|North Jeolla Provincial Police Agency building / Korea Times file|
By Lee Hyo-jin
A woman has been arrested for assaulting her seven-month-old baby in Iksan, North Jeolla Province.
The North Jeolla Provincial Police Agency said Tuesday that she has been charged with the attempted murder of the baby and the case will be sent to the prosecutors' office.
She is accused of beating the baby in the face and throwing her on the floor multiple times, resulting in critical injuries leading to brain death.
During the police investigation, the woman said she acted out of frustration because the baby would not stop crying, amidst excessive stress from the labor of childcare.
According to the police, she was almost solely responsible for care of the baby, as her husband frequently worked overtime.
The police found that she had been abusing the baby for about three months since December, during which at least 21 instances of assault were confirmed. She deliberately dropped the baby dozens of times from a height over one meter.
The baby's father, who found it strange that his daughter was sleeping longer than usual, took her to a hospital on March 12, where she was pronounced brain-dead. The baby was diagnosed with abusive head trauma, also known as "shaken baby syndrome," a type of brain injury that occurs when a baby is shaken violently.
A detailed medical examination showed that 75 percent of her brain had been severely damaged.
The woman initially denied the allegations raised against her, but ultimately admitted to the acts of abuse after the police obtained video of her assaults from her phone.
The woman, who is a marriage immigrant, married her Korean husband overseas in July 2019, and entered Korea while pregnant in November that year. She gave birth in August 2020.
According to the police, she was unable to share her difficulties with others or reach out for help due to a language barrier. She also suffered from depression, which became more serious when her mother, who was planning to come to Korea to help her with caring for the baby, was blocked from entering the country due to travel restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.