Han Ju Yeon, the mother of the 14-year-old student who was brutally attacked in Busan has spoken out about the incident.
In an interview with SBS, she talks about her daughter’s brutal attack for the first time.
Koreaboo fully translated the interview into English.
On September 1, a photo of a girl covered in blood as a result of a group beating was revealed. There is much debate about this issue. The tools used for the attack were enough to send shivers down anyone’s spine, including bricks, soju bottles, and a chair.
Even more shockingly, the attackers were middle school students, just like the victim.
According to the Juvenile Law, it’s currently difficult to even give the attackers a heavy penalty.
Why did that student have to be so brutally beaten up? We were able to get in touch with the victim’s mother. Let’s listen to her side of the story and how she is feeling at the moment.
— SBS News Anchor Kim Sung Joon
The news anchor thanked the victim’s mother for agreeing to the difficult interview and asked about her daughter’s current condition.
Host: Thank you for agreeing to this difficult interview today. We will try our best not to ask you for any provocative questions and only look towards seeking necessary information from you. First, we understand you must be emotionally unstable right now. How is your daughter? Is she receiving treatment well?
Han Ju Yeon (Mother): Yes, she’s stitched up and is receiving treatment. We went back to a cosmetic surgeon to get more medical treatment for the stitches in her mouth.
Host: It appears that your daughter had to get stitches in several places. Has she completed her treatment and in stable condition? Or does she still need further treatment for her injuries?
Han Ju Yeon: She isn’t going to get surgery, but mostly because the insides of her mouth are completely stitched up. She can’t eat properly anymore. She’s taking nutritional supplements.
After learning about her current condition, the host asked about the health difficulties her daughter was facing due to the assault.
Host: I see that she’s unable to eat and is receiving her nutrients through supplements.
Han Ju Yeon: Even when she drinks water, it trickles down. So she can’t drink properly.
Host: She can’t even drink water. How many days does she have to stay like that?
Han Ju Yeon: Anything she does with her neck is difficult for her. That’s what she says.
Han Ju Yeon continued on to talk about the first assault and the excuses the bullies gave for attacking her daughter.
Host: I see. I can’t even imagine how you must be feeling watching over her. Let’s start from here. In regards to the reason why the bullies attacked your daughter, I know we wrote about it in our article too, but did you hear why they attacked her?
Han Ju Yeon: One student said they did it because she didn’t return the clothes she’d borrowed. The attackers and their sunbaes attacked her two months ago and they told her not to report it, but she did, so I found out that they attacked her because they couldn’t get in touch with her.
Host: So they wanted to call her to say something about it but she didn’t pick up. That’s why?
Host: What’s so terrible about not returning clothes you borrowed? But as you just said, that this wasn’t the first time your daughter was attacked?
Mother: Yes, this is the second time.
Host: What happened then?
Mother: A guy she knew, not one of the attacker’s boyfriends, contacted [my daughter] through Facebook. They called her out because she responded to his message. That was the first time she met the older girls.
Host: Did she get attacked a lot then too?
Han Ju Yeon: The injuries took 2 weeks to heal then, too. They used a slipper and hit her face and threw a garbage bin at her. They also hit her with a microphone.
The host then asked about the police reports the mother made and what the authorities did to handle the assault cases.
Host: And you reported that incident to the police.
Han Ju Yeon: Yes.
Host: If you reported it, the police would have done something about it, right?
Han Ju Yeon: When we first went, they said her face didn’t look too good so they told us to go to the hospital first.
Host: The police said that?
Han Ju Yeon: Yes. We just filed a report roughly and went to the hospital, but the hospital didn’t want to take her in because of the type of assault.
Host: So she couldn’t get admitted to the hospital?
Han Ju Yeon: Since she didn’t break anything in her body. Even if we went to an orthopedic, they’d probably just give her physical therapy and take photos and that’s it. We didn’t have time and for other reasons we couldn’t go. Time passed so I think I just tried to suppress the situation.
The host was confused by the mother’s word choice of “suppress” and wanted to explore what she meant by that.
Host: Who did you say tried to suppress the situation?
Han Ju Yeon: I tried to suppress it because, in a parent’s perspective, I thought kids could fight and get hit so I left it there, but then this happened.
Host: And at the time, her injuries weren’t that bad.
Han Ju Yeon: Yes.
