Disturbing video captures woman beating, force-feeding children at Vietnamese nursery

By Ngoc Truong   May 21, 2018 | 05:26 pm PT
The babysitter could be seen pouring food into a boy's mouth and lifting another up by his head.

Police in Da Nang in central Vietnam questioned a nursery owner on Monday after images of children being abused at her establishment appeared on the internet the same day.

Dinh Thi Hong, 46, was summoned after angry parents identified her as the woman in the disturbing videos and photos on Facebook.

One video shows a small boy lying on the ground while Hong force-feeds him and slaps him when he refuses to swallow. Other images show her using violence with many children, like grabbing and lifting a baby up by his head, or squeezing a towel into the face of a baby who apparently refused to eat.

Hong has admitted that the videos and photos were taken at her private nursery in Thanh Khe District last month by a former employee, police said.

Local authorities are working with the parents for more details.

A babysitter is shown forcing a child to eat in this screenshot from a video on Facebook.

A babysitter is shown forcing a child to eat in this screenshot from a video on Facebook.

"This nursery pledged that it would not let child abuse occur and that its childcare would meet professional regulations. [...] We regularly inspect the establishment but have not found any violation," Ngo Chinh Cong, an official, said.

He said the newly unveiled violations are unacceptable and the nursery would be shut down immediately.

According to Thanh Khe District's education department, Hong has a degree in preschool education and was granted a license to open her establishment, Me Muoi, where she took care of 14 children, in May 2013.

Child abuse at nurseries is not uncommon in Vietnam, but criminal charges are rarely brought against the culprits.

Three babysitters in Ho Chi Minh City are facing up to three years in jail after Tuoi Tre newspaper last November published videos of them abusing children at their daycare center. Early last year, two teachers in Hanoi were fined VND2.5 million ($110) each after an online video showed them beating crying children with various objects, including a slipper.

In a rare case, a court in the southern province of Kien Giang sentenced two babysitters to three years in jail in January 2014 for torturing children at an unlicensed private nursery. Another babysitter in Saigon received an 18-year sentence the same year for killing a baby after she couldn’t stop him from crying. She escaped the death sentence because she was under 18 at the time of the fatal incident.

According to government data, more than 2,000 children in Vietnam suffer serious abuse that requires special help and intervention every year.

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