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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 11:30 pm 
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Today for I think the first time in my life I called people out on what I thought was child abuse. Well, one time, I saw a man raise his hand and bring it down but could not see his child very well so I couldn't tell exactly what happened, and as the man left the supermarket we were in, I just said to him, "Don't hit your kids" to which he responded, "Think what you want, man."

I work in a supermarket and I saw a little boy who looked about 3 sitting in a shopping cart reach out and touch someone. His mother then proceeded to slap his hand a few times. The kid looked very upset. I proceeded to tell that woman something like, "Don't slap your child! That's abuse!" She said somethig like, "No it isn't. If he touches someone I'm going to slap his hand. Don't tell me how to raise my children." I said, "It's abuse" over and over as I left. Some other woman said, "It's not abuse." I didn't say anything back as I felt I didn't need to. Later, some other woman with a duaghter who looked about 11 told me I did the right thing, that you should never hit a child, and that she also said something to that woman. I asked her if I should call the police and she said she didn't think so but I put the right idea in the head of the woman who hit her child.

Later, this same day, I came upon a family and some boy who also looked about 3 and sitting in a shopping cart get slapped in the face, not too hard, but still slapped, by a big man who said, "Don't say that" to him. I then said something like, "Do not slap a your child in the face", to which the woman with the man said, "Mind your own business" to which I said, "Child abuse is my business" and she said "It's not child abuse" and I said "Yes it is" and the man then said something like "Man, go f*ck off".

I was thinking in my head about two things: 1 was that I should have suggested to any parents was to simply tell their child if they did something the parent doesn't like again, they would not let their child do something they wanted to do, and 2, that next time if I see more abuse from a parent after I tell them not to, maybe I should call the police.

But I have wondered: Does calling people out on such things make them angry and want to abuse their children more, like "This person yelled at me/called the police on me all because of you!" and hit their kid even more?

So I thought I'd ask anyone here who knows more than I what I should do in situations where I think I see child abuse. Not to mention, I have been too scared to call parents out on what I thought was abuse in many situations before.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 5:08 pm 
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The definition of child abuse doesn't appear to be clear cut when it comes to corporal punishment, at least from a legal perspective. Using the example of my own country (the UK), I know that, while corporal punishment to children has perhaps become less accepted over the years, the law os that corporal punishment by parents is permissible so long as it does not lead to "actual bodily harm" (aka does not lead to marking, bruising etc.). Also, the child would have to have been naughty or doing something they shouldn't have - if it's just casual cruelty or for stuff like not being good enough at something (such as for failing a test), then it naturally would be against the law.

From what I could tell by looking briefly online, the law is pretty similar throughout much of the USA, so really, since the children had done things they shouldn't have (i.e. trying to randomly touch someone), the parents don't appear to be in a prosecutable position.

You probably got shouted at by the parents as you hit a raw nerve by saying they were abusing their child. Parenting is hard and stressful, and some people are maybe not as cut out as others and, despite not necessarily having bad intentions, maybe snap at them more. By having someone criticise their parenting skills in a stressful moment, it probably hurt them even more. Plus, some people just have different parenting styles.

I think those parents did overreact (the latter one did at least - I do think even the lightest sort of hitting in the face/on the head is unwarranted no matter what), but personally in a situation where the parents were arguably being immoral but clearly within the law, I would just leave any reprimand you want to give to body language - a look of disapproval in many ways can have just as much impact without any of the bickering. And if you really feel like you have to say something, I'd go with something like "can you please stop the commotion?" or "please, can you quieten down" as it seems less direct. If the parents were truly being mean to the child for an unwarranted reason, you saw marks/wounds on a child, or if you suspected an adult were doing something truly inappropriate to a child (something sexual), then I think calling the police or noting to a superior if you're at work would be your best bet.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 12:42 pm 
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I think that it's good that you stood your ground...not that saying anything will make the parents stop, but I think it's good you stood up for the children. I wish I knew more about the laws- my social work classes did not touch upon what to do in these instances. I agree with Joe, though- if you're at work, you could let a manager know what you saw...though, if the manager didn't see it, they may not get involved, as they didn't witness it, and not wanting to lose customers.

I just did a Google search, and this article came up:

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyl ... ou-step-in

It might give some insight.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:27 pm 
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Thank you Wonderlicious and blackcauldron. Both of what you said was extremely helpful. Yea, I thought hitting a child in the face or head is the worst I saw. And that article helped a lot, too.

I was wondering if spanking was child abuse, and I think I can decuct for myself that some people call it abuse but accoridng to laws (like Wondy said), it isn't abuse because it leaves no mark. I have told two people in my lives I consider it abuse. Both were friends and I felt bad about it after I said it. And both only spanked because they their children seem to have autism and cannot understand what they can and can't do without such a method.

I think in the future I will suggest to parents to not let their kids have or do something they want instead of being hit, and if that doesn't work, or I see something far worse, I will call the police and just watch the family until they arrive.

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