Stop paying lip service on child abuse, says Mary Isaac

Stop paying lip service on child abuse, says Mary Isaac
Mary Issac
Mary Issac
Mary Issac

Senator Mary Isaac is calling for quick intervention to be taken into a recent incident, where a Saint Lucian teen girl was seen in a video, being beaten by her mother with the use of a tree branch.

Isaac said that too much “lip service” is given to these issues and the time has come for it to stop.

She said that it is more than just talking, but ensuring that action is taken to reduce child abuse.

“It’s not just about talking or saying the right thing when you are in a position. You are in a position to make a difference and I think people ought to see that they are making a difference,” Isaac said.

The United Workers Party (UWP) senator believes there are enough women in government, particularly at the Gender Relations and Human Services Ministry to look more deeply into this issue.

“They have the opportunity to put the necessary infrastructure to deal with those issues. I think we have to stop talking and do what is necessary to prevent these things from happening,” she added.

While she believes that the mother was wrong to beat her child in such a brutal manner, Isaac is also of the opinion that lots of parents do these things out of frustration, but noted that it is something that must be stopped.

“There is something that drives them to do that. One of the things I know is the lack of help, frustration from not being able to provide or afford, and the easiest thing for them to do beat someone.”

But the senator said the ministry now has the responsibility to look at society and see what causes a person to abuse someone else, even when it’s someone that they love.

“I don’t think a parent enjoys beating a child in such a manner. But I believe there are extenuating circumstances that would drive someone to do something on the spur of the moment,” she told St. Lucia News Online (SNO).

Isaac said while everyone is quick to judge, no one knows the abuser’s circumstances, explaining that it might not be an everyday behavior portrayed by the parent and even if it is, she still needs help.

She said this issue must not be taken lightly and has advised that both the mother and her child be counselled.

SNO has made several attempts to get a comment from the human services director, but was unsuccessful.

The other welfare and social workers within the department are not allowed to comment.


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  1. Spanking Hott, please explain how beatings can keep girls/women safe when ‘these numerous rapes and murders’, many are carried out in homes by intruders and insiders Lawlessness and criminality is a community wide issue. Let’s not confuse it with parents disciplining children.

    Also it is important that persons in power who can help address the problem have a say in the matter. I'd like them to go further by implementing laws that protect children, unsupported families and communities.


  2. Everything is always about government need to put a hand and more need to be done when nothing is ever done by government. Since when a mother beating her kid means that she is frustrated because of unemployment, high prices, and everything else these politicians want to make "politicized". She might have had frustrations but maybe the frustration of talking to her daughter so many time. Since when a mother disciplining her child means she should be jailed? Adopting the american way of life is not working out for us... All those government programs and interventions we crying out for isn't going to help. What helps is teaching a child right from wrong, disciplining them, having them listen and respecting people in authority, being the parent to a child and not their best friend. What is harming our children is introducing them to the fast life and they growing up too fast... Do you people who talk about corporal punishment being bad see what your kids post on facebook and instagram? I'm sure you same people like the #mcm #wcw #bae pics of 13 and 14 year old girls and say "what's wrong with that" im sure you like half naked pics of your daughters or "gang" like pics of your sons .. Saying leave them they only a teenager. When u give a child all they need all the time and show them that it is okay and acceptable to disobey authority then when they get out in the world of work they are crippled because that's not how the world works and you can't always have everything. Government cannot tell ppl how to raise their children. Government assisted programs will come with some crap adopted from USA that does not apply to living in the Caribbean. When government comes with enough after school programs and introduce stuff like resume building/writing, internships, mentoring programs, more boot camps and invest more in our young people to keep them busy then I will support it. I see so many young people on Instagram it's always a party always a fete (nothing wrong with that)... But why don't these very young people who are into photography and designing take up these young people under their wings and introduce them to different trades to encourage them to be and do better that life is not all about having sex early, drinking, partying.. But those things fade. After all my people what happened to it takes a community to raise a kid?


  3. I do believe that the visibility frustrated mother went over the top with this beating. And I also believe that the individual filming should have intervened and stop the mother. But guess what? I have punished my kids too and may have also gone overboard with one beating. I must also admit that I am educated and also understand the meaning of abuse.

    Having said all of this, I must applaud this mother for having the courage to discipline this child and many save her in the future from many of the perils of life. Maybe, just maybe if many of the parents of our increasingly young murders had taken a moment to give them some tough love our murder rate Gould have been lower. Just maybe.

    I honestly believe that best situation is to raise a child with love in the absence of any type of beatings. An environment where other forms of punishment , such as depriving the child of something he or she truly likes or wants, are utilized. But this is the ideal. As parents we should always be willing to resort to the good old beating when all else fails. The truth is, growing up, I too was a delinquent and the disciplined and respectful me today can be attributed to some good old beatings. Notwithstanding, this did not make me an abuser.

