I just witnessed chld abuse

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by leekohler, Dec 31, 2007.

  1. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #1
    Wow- I was on the bus today and there was a woman on the bus with a little girl in a stroller who was screaming at the top of her lungs. The girl was maybe one and a half years old. At first I was completely annoyed, but figured she'd calm down after a minute. She didn't. The woman with her (I assume it was her mother) just sat there ignoring her. She screamed all the way over to where I got out. The woman got out with the little girl at my stop too. She then hit the little girl three times in the face, so hard her mouth started bleeding. Me being me, started screaming at her. I said, "Lady knock it off!" She said, "What?" I screamed, "I saw you hit her! You touch that little girl again and I'm gonna get the cops!" She just started to frantically wipe the blood off the girl's mouth. She said nothing and then started walking away with the girl screaming in the stroller. I was horrified.

    The thing is- did I do the right thing? Could I have made it worse for that little girl once they got home? Also, part of me feels like I should have gotten the police. Ugh- I just felt so awful and scared to death for the girl. It's been bothering me all day. :(
     
  2. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    #2
    I'd say you did the right thing. Most people would just ignore it and take the approach that "it's none of my business", heck I don't even know if I'd be able to do that...

    You couldn't exactly do much more over what you did...
     
  3. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
  4. Stampyhead macrumors 68020

    Stampyhead

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2004
    Location:
    London, UK
    #4
    That's a terrible story. I think you did the right thing by pointing out that you witnessed her abused. At least now she knows that people are watching her. Even if you had called the police I doubt they would have done anything since she would have been gone before they got there. I think my heart would be aching too if I had witnessed something like that. Kudos to you for saying something at least. Most people would have just stayed silent.
    I understand how you feel, though. It is a helpless feeling. Think how many thousands of children are abused every day, and worse than just a slap on the mouth. All that we can do is make a difference where we can (like you did) and pray in our own way for the rest of them.
     
  5. FJ218700 macrumors 68000

    FJ218700

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Location:
    Blue Dot, Red State
    #5
    that's terrible. I was often physically disciplined as a child, but always on my backside.

    Hitting an 18 month old child is way out of line. Were there multiple witnesses? I think if it had been me, and there were others present to verify the abuse, I would have followed the woman at a distance while calling the proper authorities. Who knows how many others kids she has at home receiving even worse.
     
  6. MikeTheC Guest

    MikeTheC

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2004
    Location:
    Gallifrey -- Capitol City, Prydonian Sector
    #6
    No, Leekohler, you did not do the wrong thing. You did the right thing, no matter how it works out.

    It would appear the mother was using excessive means to discipline her child. It's also clear from what you didn't say that she did on her own that it wasn't an accident, or at the very least, that it actually registered on her own conscience that what she did was incorrect.

    You basically pointed it out to her that what she did was wrong, and you've given her the opportunity to correct her ways as a parent. Whether she does so or not is her own personal responsibility, not yours or anyone elses'. You cannot lead her life for her, nor should you even if you could. It's up to her to take responsibility for her own actions.

    The fact that you are concerned for the welfare of her child speaks volumes to your own humanity, morality, and character. Now, if you were to see a repetition of this kind of behavior from this woman, then you'd be well within your rights, both ethically and legally, to call the police and have them intervene.
     
  7. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #7
    There were people walking nearby, but I don't know who actually saw it. Plus, I just so shocked by it.
     
  8. NAG macrumors 68030

    NAG

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2003
    Location:
    /usr/local/apps/nag
    #8
    Yeah, that was obviously child abuse. Hopefully she'll think about it and use other methods to discipline her child, such as positive reinforcement (not that there aren't other ways, I'm just giving an example).
     
  9. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #9
    Yeah, you really can't stay silent with that level of violence. Making someone bleed is not in the "grey" area. The only thing I'd add is that, if at all possible, you should seriously consider reporting it. It's obviously difficult because you don't know who she is, but if there's any way you could either find out (from other passengers) or something... it would be good to have it out there. If nothing else, if this is pattern violence (which it probably is), then the more reports there are on this woman, the less anyone can find an excuse to not act on them.....
     
  10. FJ218700 macrumors 68000

    FJ218700

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Location:
    Blue Dot, Red State
    #10
    no doubt you were in shock, I would have been too, probably too much to say anything. You definitely did more than most would have, the woman will probably not hit the child in public any more.
     
