Crime and Courts

6-year-old girl tortured by stepmother in UAE, rescued

Afkar Abdullah /Sharjah Filed on December 31, 2019
uae child abuse, sharjah, dubai, uae child protection laws

(Agencies file)

54 kids exposed to physical abuse in Sharjah.

A six-year-old Arab girl has been rescued after being found with bruises and burns all over her face at a Sharjah activity park. Investigations have shown that she had been tortured by her stepmother.

A woman found her crying and seated alone in a kids' area in Al Qasba, and when she approached the girl, she was shocked to see burns under her eyes, as well as bruises, according to Sharjah Public Prosecution's records.

When she was asked what happened to her, the girl said her stepmother had beated her and poured boiling water over her body, prompting the woman to call the police and file a report of the incident.

Child protection authorities rushed the girl to a hospital, while the stepmother was arrested and referred to the prosecution.

A medical examination revealed that six-year-old had been tortured and physically abused. Besides the bruises and burns, marks of a 'hot knife' were found on her back and legs. A forensic report confirmed that she suffered injuries that may lead to permanent disability.

The public prosecution charged the stepmother with assault. It was found that the girl - whose parents had separated - moved to her stepmother's house when her mother was jailed after being involved in a drug case.

During the interrogation, the defendant denied the accusation and said she "only slapped the girl on the face" to discipline her as she was being naughty.

54 kids exposed to physical abuse

Amina Al Rifai, director of Child Rights Protection Division (CRPD) at Sharjah Social Services Department, said a total of 54 child abuse cases have been reported to the hotline 800700 so far. Many of these children needed immediate attention after being exposed to violence inside their homes with their families.

The child rescue team comprising social workers, psychiatrists, parenting experts, and child care specialists have been working hard to kids' safety and address the risks of abuse, Al Rifai said.

Afkar Abdullah

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