The interview then moved on to talk about the social media posts that went viral after photos of her daughter’s assaulted body were shared.
Host: Ok so besides that, the incident became viral after a photo of your daughter covered in blood started spreading online. I’m guessing you’ve seen that photo.
Han Ju Yeon: Yes. My niece took a screenshot of the picture and sent it to my son. When I saw the photo I was so angry that I went to the police station first to ask them how we can punish the kids who uploaded this.
The interview came back to talk about the police involvement once more and the victim’s mother explained how the authorities handled her pleas.
Host: I understand you went to the police to talk about punishment, but since this photo started spreading everywhere, I heard you asked the police to stop it from spreading. What did the police do to help?
Han Ju Yeon: No, I asked them what should I do about this, but they said it’s not their area. They said they’ll relay the information to the correct person when they’ve checked into work.
Host: So they never gave you a phone number or contact information to any departments regarding cyber crimes or work to block photos from spreading?
Han Ju Yeon: Yes. So when the photo spread, they wrote that she didn’t get hurt too badly, that she bled a lot but didn’t get injured too much.
Han Ju Yeon: Online. People wrote that and I got so angry that I revealed my face and my daughter’s face and uploaded everything online.
Host: I see.
Han Ju Yeon: She’s hurt this much. How can you say she was only injured a little.
Host: How did the police investigate the attackers?
Han Ju Yeon: I’m not sure about that. The kids turned themselves in, got investigated, and then were returned back to their parents because they were underage.
Host: We also found out that the students went to the police station and turned themselves in but were told to go back home. Then we heard that nothing was really done about it after that. Then you haven’t received any updates or information about how the police are proceeding with the investigations?
Han Ju Yeon: Yes. I received nothing.
The host asked the victim’s mother if she had any contact with the parents of the attackers.
Host: Have you ever met or been contacted by the attackers or their parents?
Han Ju Yeon: No.
Host: Not anything?
Han Ju Yeon: Nothing.
Host: You would think that if a situation became this bad, they would apologize or at least request for a settlement.
Han Ju Yeon: No, there was none of that.
Host: If they do contact you, are you thinking of accepting their apology or requests for a settlement?
Han Ju Yeon: No, there will be no settlements.
Host: So you have no plans for a settlement. If you listened to what the students said, for example, during the attack, they said ‘Since we’ve already hit her this much, this is already attempted murder, so can’t we just hit her some more?’
Also, even things about sexual intercourse that is really too much for a kid to say.
They said all those things. Did you know about it?
The mother replied to the host’s questions and revealed she had the contact info of one of the attackers.
Han Ju Yeon: I have the number of a kid who knows someone who was at the scene of the crime. While I was on the phone with her, I recorded the conversation.
Host: Would you be able to let us know what kind of things they said, as long as you’re comfortable.
Han Ju Yeon: They said they liked the smell of blood and how it splattered, so they hit her more. They also said that they’ll bring a guy and if she had sex with him, they’ll forgive her.
Host: I’m not sure how you will feel if I ask you about this, but one of them is under 14 years of age, so even if she’s found guilty of the crimes, she won’t be receive criminal punishment.
The other three students are also underage, so the punishment will be much weaker than if they were to be tried as adults. What do you think about this?
Since you are a parent with a daughter around the same age, I believe you might have a differing opinion on giving severe punishments to children.
The interview concluded with a clear standpoint of the victim’s mother towards the attackers and how she will be handling her daughter’s case as it moves forwards.
Han Ju Yeon: We have to fortify it.
Host: So you think we should fortify.
Han Ju Yeon: Yes. Since we let them loose like this, and since their mothers get solve it with settlements, I think they go around doing those things like it’s nothing.
Host: I understand. Thank you so much for doing this interview with us, despite being in a difficult situation where your child is unable to eat, and is receiving nutrients through supplements.
I sincerely hope this story reaches more people and it becomes an opportunity to awaken society and prevent this from happening again.
Of course, we send you our full support for your daughter, not only for her physical scars, but for the scars in her heart.
Han Ju Yeon: Yes, thank you.
Since the initial attack, the father one of the girls behind the brutal attack has condemned his daughter’s actions.
The victim has also spoken out, stating that no matter what, she will never forgive her bullies.
Soon after this story broke out, another student has shared a similar story of being brutally attacked.
Source: SBS News