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saw a baby being abused today

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Well I didn't actually see it, but I heard it. We were at the Science Center and N had to use the bathroom, so we were in there. Across the way in the bathroom I heard a very young baby crying. It was under a year old. I could tell by the cry. Then I heard a woman shout "NO!" to the baby and it cried harder. At first I thought maybe she was changing it and it was giving her a hard time. Maybe put its hand in the poop or something. But the No was so cold. It just gave me cold chills. The yelling and crying continued and it was not normal. Even Abi asked, "Why is that mommy yelling at her baby? She doesn't love her baby?" Then as I walked out into the sink area I saw a woman squatting on the floor in front of the stall in that position that moms do when they are supporting a little one on the toilet. I just saw her butt and shoes in that gap at the bottom of the stall. Now, I have done infant potty training with Abi when she was very little, but it was a positive thing. I never yelled at her or anything like that. People all over the world where there are no Pampers will do infant potty training, and I have seen it in India and it's not abusive at all. But this woman was abusive. As I was drying my hands I heard her say, "NO! Don't touch the toilet! Yuck!" and then I heard her spank the baby and it screamed even more. I didn't know what to do. There was another woman in the bathroom who was also disturbed by it. I just wanted to get my kids away from that. UGH! I wonder what I should have done, if anything? If she had walked out of the stall I would have said something to her but she stayed in there with her baby the whole time.
post #2 of 21
post #3 of 21
That is so sad. I really wish we would make hitting children illegal. It wouldn't magically make all abusive parents non-abusive (nor address all the underlying causes of abuse) but it sure would send the right message.
post #4 of 21

That sucks.
post #5 of 21
Originally Posted by peacelovingmama
That is so sad. I really wish we would make hitting children illegal. It wouldn't magically make all abusive parents non-abusive (nor address all the underlying causes of abuse) but it sure would send the right message.
i thought it was illegal... but i dont really know anything about the law... how do they distinguish hitting and physical abuse, that children get taken away from there parents???
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
I think (and don't quote me on this) it depends on each state. In my state it's okay to spank a child on clothed buttocks with an open hand. I believe it is also legal to use a paddle in the same manner. Because I know of a few private schools that do this on occasion, and I subbed at one of them in Oklahoma that also paddled. The principal-- not the teachers. Abuse is when it leaves marks that do not fade within a few minutes, break the skin, bruise the skin, or cause other more serious injuries. If you want to know how I know this, it was because I was abused as a child/teen and wanted to know the law and my rights.
post #7 of 21
In my state, hitting is legal "as long as it does not leave a mark".
You can pretty much whale on the kid, in just the right way, and if it leaves no bruises, it's legal.
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Spanking laws


BTW I do not agree with this website! New Agers. Hmph!

And moving this to Parenting Issues b/c it's turning into a spanking discussion.
post #9 of 21
How terrible!
In my country (Israel) spanking is i-l-l-e-g-a-l!!! Thank goodness!
post #10 of 21
It's still accepted to chop pieces of babies' genitals off in the US (as long as they aren't girls), so I don't see how spanking will be illegal anytime soon

I heard a woman at my parents' church abuse her child... I was in the bathroom pottying dd (5 months at the time) and this woman came in dragging a little girl (maybe about 6-7 years old or so) and they went into the handicapped stall. I heard the mom tell the girl that she needed to behave in church and that it was unacceptable how she was behaving and then smacked her HARD three times. Then they left. The girl looked sullen and mad and I seriously doubt that she will be good in church for any reason other than to avoid being hit again. I bet she'll leave the church as soon as she can too. I can't say that I blame her for it...

IPT/EC should totally be gentle and not have any yelling or punishment, though dd does sometimes yell while she pees Not in public thus far, but at home sometimes. If she struggles then we take her off the potty, of course. We don't want to give her issues or have any power struggles connected with pottying

love and peace.
post #11 of 21
that really sucks my heart goes out to that babe and all others who must endure such crap.
post #12 of 21
Quote from the list USAmma posted:


Abuse includes physical cruelty in excess of that required for reasonable disciplinary purposes, inflicted by a parent or other person in whom legal custody is vested. Sec. 16-2002.[Ci.]