    I can recall beating a delinquent son of mine once and like this woman, may have gone overboard. But guess what? He made a complete u turn and is now a very disciplined and respectful young man, one that any parent would be proud of. And he now attributes his turn around to this beating. I need also say that I have other kids and have never had the reason to beat them. Other methods are utilized and have proved successful. But if the need ever arises the good old beating is never too far away.

    Before the word abuse was being abused, Saint Lucia was a tranquil society with limited criminality. And we the citizens were brought up the traditional way with the occasional beatings. So dear reader do the math.


    • Depriving children of things they want the most nowadays still don't help because the little girls using their God given gift to get it and the boys steal and do all sorts of ungodly things to get so depriving just don't make sense what so ever nowadays SORRY .


  4. so much damn licks of yourll take already. i am sure you are happy that you got it thats is why you are a better person today. i know i got my whip and belt and bar finette plocks ...Thank you Lord!
    these wannabe american parenting styles that creates a bunch of indiscipline peop;e and psychos.
    whoever does not want me to discipline my children, will have to provide health care (not in VH) housing food and the brand clothing they love so much or else shut up.


  5. watched the video the mother was quarreling more than beating the child.. most times the child was holding the stick. Considering what happened to cause this she didn't get enough licks. She shud use this as a lesson to follow instructions and respect her mothers authority.


  6. The Social Workers are letting our children down. .. I was troubled when I heard a social worker said that she did not take a father's report seriously when his daughter told her that her mother made her to eat her vomit when she said that she did not want the food she cooked.


    • If i were you i wouldnt be so quick to bash social workers. These very same social workers try to help get children out of terrible living conditions and when then happens. i know of a social worker who has a case where a child was being abused all attempts to remove the child from the home failed why because the parents had ensure that they do all in their power to have this child remain in their custody. dont be too quick to judge all social workers


  7. Anonymous, Your comment is interesting. Different punishment work differently to each child. While the time out and taking away things from children may work on one child it may not work on the other.Therefore i believe that sometimes a parent must use a belt. There is abuse and there is punishment. I strongly believe that mother went overboard with her mode of punishment. But like others have said we do not know her frustrations. Look at American kids, they are the most disrespectful, drop outs are high, there is always a high school shooting, why do you think these things are happening. children are given too many rights. Allow parents to discipline their children.


  8. Spare the rod and spoil the child. The intent is not to hurt {abuse} but to correct. The rod taught me a few lessons for which I am grateful for.


  9. First Place The Mother Shouldn't Beat Her Child In This Manner And By The Fact That She Let Someone Video It Smh . Doing Such Can Lead To Suicide , No One Knows How The Child Feels After The Person Posted It Out There . And Some Lucians Will Think It's Right When Some Of Them Will NEVER Beat Their Child With A Stick Of Stepping On Her Belly . But Anyways Later Will Be Greater . That Mother Should Be Ashamed Of Herself . That's Nonsense You Can't Do That To A Child She's A Teenager You Should Expect That From Her Not Saying That's It's Right But Jahh Next Time Deal With It In A Different Manner .


  10. Child abuse is a touchy subject. I do not know the circumstances that led to beating that went viral. As a previous writer stated, it could have been parental frustration that culminated in the beating. It could also have been a result of the parent not understanding the teenager in this stage of her development. When incidents like these take place, they should serve as warning bells to places with governmental authority. Are they providing sufficient support towards conflict resolution in the home? Are telephone lines of communication always open...everyone has a phone.

    There is also a danger of labeling every problem as abuse or addiction as we try to emulate America. The result is dysfunctional homes and schools at the poorer levels. I am eternally grateful to my single mother and my aunt for their tough parenting which I didn't like at the time. Without their tough love, and my older bother's "carlotte," I may have fallen by the wayside. Hope that particular family and others get support in addressing their conflicts.


  11. The beating was a little over the top but no one know what this mom is growing through with this child. I think I was one of the most difficult teenagers in St.Lucia. My mom did her best, I had everything I ever needed and wanted. My mom did everything to her kids happy yet still I wasn't satisfied. Followed the wrong crowd, smoke did all the wrong things you can think of. My mom talked, grounded even went as far as to have police officers come to my house to speak with me and nothing worked. Until the day fustration hit and she had enough and beat the living hell out of me, I guess that got my attention cause I showed calmed down. I am physically and mentally doing great. I thank my mom everyday for the person I have become.


