Police on Wednesday summoned a babysitter alleged to have abused a 14-month-old for over three months by slapping and neglecting the baby while her parents were not at home.
According to Geumcheon Police Station, police are investigating the female babysitter in her late 50s, surnamed Kim, for violating the Child Welfare Law.
Kim was dispatched by a government child care program called Babysitting Service, which the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family offers to families with children under the age of 12.
She has been accused of abusing the baby repeatedly, including slapping the baby on the face, pulling her hair, kicking, pinching and force-feeding. She also allegedly shouted at the baby several times and neglected the baby while it was crying.
(Screen captured from Yonhap video)
Her alleged actions came to light after the parents installed security cameras.
On Monday, the parents filed a petition to the presidential office and shared a six-minute video showing the sitter abusing the child.
The petition called for stricter punishment of babysitters who abuse babies and the strengthening of qualification criteria. They also demanded that the government cover the cost of installing security cameras while they use the babysitting service.
The petition had gained over 211,000 signatures as of Wednesday afternoon, while the video has been viewed over 960,000 times in three days.
Police said they will question the babysitter based on the security camera footage, but the investigation is reportedly being hampered by Kim’s extreme anxiety.
The Family Ministry said it will conduct emergency inspections on families using the babysitting service and that reports on similar cases can be made via its website from Monday.
The ministry added that it will carry out educational sessions for babysitters on preventing child abuse and will strengthen qualification criteria in employing babysitters.
By Park Ju-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)