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Horrible incident/assault in the Science Museum yesterday

(84 Posts)
Dodo76 Sat 22-Feb-14 10:08:41

Had a horrible incident in the Science Museum yesterday when I was there with DP and his DCs, 10 and 8 and my DSs, 5 and 3. DSs were playing with a water feature in the kids play area in the basement. DP and I were stood at one end watching (the feature was 3-4m long max). I was watching DS1 when I saw a woman start screaming at him and waving her finger right in his face. I went over and said, can you please not scream at him and waive your finger in his face (then was about to ask what he had done) when this woman turned on me and started screaming at me that I was a terrible mother, that it was my fault DS1 as like this etc. I asked her to stop screaming at me at which point she pushed me hard backwards. I was completely shocked and said do not push me and went to find a security guard and DP (who had gone to check on his DS) who then came over then the woman kept screaming at DP saying I was a terrible mother, mad etc. The manager came and we both went out. She told her version, no doubt a pack of lies, then I told mine but because it was my word against hers they couldn't do anything. I said I had been assaulted and did not want to go back in with that woman there. I know it's not a massive thing but I am completely shaken and can't stop crying. What is also really upsetting is that this incident was witnessed by about 20-30 people and none stepped in or came forward to support my version of what happened, although I think a few people were telling her to shut up etc. I may be overreacted but I have called the police and was going to formally report it later today but am now wondering whether to bother as there were no cameras there and I can't see that they would bother to take it further. I just feel like I don't want to leave the house. Any guidance on what to do would be very welcome.

Crutchlow35 Sat 22-Feb-14 10:11:25

Goodness, that sounds awful but did you find out why she stated screaming in the first place?

Dodo76 Sat 22-Feb-14 10:14:03

No. DS1 later said that he had taken a plastic boat away from her DD and knocked the daughter's hand when he gave it back, a version which was supported by DP's daughter, 10. I was watching them for 20 - 30 minutes beforehand and didn't see anything.

JeanSeberg Sat 22-Feb-14 10:16:59

Was the incident recorded in writing by the museum?

Dodo76 Sat 22-Feb-14 10:18:59

Yes, it was.

JeanSeberg Sat 22-Feb-14 10:20:27

Call the non-emergency police number and ask for their opinion. Presumably you have the woman's contact details?

Coconutty Sat 22-Feb-14 10:21:11

How odd.

Nonsense for them to say 'they can't do anything'. Shops and businesses including museums are perfectly able to tell people to leave if they are upsetting other visitors/customers, as long as they aren't discriminating (e.g. harassing b/f mothers or throwing someone out for being black or disabled). None of that discrimination applies here.

Dodo76 Sat 22-Feb-14 10:22:33

Completely utterly odd and psychotic. I can understand someone talking you to about your child if they have done something wrong but screaming abuse and assaulting you?

Dodo76 Sat 22-Feb-14 10:23:35

It is worth formally reporting it though? I can't see that the police will do anything.

RedHelenB Sat 22-Feb-14 13:23:11

Next time maybe ask what the matter is first and then things don't escalate?

specialsubject Sat 22-Feb-14 14:04:33

no, whatever the children were scrapping about, there is NO excuse for the adult to assault another adult.

report it to police. probably nothing will happen but report anyway.

RedHelenB Sat 22-Feb-14 15:07:31

I agree, you shouldn't have been pushed but sometimes things are resolved more easily by ascertaining the facts first, rather than going in all guns blazing!

arabellarubberplant Sat 22-Feb-14 15:15:15

Yeah, sorry OP, but you handled it very badly.

If anyone seems to have a problem with my kids, I apologise first, try and find out what happened, and then deal appropriately.

You wading in like a tiger momma just made things worse in an already heated situation.

I'm surprised that both you and the original shouter weren't asked to leave, tbh.

If ds1 is 5, he should know not to take toys away from other kids, and not to 'knock' their hands if he's forced to give the toys back.

She'd probably been queuing for two hours to get in and having a toy ripped out of her dd's hands was probably the last straw. I stopped going to the Science museum at half term because it's always a gong show. I'm amazed you were so far away from your kids when it's that busy.

I am lolling at 'no doubt a pack of lies'. You were almost convincing until that holier than thou little snippet.

MikeLitoris Sat 22-Feb-14 15:22:56

I completely disagree that you were in the wrong. If anyone was screaming and pointing at my child without bothering to speak to me would be told to eff right off. This is a child, no matter what he had done he does not need to be screamed at.

I cant even count the amount of times dd2 has been dragged around and smacked at soft play. I have no issue with telling a child to stop bad behaviour and the same goes for people talking to my dc. I certainly wouldn't scream and shove another parent.

Utterly bizarre behaviour.

OooohHorlicks Sat 22-Feb-14 15:23:13

I disagree. My first response would have been to stop a grown adult screaming at my child before asking what the problem was.

The woman's behaviour was inexcusable on both counts - screaming at your child and then pushing you.

I would pursue it.

GretaWolfcastle Sat 22-Feb-14 15:23:18

so basically a woman shouted at you?

VoyageDeVerity Sat 22-Feb-14 15:25:40

Bit more than that Greta

WTFlike Sat 22-Feb-14 15:32:33

That's horrible, and now having people here excuse it?! Weirdos.

Hope you're ok OP.

Sillylass79 Sat 22-Feb-14 15:35:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SirChenjin Sat 22-Feb-14 15:39:16

On the face of it, it sounds awful. Tbh I don't think there's anything that we can say on here that will help (other than to sympathise), you really have to wait for the police to advise - and fwiw I would have called them too.

Funnyfoot Sat 22-Feb-14 15:40:23

As an adult this women, if she had a problem with your child should not have screamed at either of you like a Banshee. At that point I would have lost all respect for her and refused to engage in and conversation/shouting match.

Short of your DS threatening her DD with switch blade then she was completely out of order. Don't giver her another thought. She will at some point come across somebody who doesn't take kindly to being yelled at and she will end up getting slapped.

Burma Sat 22-Feb-14 15:41:02

Greta the OP was pushed and shouted at for asking what her child had done wrong - bit more than just being shouted at. Mind you Science Museum at half term is enough to bring out the worst in most people - no excuse for behaving like that though.

I wouldn't bother calling the police, does seem a bit OTT.

Dodo76 Sat 22-Feb-14 16:39:06

ArabellaRubberplant, so I handled it badly? My huge mistake was to ask her (very calmly and politely) not to scream at my child and point her finger in his face. Nothing he could have done (and I had been watching and had not actually seen him to anything) could have warranted that. I as a parent don't scream in his face that I certainly would not step in and apologise to a woman doing that do my son without first establishing he needed to apologise. I always watch my son and he is always made to apologise if he does something wrong. My priority was to stop a woman verbally abusing my son. Given that she then assaulted me I am not sure she wouldn't done the same to my child. And yes, I can guarantee she told a pack of lies. I hope you run into this woman or someone similar. Utterly shocked that someone behaved like this and you are actually defending her. As it happens, I did report it to the police today and they will be following it up. And thanks for the tip about not going to the Science Museum at half term. I live and work in London and took a day off work to be with me kids and had the cheek to go there. Stupid me again.

LauraBridges Sat 22-Feb-14 16:40:03

Pushed is a crime. I wouldn't report it as the hassle isn't worth it and you haven't got permanent damage. However it is up to you. Presumably it may all be on CCTV. We don't exactly know. Your child might have bitten the finger off hers or something truly dreadful although it seems very unlikely.

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