Girl 'splashed with urine, beaten up' over a rumour

She claims she had urine splashed on her face, was burned with a cigarette and beaten until she fell - all on her first day of school.

Agnes (not her real name), 15, was with her boyfriend on Jan 2 when schoolmate Nancy (not her real name), also 15, confronted her over a rumour that Agnes had been spreading about a mutual friend since March.

Nancy then splashed water on Agnes' boyfriend, who pushed her away.

At 2pm that day, Nancy contacted Agnes' boyfriend, asking to meet him and Agnes to "settle things". They agreed, hoping to end the bullying.

They met at a Housing Board block near a community club, where a group of eight teenage boys and girls, including Nancy, surrounded them. One of them splashed a cup of urine at Agnes' face.

She wanted to leave then, but was persuaded to stay and resolve the issue by her boyfriend, who walked away to call his friends for help. It was then that the group burned Agnes thrice on her left arm with a lit cigarette.

Seeing a police car patrolling the area, the group moved from one block to another. Agnes did not approach the police as she feared arrest.

Nancy then challenged Agnes to a one-on-one fight.

"One of them grabbed my hair and I cried out in pain," Agnes claimed.

"They slapped and punched my face more than 10 times, and kicked me till I fell."

She said that the beating lasted for about three minutes, after which they stopped and laughed at her.

"They called me slut, prostitute and b****," alleged Agnes.

"I was in pain and crying on the ground. I was so scared that they would use weapons and beat me up some more."

She said that three passers-by saw the incident, but did not help her.

After two hours, her attackers eventually let Agnes go and she called her mother, crying. Her boyfriend was nowhere to be found.

She was treated the next day at KK Women's and Children's Hospital for burns and other injuries.

When The New Paper called Nancy about Agnes' allegations, the teenager claimed that she had "forgotten" what happened.

"I don't think I'm bullying her," said Nancy.

"She made a big fuss over it. A lot of things happened, I cannot remember."

Agnes reported the incident to the police and to her school.

The police confirmed the report and said investigations are ongoing.

The school replied to queries in an e-mail: "The case is now under investigation and as such, we are unable to comment."

Agnes' mother, a divorcee, is deeply concerned about the incident, but is at her wits' end.

"I am worried for her safety, but there is little I can do," she said.

In the meantime, she has given her daughter a personal alarm device for protection.

Agnes claimed that Nancy and her friends threatened her after the incident, saying they know where she lives.

Agnes said: "When I see her (Nancy) in school, I try not to make eye contact with her, because she keeps staring at me.

"I blame myself because by spreading a rumour, I had given her a reason to harass me."

The rumour involved Agnes' former boyfriend hitting a former girlfriend, she added.

Agnes' mother said her daughter is now going for counselling at a family centre near their home.

Said Agnes: "I keep thinking of the urine splashed at my face. It's very hard to sleep at night, knowing I have to go to school the next day."

This article by The New Paper was published in MyPaper, a free, bilingual newspaper published by Singapore Press Holdings.