Police: Woman in viral abuse video can be charged

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Supt Claire Guy-Alleyne –

POLICE Special Victims Department head Supt Claire Guy-Alleyne says there is enough evidence to charge a woman seen in a viral video abusing her children.

In a phone interview with Newsday on Friday, Guy-Alleyne addressed the video, which shows a woman in San Juan physically abusing crying children. It has been widely shared on social media.

She said both girls, aged nine and three, were in the care of the Children’s Authority and were doing well. They are receiving psychosocial assistance.

Newsday visited the family’s home at Hunte Road, San Juan and spoke with several neighbours. Eyewitnesses said their main concern was the children’s wellbeing and they hoped the mother would be given mental-health help.

The woman who taped the now-viral video said she was happy something was being done.

“Children need to be with their parents. My hope is she could change and get her daughters back.”

Another resident said “We always have to come down here and talk to the children’s mother, I am sick, I have high blood pressure and she is always here running up my pressure.”

She said she was happy the children were safe and she could get some peace and quiet

Another neighbour offered his advice to the mother: “Seek psychological help!”

He said though the mother always ensured her children were dressed neatly for school and had food, he believed there was something mentally wrong with her.

“I don’t want to see her locked up, I just want her to get the mental support she needs so that she could be a better parent to her children.”

Recently, a Cunupia woman was held after she was seen in a viral video kicking a small boy to the ground, prompting public outrage.

In response to questions about the frequency of such viral child-abuse videos, Guy-Alleyne said there was no uptick in violence against children, just an increase in the circulation of the videos.

She said “I want people to remember that child abuse is everyone’s business and they should continue reporting all these instances.”

Despite the two cases being among other viral child-abuse videos leading to arrests for the year,  Guy-Alleyne said, “I also want the public to refrain from sharing these videos for likes. Remember, these videos may be illegal and they are unethical.”

She warned the public that the videos could harm the children.

“Think about the child’s welfare. These children can feel shame.”They are going to school. These videos can lead to them being bullied.”At the end of the day, you have to be mindful of the children involved, and you don’t want to share posts that can harm a child.”

Guy-Alleyne said the videos might also be triggering to members of the public, and that should be considered before choosing to share them. She asked for the videos to be shared with law enforcement instead.

“There is the Facebook page, there is Instagram and there is online reporting. Share your videos of child abuse there.”

Newsday contacted the Children’s Authority for comments but no response had been received up to press time.