    • On the lighter side...I recall getting one of those slaps that leaves you wondering what just happened to my face after sucking my teeth for my mom at about 7. I didn't even see her swing her hand. I just heard the sound of a slap eco and my face felt numb.


  12. When growing up i knew this to be punishment. All of a sudden we, the followers that we are; have adopted the American way of life and now label it ABUSE.
    When you did something wrong you got punished.
    The kids today have no manners, respect or even pride in themselves. If more parents were to take responsibility for their children and discipline them as they should then they would not be on television making statements like "He/she was a good boy but just a little troublesome"
    Parents today leave raising and disciplining their kids to the teachers (who are barely older than the kids themselves) and the police.
    Today I am 39 years old and would like to thank my parents for the so called abuse that they inflicted on me in my teenage years.
    My neighbors kids who were never "abused" and who i envied for never being abused no matter what they did are either in prison or dead.
    and making me a contributing member of society .


  13. Shame on Gender Relations and Human Services minister. After this has happened and its now on the world stage for everyone to see, you as the representation for gender affairs have not pulled out your head from our say ANYTHING.

    You got lucky with the alleged cheating last election. I hope you know it will not happen again.


  14. This young lady was sent to purchase groceries and ended up in Mon Repos. The rate of teenage pregnancy in Saint Lucia is high. Children nowadays don't listen. That is why she said she will listen because the mother is fed up of talking to her with no change in behavior. If she ended up dead in Mon Repos persons would be saying something different. Spare not the rod and spoil the child but don't overdo it either. In this case both parties went to far. One went to Mon Repos and the beating the mother gave appeared to be excessive. I would like to know whether this young lady sustained injuries. The individual filming this incident and then sending it out on whatsapp and facebook is an enabler and has now added insult to injury because this moment is immortalized in film. This surely may not result in the young lady being better or listening. She may very well run away from home next week. We must find a better way to deal with our social issues. Build communities centres with activities for young people daily. keep the youth engaged, they are the future. So many elderly are abandoned because the children don't forget the beatings. Discipline is important but should make a person better and not humiliate or injure another.


    • Over 50 years ago, as a nine year old, I would steal a glimpse of childhood and flagrantly disobey my mother; I would just for a little while ‘mawon ‘ hide in the cool grass on a hill and look up at the sky and feel free, to imagine even to dream. I would hear my mother call my name. I would hear the rising frustration in her voice and I would ignore her. How long I could take it would be determined by how well I could steel myself for a beaten, for the whelks that would crisscross my body including my face. Later these wound would have salt rubbed into in supposing so that they heal faster. Was I masochistic or was I just trying to do what or have what most children had (rather most boys) which was free time, to play, to explore to be adventurous?

      Let’s look at the inequality between boys and girls in the home. When I was going up, I hated being a girl because there was no fun, only restrictions. My brothers were free. I was enslaved in domesticity. My education and school attendance was not as important as my brothers. I never felt education was rightly mine; I was always on edge because I could be stopped from going to school to look after my younger siblings or to do some shopping.

      I’d like to think today’s boys and girls are equal in the home and are given equal opportunities and free time.

      If this teenager was anything like me when I was a teenager, only when I took the stick that was used to beat me and give my mother one hard whack whilst looking her straight in the eyes. I saw the fear in her eyes then I dropped the stick. if she wanted to continue to beat me she could. But that was the last time my mother beat me. I am not advocating children should retaliate with violence,

      The reasons given to keep girls chained are to prevent them from getting pregnant. If the truth be told, I was safer on the street, in the community than I was in my home. This could be the case for some children.


  15. That woman need to just take several seats back in the days it was called proper up bringing today its considered abuse ? well if is so praise God for the little abuse that turned me into the good woman i am today ...SMH when the children comes home with a belly or land themselves in jail its the same set of people who call it abuse will have the world of things to say *oh the parents didn't do a good job of disciplining* times you talk and talk and the children don't even take you on WHAT NEXT TO DO ? i applaud the mother with all the 100s there is .


    • If the child ended up raped or dead what would be said WHERE were her parents. Is ok for the chid to ignore rules and regulations given to guide them? Wow we are truely creating a Generation of vipers. TO GOD BE THE GLORY


  16. I think before our persons in power put the cart before the horse in trying to control how people discipline their kids, they need to first encourage a spirit of an entire community raising the nations kids..provide them food, clothing, shelter, emotional support, a sense of discipline etc. Persons may hate that form of discipline, but it has prevented young girls from being the wrong place at the wrong time and young men too. In light of these numerous rapes and murders parents need to use any means necessary to instill the necessary for of discipline and a sense of the fear of punishment for unacceptable behaviour...It is because judicialy we suck that one can say I will kill X and go to bordelais.


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