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to ask how you react if you witness abusive behaviour

(8 Posts)
mnpeasantry Wed 06-Apr-16 23:01:54

Perhaps that should read 'what you do if anything' rather than 'how you react'.

The situation:

At my local station yesterday I was sat near a father and his two dc - a boy of around 9 and a girl around 7. I was sat near them for a long time because the trains were screwed.

The boy was mostly playing a game on his tablet making the odd comment and bickering with his sister but nothing to write home about.

The dad made a few comments to the boy initially which I found hmm but figure that some families talk that way to each other in a jokey way. Started with:

- (in response to boy saying something wasn't fair) 'it's not fair I had to take two weeks off to look after you but life's not fair'

- 'lucky you couldn't talk by the time we decided to have your sister or we'd never have had another one'

And comments to this effect

Sometime later the dad had decided the boy was being disruptive and objectionable so took his tablet, got in his face and told him to stop annoying him, then pushed the tablet forcefully into the boy's stomach whereupon the boy started crying. The dad's response was to tell him 'come on, it wasn't that bad' and then to call his daughter over and start cuddling her.

The last thing I noticed was that, still determined that the boy was somehow causing a public nuisance, he whispered in his ear that he wasn'5 afraid to slap him in public if he didn't stop. I was sat close enough to here the threat.

I did nothing apart from silently judge and pity the poor boy.

So tell me. Was this abusive behaviour? If so, is there anything you would have done / said or does one have to pretend not to notice?

gandalf456 Wed 06-Apr-16 23:04:13

That's horrible. I'd like to think I had the courage but....

I saw a woman overreact at the pool the other day then the daughter who wasn't really doing anything launched into her mum for it

Vintage45 Wed 06-Apr-16 23:05:27

Yes of course it was abusive. Im a big mouth so would have probably said something to the father, whether that would have helped or not, who knows. Its awful to witness isn't it.

gandalf456 Wed 06-Apr-16 23:23:29

Well in the long run it probably won't help as he'll justify it but at least you won't have let it go unnoticed

CerseiHeartsJaime4ever Wed 06-Apr-16 23:23:38

I am quite lairy, I'd probably have said something.

I remember seeing a dog being beaten up when I was 11 and my although Mum said nothing but I called the man a fucking arsehole. She said later she wishes she'd had my guts and I didn't even get in trouble for swearing.

gandalf456 Wed 06-Apr-16 23:25:19

Good for you. My daughter is like that smile I am a wimp

fatmomma99 Thu 07-Apr-16 00:24:13

I think most people would say nothing and hate themselves, and hope it would be picked up elsewhere.

If there was something identifiable (school uniform, for example) you could contact them (the school) and share your concerns.

In your case, you either have to challenge the dad (and risk him taking it out on you or them) or leaving it... you can't report if you don't know any names or addresses.

Hope the poor kids are ok.

mnpeasantry Thu 07-Apr-16 06:15:41

Thanks for all your replies. Glad you agree it was abusive and I wasn't overthinking it. It's hideous this boy isn't safe from bullying in his own home. No uniform because it's still Easter here. Wish there was more I could do in such a situation.

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