Earlier this week, a video showing a father brutally whipping his two daughters with an electric cord circulated online. In the video, the father is seen swinging the cord with all his might at the two girls, 12 and 14, who scream in pain. At one point, one of the girls cries “Daddy, stop!” The whipping was intended to punish the girls for posting a “Twerking” video on Facebook. Twerking is a sexual, butt-centric dance popular in hip-hop videos.
The clip was met with plenty of outrage, but there were some who though the father’s response was an appropriate reaction to the girls’ behavior. Police in Dayton, Oh., apparently didn’t think so and arrested the dad, 35-year-old Greg Horn on charges of child abuse and corporal punishment. Under Ohio law, an “abused child” is defined as one who “exhibits evidence of any physical or mental injury or death, inflicted other than by accidental means,” however the law also states that “a child exhibiting evidence of corporal punishment or other physical disciplinary measure by a parent [or] guardian [...] is not an abused child” if the measure used by the parent is not prohibited under another section of the law. That section stipulates that a measure of parental corporal punishment is prohibited if it is “excessive under the circumstances and creates a substantial risk of serious physical harm to the child” or if the punishment is unwarranted, administered repeatedly and there is a “substantial risk that such conduct, if continued, will seriously impair or retard the child’s mental health or development.”
According to reports, one of the girls had welts and open cuts on her thighs.
The video is incredibly difficult to watch. The father swings the cord in anger as the girls cower before him. It’s difficult to imagine a father who can continue hitting his children when they are screaming and pleading for mercy. Additionally disturbing is the fact that a video of the abuse exists at all. If the father sought to punish his daughters for posting a video online, his recording a video of the abuse in retaliation hardly shows an emotional maturity that can serve as an example for the girls.
Still, there are those who believe the abuse was warranted and Horn’s arrest unjustified. In the comments section of an Inquisitr article about the case, a comment with 358 likes reads, “it wasn’t a true ass whipping if you wasn’t naked.” The top comment, with 1,399 likes, says, ”How can we say we want our fathers to be involved in our children’s lives and then punish him when he does his JOB?”
What happened in the video goes far beyond spanking, discipline or a father doing his job, and the people applauding Horn’s alleged conduct highlight the pervasiveness of not only child abuse, but the culture in which child abuse is expected, condoned and praised.
This isn’t the first time that an abuse video posted online resulted in problems for the parent. Last year, a 2004 video recorded in secret by the victim showed Texas judge William Adams beating his daughter with a belt in her bedroom caused an uproar and led to his temporary dismissal as a family law judge. He was later reinstated. In another case, a neighbor recorded California water agency official Anthony Sanchez hitting his stepson with a belt in the backyard after the boy couldn’t catch a ball. Sanchez was charged with felony child abuse.