To me, that reads that PHYSICAL CRUELTY is OK as long as it is not in excess of "reasonable disciplinary purposes". They come right out and CALL it cruelty!

And in New Mexico:

An abused child includes one who has been cruelly punished by a parent/ guardian/ custodian. Sec.32A-1-4(B).[Ci.] Abuse includes knowingly, intentionally, or negligently permitting or causing a child to be cruelly punished. Sec. 30-6-1.[Cr.]

So, if these are taken literally as written, any child spanked in Idaho would automatically be considered abused in New Mexico! :

Unfortunately in NC injuries have to be "serious" before they are considered abuse.

I hate hearing kids get spanked or yelled at in public. Even my friend who has a habit of saying things like "that kid needs an ass beating!" looks uncomfortable when hearing things like that. I'm trying to work on her and her husband before they have any kids.
post #13 of 21
Regardless of the definition of spanking, I don't see how hitting an infant, clothed or not, for any reason, could NOT be considered abuse.

If I had been in that situation - witness to an adult hitting an infant - I would be shocked and very uncomfortable, and I'd probably cry, because I've been known to do that. I hope I would have the courage to speak up in some way, even inarticulately or with a shakey voice, to tell the person that hitting a baby is never okay. I don't know, maybe seeing a grown woman standing there and crying in sympathy for her baby would be enough of a shock to her and make her think about what she's doing. Not that I turn on the tears as a manipulation tactic...it's just that seeing/hearing children being abused truly hurts my heart enough that I end up crying.
post #14 of 21
seriously? I woulda knocked on the door ogf the stall and asked if she needed a hand or something liek that. I just cannot NOT step into someone elses business when it comes to something like that! I just did yesterday with my nieghbor who was threatening to "beat her sons ass" (he is 3) I looked right at her and said "Oh no you are not mama. (in a sad way, not a bossy way) and then said "Try making it fun or praising him." She was getting soooo pist abouut him not getting dressed and was just yelling in his face. I could see hw it was effecting him and she was wrapped up in her own frusturations. I do not care about stepping on toes. Maybe I made it better, maybe she didnt give a crap and spanked him today, but I know in teh moment she gave me a LOOK but stopped yellingand never hit him so there ya go.
What an uncomfortable situation for you to be in though. Maybe I would have said something like, "I have some great tips on infant potty traioning, I do it with my own kids! I know it can be hard but let me email you some stuff later."
post #15 of 21
that is so sad.
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Tonia80
seriously? I woulda knocked on the door ogf the stall and asked if she needed a hand or something liek that.
I probably would have waited for her to come out and had a word with her if I did not have my kids with me. I was afraid she would cause a scene in front of my little ones, who were already bothered by the whole thing.
post #17 of 21
Oh, that's awful. I don't know what I would do, except maybe want to cry. I don't know if I could be confrontational.
Sorry your little ones had to hear that.
post #18 of 21
Found this on my hard drive...

What Should I Do When I See Someone Hitting Their Kid?
Eleven Strategies for All Personalities and Occasions
By Debra L. Stang
November, 2001

"What should I do when I see someone hitting their kid?"
Unfortunately, there aren't any easy answers to that question. Each situation is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. The following ideas explore some of your options.

1.Confront the hitter directly. Sometimes saying calmly and firmly, "Stop hitting your child," is enough to dissuade a hitter. This is especially true if you are someone the hitter likes and respects. Keep in mind, however, that strangers may not respond well to direct confrontation. Some may even take their anger and embarrassment out on the child once they get to a private place. If you do choose to confront the hitter, keep your own manner as calm as possible. Avoid making any threats of violence yourself. If the situation escalates and you believe that you or the child is in danger, call the police.

2.If you are in a business place, involve an employee. Find a manager or supervisor and say something like, "Please speak to the woman in the red coat. She is hitting her child." If the employee refuses to intervene, claiming that how a parent disciplines his or her child is not their business, ask if he or she would show a similar lack of concern if one adult were assaulting another, or if the child were being assaulted by a stranger. Also, ask about their policies regarding workplace violence. Tell the employee that if he or she does not take appropriate steps to protect the child, you will be contacting the president of the business, as well as the local media.

