How do YOU handle witnessing abuse? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 01-31-2007, 02:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know we cannot parent everyone elses children, but I cannot handle viewing abuse silently. I own a small business where we bulk containers for things like granola, flax, etc. Two military women were in here with 3 girls, one of them about 9 years old and special needs. One of the little girls comes running out "T is eating something!". Mom comes around the corner obviously freaking out (the little girl had dug out some granola from the bulk bin). "WHY DID YOU DO THAT!?! THAT ISN'T SMART, T! YOU PICK UP THAT GRANOLA OFF THE FLOOR AND YOU'RE EATING THAT WHILE THE OTHERS GIRL GET TO EAT THEIR CANDY!!" I thought I was going to cry.... I told the mom that it was okay, and it happens from time to time, and there wasn't that much granola in the container anyway, and I was just about to vaccum, etc.... That poor little girl had already picked up a handful of granola and was eating it (I think she actually was glad she got to eat it, it's good stuff, but the yelling was so embaressing to her). That was so degrading, and I didn't know what to say. Along with that, I live in the south, and alot of people here think it's a-ok to beat your kid for whatever purpose, or none at all. It just makes me so sad and I wanted to vent.....
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#2 of 9 Old 01-31-2007, 02:45 PM
 
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Well, if you think you witness actual child abuse, one hopes you report it to the authorities.

Sabra: Mama to Bobbie (3/02), Linda (1/04), Esther (10/05), Marie (11/10), & Douglas (11/12)

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#3 of 9 Old 01-31-2007, 03:04 PM
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In a case like that, I am kind and gentle and hope by using reasonable words (the way you do), the parent will see the error of her ways.

In cases where I see a parent hitting a child, I generally react with surprise and shock (genuine, not staged!). In a restaurant where I saw a mama slap a child, I yelled, "HEY! That lady is hitting that kid!" and of course everyone turned and stared.

In cases of state-defined child abuse, I report it to the authorities.
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#4 of 9 Old 01-31-2007, 04:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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state-defined abuse?
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#5 of 9 Old 01-31-2007, 04:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sagesgirl View Post
Well, if you think you witness actual child abuse, one hopes you report it to the authorities.
I actually have reported someone. The catch is, the person I knew was beating her child was a neighbor....these people you just see in the grocery store, on the street, etc......I don't know how you would go about reporting them, as just passersby.
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#6 of 9 Old 01-31-2007, 09:07 PM
 
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well....if it is just what "i" consider abuse, but not technically abuse by the states standards, I generally give a glare or a witty biting remark.....
If it is state-definition abuse, I'm legally required to report it by the laws of my state.

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#7 of 9 Old 01-31-2007, 10:18 PM
 
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Well if I see someone just being a nasty person and b*tchy to her kids, I dont say anything. But if I saw actual abuse I would of course report it.
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#8 of 9 Old 02-01-2007, 12:20 AM
 
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I think you did the best you could in a retail establishment. How about next time someone tries that stunt you say, in your sweetest possible voice, "I'm so sorry, the Health Department has a rule against anyone eating spillage off the floor. It happens all the time, you wouldn't believe. Let me get a broom. Did y'all need anything else?"

That stuff makes my stomach hurt.
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#9 of 9 Old 02-01-2007, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funkygranolamama View Post
state-defined abuse?
I'll be honest, I think any hitting of children is dispicable and should be punished by law. But, unfortunately, the government doesn't see it that way

In the case where I saw the mama slap the child, (on the hand), she wasn't technically doing anything illegal. If I called the police and said, "This lady just hit this toddler's hand!" I'd be laughed at.

By state-defined abuse, I mean, if I saw abuse that the state would consider a punishable offense (i.e. hitting with an object, vicious beating, leaving marks, etc.), I would immediately alert the authorities, of course.

There are not laws enough in place to protect children
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