Why These Young Boys Were Asked to Slap a Girl

Fanpage.it created a video showing how children respond to domestic abuse.

— -- What happens when you introduce a group of young boys to a beautiful little girl? They blush.

What happens when you tell those little boys to slap that beautiful girl? They refuse.

An online Italian newspaper called Fanpage.it created this eye-opening video showing how children respond to violence against women— and fortunately, their reactions are exactly what you’d hope.

“What do you like about her?,” the voice behind the camera asks the boys one by one as they’re introduced to Martina, the pretty, long-haired little girl.

“I like her eyes,” one of the boy replies.

“Everything,” says another.

They are then prompted to make a funny face at Martina, to which they all comply, and then are asked to caress her. The boys agree to that gesture too, gently rubbing her arm or lightly stroking her cheek.

But then it gets awkward.

"Slap her,” the voice tells them.

Lots of confused looks and sideways glances prompt more coaxing from behind the camera to just “Slap her, hard! Come on.”

They will not do it.

“No,” each one of them says.

“Why not?,” they’re asked.

“Because you’re not supposed to hit girls,” says one.

“Jesus doesn’t want us to hit others,” says another.

Then the romantic of the group chimes in with his reasoning: “As the saying goes, ‘girls shouldn’t be hit, not even with a flower.'”

It’s a lovely reminder to the viewer that “In the kids’ world, women don’t get hit,” the video explains.

“As a newspaper, we thought it was important to raise awareness on domestic abuse that perpetuates in the social silence,” Francesco Piccinini, director of Fanpage.it, wrote to ABC News. “We wanted to show the reactions to an order. It's a social experiment and a news way to report about this crime.”

Piccinini adds that Fanpage uses videos to “talk in a different way about matters that affect [their] country.”

With more than 7 million views it’s safe to say the video’s success has not only gotten Italy discussing domestic abuse, but helped it become a global conversation.