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To have told a mother to not hit her child

(76 Posts)
Queenofwands Wed 29-Oct-14 23:42:38

I was shopping today with my partner and a woman was spoken to by a shop assistant because her small child ( about 6) had almost knocked over a shop instillation. The woman didn't engage with the shop assistant but I saw her a few minutes later drag the child by the hood and hit him on his back. I then saw her hit him so hard on the side of his head that she knocked him to the ground. The shop was very busy and everyone was just stood watching as she was screaming at the boy. I approached her and very calmly said "don't hit that child like that again" ...She went mental and started screaming into my face. I stood my ground and just repeated what I said calmly and she just screamed ...I'll kill you he's my child how dare you tell me not to control him. Then security led her away still screaming....the thing is it might be the norm in her culture but I just couldn't watch it happen and say nothing..The security guards didn't seem very concerned about the child. I don't have children but surely this is not acceptable?

Aeroflotgirl Wed 29-Oct-14 23:44:42

No it's not poor child sad.

WalkingInMemphis Wed 29-Oct-14 23:45:57

You should have called the police...assault against a minor and threats to kill.

NoRoomInTheInn Wed 29-Oct-14 23:46:40

Screaming at strangers and assaulting children should not be the norm in anyone's culture.
Well done to you for showing her that it was unacceptable; many of us would have loved to, but not been brave enough!

ClawHandsIfYouBelieveInFreaks Wed 29-Oct-14 23:47:51

What do you mean "her culture"?

ClawHandsIfYouBelieveInFreaks Wed 29-Oct-14 23:48:28

And why don't you call the non emergency number tomorrow and report it incase the store did not?

Bumblebzz Wed 29-Oct-14 23:49:37

You were very brave and did the right thing.
Shame on everyone else including the security guards; I'm sure if she'd hit an adult and knocked them to the ground they would have stepped in, why not when it is a child.

Birdsgottafly Wed 29-Oct-14 23:49:41

The Security Guards should have contacted the Police, she assaulted a minor and it should of been reported.

You could still report it and it would be followed up.

Just put of interest, what is her "Culture" and how are you sure of this?

Coco0123 Wed 29-Oct-14 23:51:46

So what was her culture? What was your partner doing whilst this showdown was going on?

DHandhisghastlyhauntedfoot Wed 29-Oct-14 23:52:16

I would never interfere with a parent spanking their child, but a whack to the head and hard enough to knock them to the ground?? I would have felt like strangling her. Well done for being so restrained.

Notmeagain1 Wed 29-Oct-14 23:59:30

Well done. I would have done the same thing, but called the police. I have stepped in before when others didn't want to get "involved" . I can not stand by and watch the abuse of a child, the elderly or an animal.

Again, well done today. thankscake

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Wed 29-Oct-14 23:59:54

That poor little boy. I'm very concerned. If she'll act like that in public what the hell does she do in the house. As far as I'm concerned I have a duty of care to all children not just my own.

Queenofwands Thu 30-Oct-14 00:13:44

I think it phased me that no one else did anything and I was also ushered away as though I was being unreasonable although I never as much as raised my voice? My partner was standing next to me sort of wedging herself between me and the woman as she had her nose pressed up to mine..( I am only 5'2 and the woman was a lot taller than me.) She was scared I was going to be attacked. The woman was spitting in my face as she shouted.

By her culture the lady had a foreign accent as did the other lady she was with..but I don't know where they were from. I know in some countries hitting children is more acceptable but it sickened me when she knocked him to the ground. If she had smacked his bum I wouldn't have said anything. In the back of my mind I knew that own mum who had 7 children and did smack would have said something and wouldn't have let it go.

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Thu 30-Oct-14 00:20:23

I've heard so much about culture but surely in any culture all child abuse is illegal or have I missed something

Queenofwands Thu 30-Oct-14 00:20:27

A friend of mine had a mum who was a high flyer but was bi-polar. She regularly beat my friend. I remember she said to me that a woman had pulled her mum up once for hitting her in a shop and her Mum had torn shreds off the lady. But she said she felt better that her Mum had been told off.

Absolutely YANBU.

What she did wasn't a red mist thing. A lot of us have been guilty under stress of that and I'd find that hard to judge outright - have done myself, especially is more acceptable if the parent has been scared eg by child running into road. What you describe though - no.

Thebodynowchillingsothere Thu 30-Oct-14 00:27:59

Most shops would have called the police following a violent assault like you describe op.

Culture, and not sure what that means, had no precedence over the law of the land. Assuming
you are UK!

Queenofwands Thu 30-Oct-14 00:28:18

It may be my ignorance that it is more acceptable in some other cultures. I only mentioned this because I thought that may mean that it was not an indication of systematic cruelty. If I am honest if she had not been foreign I would have called the police because I would have assumed the child was at risk. Thinking about it I should have anyway.

Queenofwands Thu 30-Oct-14 00:31:53

I am not exaggerating what she did by the way, although the reactions of others made me doubt my own eyes. The shop was primark and was as busy as you would expect at half term.

Bambambini Thu 30-Oct-14 00:58:10

Of course the acceptability of hitting children changes depending on culture or country. Not sure if it has any connection to what the OP witnessed.

Queenofwands Thu 30-Oct-14 01:15:21

I felt more hesitant because the family was foreign, like I was interfering ....but I had to say something. It is not illegal to hit your child, which is why I said " don't hit him like that" If she had hit me in the same way she would have been prosecuted for assault. I hope it was a one off in a stressful situation because I keep thinking about the little boy who didn't even cry. If she had hit a dog like that, or an elderly person, I suspect the shoppers of Manchester would have strung her up. That's a good argument to ban smacking children in my eyes as it removes the wriggle room.

Graciescotland Thu 30-Oct-14 01:58:51

It is actually a crime to strike a child across the head. It's been years since I studied family law but hitting your child is classed as justifiable assault. However you can't shake them, strike with an implement or hit them across the head.

I think you're quite brave OP. I hope that in a similar situation I'd do the same thing.

Theorientcalf Thu 30-Oct-14 02:04:39

Where she was from is irrelevant, you should have reported it. It may well still be worth doing so, there will be CCTV and the security staff will recognise her.

You can guarantee that if that's how she hits a child in public, then she hits him like that or worse at home.

claraschu Thu 30-Oct-14 02:19:19

Iliveinalighthouse: In some cultures iFGM is acceptable, or killing your daughter for kissing a man, so you are being naive thinking that abuse is illegal in all cultures.

AlwaysDancing1234 Thu 30-Oct-14 03:11:18

Well done for standing up to the nasty woman, please follow up by reporting.
I experienced physical abuse as a child and remember being hit whilst out shopping, it was the tip of the iceberg. Someone in the shop stood up for me the way you did for that child, I gave a silent cheer. However when we got home I was screamed at for 'showing her up in public', but it was worth it to feel someone, even though a stranger, was on my side.
Please report to Police and SS though, I wish the person in my case had done as it may have saved years more misery.

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