  11. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #11
    Thanks. Yeah, I guess I did what I should have. And if I do see her again, I'll definitely keep an eye on her.

    I was in shock. But I've never been the kind of person to just sit by when these things happen. That would make me feel so much worse if I just let it go without saying something.
     
  12. JML42691 macrumors 68020

    JML42691

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #12
    I would say that you did the right thing, think of it this way: if you did nothing, that child may end up growing up in an abusive environment and it may just get worse and worse. There was a sad song that came out about 5 years ago about something like this where people sat there and did nothing and the girl ended up dying, it was called Concrete Angel, I believe Martina McBride sang it, give it a listen.
     
  13. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #13
    As mad as I've gotten at kids, that's just too much. Especially with someone that young. I was worried this would be one of those gray areas too, where we who don't have kids maybe can't tell if it's stepping over the line or not. But it definitely isn't based on your description. There's discipline, and then there's abuse. That was abuse. I'm glad you said something, sadly, probably the only thing you could do. Still more than most people would. Doubt she would still be there when the cops showed up either, and it's not like you knew where she lived. That she caught herself maybe says this was a particularly bad day and she realized she went too far. Hopefully you shamed her enough to think twice next time. I don't blame you for still feeling bad, but you did a good thing.
     
  14. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #14
    Maybe I will. Is it gonna make me cry though? Not that that would be a bad thing, I guess.

    Thanks, solvs. And thank you all- I'm starting to feel a little better.
     
  15. JML42691 macrumors 68020

    JML42691

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #15
    If you are an over-sensitive person, then it may make you cry a little, I don't believe that it was a true story, if that helps you a little bit.
     
  16. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #16
    I think you did the right thing Lee.

    Honestly I think many of us would have been too shocked to say anything, and I think you deserve some credit for reacting the way you did. It couldn't have been easy (obviously not).
     
  17. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #17
    Ugh- well, I can be emotional at times as those of you who see me in the PRSI forum already know. :)
     
  18. ::Lisa:: macrumors 6502a

    ::Lisa::

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #18
    Wow. I'm sorry you had to witness that. :(:mad: How awful. I'd also say you did the right thing too.
     
  19. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #19
    Thanks. I hope so.
     
  20. kia2060 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    #20
    Breaks my heart to her that...Kids are such a gift & she was obviously letting her frustration out on an innocent baby. You did the right thing...glad I wasn't there...I would have went OFF on that woman! If you see her again, keep a close eye on her!!!~Kia
     
  21. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Location:
    Toronteazy
    #21
    Lee, you did the right thing. Some of us might believe you should have done more, some of us might have you do less. What's important is that you acted, you didn't just shrug your shoulders and close your eyes.

    The bystander effect is a very real phenomenon that has a substantial impact on our society. People have been assaulted and even murdered in crowded public areas simply because no one acted in any way. This diffusion of responsibility poses a very serious danger, especially to the defenseless. I know a girl who was dragged into an alley and raped at a subway station because nobody helped her.

    Every time one of us steps up and says "No! This is not acceptable!", we help put an end to pluralistic ignorance, and help inspire others to act when necessary.
     
  22. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Washington D.C
    #22
    You acted...thats more then most people would do!

    Maybe next time the lady will think!


    (Although I agree she might be more abusive at home...but who knows)
     
  23. iMpathetic macrumors 68030

    iMpathetic

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    IMBY
    #23
    That woman needs to be treated to a little abuse herself, see how she likes it. I hate it when people stoop that low. I think that another form of child abuse is being paranoid. REALLY paranoid. There's a friend of mine (who is in 9th grade) who is not allowed to come over anymore because he scratched himself on the pedal of a bike. He pretty much doesn't leave the house now, because his mother feels that he is in a state of mortal peril every time he leaves her watch. So, in a nutshell, I think leaving someone unprepared for real life is abuse. Just my $0.02.

    Geez, I was in a bad mood already...
     
  24. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #24
    That's how I feel too. These things happen because people are afraid to get involved. I do hope this had a positive effect. Unfortunately I have no way of knowing.

    Unfortunately, I can't agree with that. Many times abusers are people who themselves have been abused in the past. It ends up being a terrible cycle.
     
  25. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #25
    Lee, that's terrible that you had to witness something like this.

    Kudos for taking action -- most don't.
     

Share This Page