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Ayushi Agarwal

IWB Blogger

Beaten Means Loved? This 4 YO Girl’s Mother Doesn’t Agree

  • IWB Post
  •  October 16, 2015


Feelings of love and like can be expressed through numerous gestures. By exchanging flowers, chocolates, letters, cards, etc., but a punch in the face? Err..

4 year-old Joni sustained an injury on her face, after being hit with a metal toy by one of her classmates. She was immediately taken to the emergency room at Nationwide Children’s hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

The hospital’s employee sitting at the registration desk told Joni, ‘I bet he likes you’. This outraged Joni’s mother, Merritt Smith, who posted her subsequent backlash on Facebook. Her powerful response has been shared over 30,000 times.

“I bet he likes you.”Dear man at the registration desk at Children’s hospital, l’m positive that you didn’t think that…

Posted by Merritt Smith on Tuesday, 6 October 2015


Smith explains that although the comment was not meant in a malicious way, it sets a culture where violence is accepted as a boy attempting to show his affections – and should be stopped.

She wrote, ‘In that moment, hurt and in a new place, worried about perhaps getting a shot or stitches you were a person we needed to help us and your words of comfort conveyed a message that someone who likes you might hurt you. No. I will not allow that message to be OK.’

“I do not mean to attack the hospital or get this man fired. He genuinely meant no harm. My intensity and intent is to change old scripts that do not serve us as adults and most certainly do not serve our children,” she wrote.

Violence should never be considered as a way to show affection of any sort. It is a negative experience, and should be taken seriously.

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