Children who have abusive parents are often trapped in their own homes with no way of escaping the torture they have to go through daily.
A nine-year-old girl in South Korea escaped her abusive parents last month on 29 May after she managed to jump to her next-door neighbour’s balcony on the fourth floor.
She then fled her home barefoot in search of help, said the Gyeongnam Provincial Police Agency on 11 June. A neighbour then found the girl on a roadside in Changnyeong, South Gyeongsang Province, and called the police, reported The Korean Herald.
She was barefoot and had cuts, bruises and blisters on her body. She was later found to have had several broken bones and symptoms of severe anaemia.
She told the police that her 35-year-old stepfather and 27-year-old mother had chained her to punish her for disobeying them. She recalled an incident when she had a metal chain around her neck for two days, except for when she needed to use the bathroom, did household chores or ate meals – which was only once a day.
She also said that her parents would beat her with a metal stick, branded her feet with a glue gun and heated metal chopsticks. Her parents also tried to drown her in the bathtub.
When the girl had planned to escape, her mother and siblings were home while her stepfather was out, the police said.
Upon investigation at the girl’s home, the police confiscated about 10 items suspected to be used to torture the girl, some of which included a frying pan, a lock, a metal chain and a glue gun.
The girl said that she had spent two years in foster care before she returned to her mother in 2017. That’s when the abuse started.
Her teacher and neighbours claimed they were unaware of what the girl was going through as she hid her scars and bruises under her clothes.
The police say the girl’s stepfather admitted to some of the allegations but denied others. They have not finished questioning the mother and are still investigating the case. Both parents may face child abuse charges.