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to have felt helpless to intervene in this awful situation today?

(45 Posts)
FleurLeChaunte Sat 11-Oct-08 19:32:15

Walking back from shopping with my dc. I saw a mother shouting at her child. She had a few kids and a few mates with her. The child was about 6 or 7 and her Mother was telling her to "f*cking get here". The child was clearly terrified. The Mother saw me looking and screamed at her child "Don't make me take my f*cking belt off here in the street and smack you down and anyone else that wants to say anything as well", she was extremely angry and aggressive. Not sure it was aimed at me. There was a lot of people about but I had been obviously looking. I was in shock a bit I think.

I had my children with me and just could not think what to do. I will admit that I was scared that she would attack me in front of my dc. So I walked on and said nothing. I basically left that child to it. My exh said I should have called the police but I cant really see what they could have done tbh. It is a really busy street and she would have been long gone. Cant stop thinking about that little girl.

Hassled Sat 11-Oct-08 19:35:47

How awful - if it helps, I would have acted as you did if I'd had my DCs with me. Doesn't make it easier to move on from though - that poor kid.

wonderstuff Sat 11-Oct-08 19:36:14

how awful! Dont think that thereas anything you could have done sad If shes that gobby in the street i think that she will prob be known to social services sad

yousaidit Sat 11-Oct-08 19:36:53

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

If you'd have intervened, what was the possibility that she'd have atacked you in front of your dc's?

Did anyone else seem to react or do anything?

Could you have sneakily papped her on your phone to call police and describe the incident or speak to a social worker / health visitor to see f they are known?

Not much you can do, and its shit, isn't it? sad

nickytwoooohtimes Sat 11-Oct-08 19:37:26

Agree with the others.
You would probably have got a mouthful or worse. SS are probably well aware of them. Poor kid.

nooOOOoonki Sat 11-Oct-08 19:40:47

though I would have done the same,
must just argue that SS may NOT be aware, I have sat in on many a case conference where stuff has been going on for years, and when speaking to neighbours they say ..oh we thought someone has reported them...

or SS dont do anything (well you have to tell them for them to know)

poor girl sad
and not a criticism on you at all as it is v hard to know whta to do esp. with kids with you

FleurLeChaunte Sat 11-Oct-08 19:44:17

There were loads of people around and I saw a couple of lads looking but no one seemed to want to do anything.

I live in a city so it is unlikely that we would even have the same HV. Didnt have my phone with me unfortunately, not that I would have thought to do that if I had if I am honest.

I wish exh had been there because I know he would have said something to her.

FleurLeChaunte Sat 11-Oct-08 19:45:07

I know a terrified kid when I see one. Me and my sister used to be that kid.

Sycamoretree Sat 11-Oct-08 19:46:52

I would have done the same. If you intervene, maybe at best she saves it for the kids when they're back home, and they get it twice as bad because the mum feels humiliated. Unless you know who they are, or where they live, there is very little you can do imo.

I know you're feeling dreadful, but that's because you're a decent human being. YOu have to realise that it's the decent human beings in this woman's permanent orbit who have the obligation to do something or report her, not you.

I'm sorry. It must have been so upsetting.

mabanana Sat 11-Oct-08 19:47:10

Yes, I think you should have called the police. I would have done. Seriously. YOu would if it was a man talkign to a woman like this.

FleurLeChaunte Sat 11-Oct-08 19:48:42

I didnt have my phone with me and by the time I got home she would have been long gone.

mamalovesmambo Sat 11-Oct-08 19:49:15

You weren't in Chatham were you??! When I was a teen the local catachprashe c'mere you little c**t!

Heated Sat 11-Oct-08 19:56:38

What could you have usefully done? Really? Especially with your own dcs in tow. DH always says to me think before you act, and he'd be right in this case.

Please don't berate yourself. There will be other adults involved at some level - family, HV, teachers, neighbours, social services.

onager Sat 11-Oct-08 19:57:17

I never like to see adults screaming at kids and especially not swearing, but it's surely not that unusual?

You have 3/4 kids all of whom are tired. The 4 bags of shopping have cut off the circulation to your hands. Your feet are killing you. You're behind with just about everything and now one of the little angels has announced she is going to the zoo/to see santa/sweetshop/etc "and you can't stop me!"

So you scream "ffs get here before I....." etc

The woman may well be a monster, but I don't think you can tell from one look on what might have been a bad day.

expatinscotland Sat 11-Oct-08 20:00:12

how awful!

izyboy Sat 11-Oct-08 20:02:52

Something I just thought - if I ever saw such a thing occur how would I deal with it.

Do you think it approriate to stop other passers by - a couple of blokes maybe and together speak loudly to her from a suitable distance.

One could maybe phone the police at the same time. The threat of violence is what concerns me.

izyboy Sat 11-Oct-08 20:04:57

You are stronger in numbers. I would not approach as an individual but I could not have let it rest.

FleurLeChaunte Sat 11-Oct-08 20:05:17

onager, I have screamed at my kids when it is a bad day and do you know what they do. If I scream come here? they come, looking surprised because I am shouting or they shout "stop shouting Mummy!" at me because they are not scared of me. This child was terrified and doing everything she could to stay away from her mother.

I dont care how bad a day she had you dont threated to take your belt off and smack down a 6 year old little girl.

FleurLeChaunte Sat 11-Oct-08 20:06:12

threaten that is.

expatinscotland Sat 11-Oct-08 20:06:36

i have a little girl who is 5. she's afraid of Merlin and monsters on TV.

can't imagine making her afraid of her own mother, too sad.

SqueakyPop Sat 11-Oct-08 20:08:48

'All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing'

FleurLeChaunte Sat 11-Oct-08 20:08:55

You are right izyboy I should have walked further away and then told her that I was calling the police, that would have been the best and most effective thing to do I think.

izyboy Sat 11-Oct-08 20:09:54

True Fleur. Not wishing to make the OP feel awful, but, because it happened in a public place the behaviour must seem validated to the victim. Noone even raised a concern.

FleurLeChaunte Sat 11-Oct-08 20:10:25

Very true SqueakyPop, thats why I feel so crappy. Out of interest what would you have done?

izyboy Sat 11-Oct-08 20:11:16

Sorry Fleur you are the OP oops. Look its ok, hindsight is a fine thing.

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