Violence on step daughter a family affair, Vietnamese woman says

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Police in the southern province of Soc Trang are considering filing charges against a woman for regularly beating up her 5-year-old step daughter.

Bui Thi Trang, 30, told local police she had beaten Tran Thi Ngoc Han five times this year, including once on September 18 when she used a log and caused the girl to be hospitalized for a week with 16 bruises on her arms, legs and heads, news website VnExpress reported.

Trang also admitted that neighbors had tried to stop her several times from beating the girl, but that she was doing it to teach the girl not to play around too much.

"The area is full of muddy roads but she went out every day and dirtied all her clothes."

She said her method of teaching the girl should be the business of the family and not others.

"No one said anything when I was working hard to feed her. But when I used a cane to teach her, people said I was violating the laws."

Trang just gave birth to her own baby ten months ago.

Her husband Tran Van Vu, Han's biological father, took his wife's side, saying he believed that Trang always loved his daughter. "I think her beatings are okay. It's not too much because Han is a very naughty girl."

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For now, the girl has been given to Vu's parents to take care of.

Han is the daughter of Vu's second wife.  Trang is his third wife.

The man, who occasionally works as a hired laborer in Ho Chi Minh City, has another son with his first wife who lives with his mother. Vu's very poor and lives in a very small thatched hut on his friend's land. The hut has barely enough space to put a bed and table in it. 

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