3.Be a witness. Direct confrontations can be frightening and dangerous. But even if you are too intimidated to confront a hitter, you do not have to simply walk away. Instead, stand at a safe distance and look directly at the hitter without smiling. Maintain eye contact. Many hitters will feel uncomfortable and stop what they are doing. A few may challenge you by saying something like, "What are you looking at?" Your answer, of course, is simple. "Child abuse."

4.Intervene early. If you see a confrontation between parent and child escalating, step in. Parents may hit if they become frustrated with their child's behavior and feel pressure from onlookers to "make that kid behave." Your best bet is to try to validate the parent's frustration while normalizing the child's behavior. ("Looks like you're both having a long day. My little one used to get like that while we were holiday shopping.") If you know the parent, offer to watch the child for a few minutes while the parent regains emotional control.

5.Keep a few copies of the booklet, Plain Talk about Spanking on hand so they are ready when needed. If you feel you can't offer the booklet directly, slip one into the hitter's shopping cart, under the windshield wiper, on the doorstep, etc. If you know the mailing address of a hitter who might benefit from Plain Talk..., but you don't want that person to know you are involved, e-mail Project NoSpank at booklet@nospank.net, and tell us where to send the booklet. We'll mail one immediately. Or if you want the electronic version to go to an e-mail address, tell us where and we'll e-mail it. In either case, your identity won't be revealed.

6.Call a child abuse hotline or your local child protective services agency. In the United States you can also call 1-800-4-A-CHILD. The more you know about the hitter and the victim, the better, but you can call a child abuse hotline with no more than a license plate number. Be aware, though, that most states will not consider an incident abusive if it is "just" a spanking.

7.If you believe the child being hit is in imminent danger, call the police. You can also call the police if you are not sure whether or not the child is in danger, for instance, if you hear the sounds of hitting and crying from the apartment beneath yours.

8.Involve someone the hitter likes and respects. If you know the hitter, think about someone whose advice he or she values. Ask that person to speak to the hitter about the dangers of corporal punishment.

9.If you are in a public place, invoke the rules of the establishment. Just as you might tell someone who was lighting up a cigarette in a hospital room, "They don't allow smoking here," you can say to a hitter, "This store has a policy against violence." Very often, the hitter will give you a blank look and say, "I'm not being violent. I'm just giving my son a spanking." Your best response? Pretend you are a broken record and keep saying, "Hitting is a form of violence, and this store has a policy against violence."

10.If you are too upset or frightened to intervene during the spanking, consider speaking to the hitter after you have both had a chance to calm down. At the very least you can say, "I felt really upset when I saw you spank your child a few minutes ago." At most, especially if the hitter is someone you know, you may be able to have a constructive discussion and plant the seeds of lasting change.

11.Finally, whatever you do, do not give implied approval to a hitter. Don't smile, even if you are nervous. Don't nod agreement when a hitter says, "Just had to teach my kid a lesson." Don't stay silent when a hitter says, "I'm going to take him home and give him something to cry about." Disapproval is a powerful social weapon. Wield it well.

An old civil rights slogan once advised, "Use your voice - silence is consent." This is very true when talking about a culturally accepted practice like spanking. It may be easier to keep silent, but when we do, hitters see that as consent to continue hitting their kids. So, the next time you are at a store, or a park, or a family reunion, and you see an adult assault a child, try one of these eleven suggestions. Let's not give consent to any more violence against children.
post #19 of 21
Thank you for posting this Inci. I absolutely could not stand by and see or hear a child being abused. I'm sorry but I'd much rather my child see someone yelling at me than have them see me not do anything to a suffering child.

Before I was even a mom, I saw a mom drag her daughter out of the mall by the neck. The girl was around 9 or so. I was with my mom and got up and ran after that mother and yelled at her to stop doing that to her daughter. I was shaking, but my instincts just told me I had to stand up for that child.

It breaks my heart to know that there are children who don't know the unconditional love of their parents.
post #20 of 21

Poor babe!
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