 June.
Is Slapping A Child Abusive Behaviour: What Parents Should Know
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For voluntarily causing hurt, an offender can face jail time for up to three years, fined up to $5,000 or both–in Singapore. But since the little girl was under the age of 14 years, Soh faces double this maximum penalty.
So is slapping a child actually counted as abusive behaviour? According to the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), any act that can cause an injury to a child can constitute physical abuse. Such actions that can cause bruises or cuts include:
While there has been some debate on whether caning should still be used as a form of punishment, experts advise that parents use different ways to discipline their children. Instead of hitting or yelling at them, let your child off on a warning. Better yet, sit them down and check in on them, ask them about the things that may be bothering them and pushing them to behave rebelliously.
You can also use the incentive approach and ask them to finish a task in exchange for a reward. This gives you as well as your child to cool off.
In addition, taking some time off is important for both parents and kids. It will give you the opportunity to cool down and similarly, your kids will get a chance to introspect on where they have gone wrong.
At the end of the day, caning or yelling might be a short-term solution. But in the long run, it can emotionally damage to your child. Don’t let your impulse or anger overpower actions, which you might regret later.
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