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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.

blueshoes Sun 23-Feb-14 10:12:13

Hi OP, I totally understand. I would have been upset too. No one can fault you for standing up for your ds. I am not sure I would have been as restrained as you tbh, certainly if I had my way that woman would have been gutted and her insides thrown into the fountain.

Being shoved would have provoked something quite visceral and unsettled me no end. It is not something I would do nor witness and to have it done to me would have crossed many many boundaries in my mind. I don't live like an animal and don't expect to share my space with an animal either. And God forbid if anyone threatened my dc.

She is a nutter.

Do report to the police. Even if it is useless, it does offer some closure. I have unfair things done to me in my life and I have always felt better to write a formal complaint or made a police report. In these instances, I don't live and let live. That's for cowards and people (like those gawpers spectators at the fountain) who look the other way. Well done you.

I hope the rest of your personal life settles down and your ds was not too upset.

cakebar Sun 23-Feb-14 09:18:03

Things like this sit with me and make me feel uneasy for a long time so I do symphathise OP. There are some horrible, over aggressive people out there. You do say there's nothing you could have done differently but I think there are things you can do to de-escalate situations like these. You went straight up and told her not to shout and wave her finger at your ds which is confrontational. What if you had said 'what's happening here?', she would have ranted about snatching and hitting, you could have said 'oh dear, we'll move over here' and made quick exit steering DS. It is best to just get yourself away and to a safe place. I find it hard to imagine she would have chased after you and shoved you then.

You then have a chat with DS about how some people are not nice and it's best to steer clear. I wouldn't have replied - just you said there was no way to avoid the push, and like redhelenB up thread (who has been slated) I think there are things you can do to minimise conflict.

thatwouldbeanecumenicalmatter Sat 22-Feb-14 20:08:08

I had a woman accuse me of 'hitting her with a metal pole' at the top of her voice in a packed train station ticket office. My crime? I'd went through the turnstyle before her and it had jammed on her! confused

Some people are ticking time bombs. You did nothing wrong to warrant that OP.

HandMini Sat 22-Feb-14 19:41:12

Dodo - well done you for getting out there and doing something nice with your DSs. Rest assured that they will be a lot less bothered about this incident than you are. I would not report...put it behind you. This woman is a nutcase - just unfortunate that you crossed her path.

SauceForTheGander Sat 22-Feb-14 19:39:33

I was upset for ages and I was just insulted. I understand why you're crying and posting on here. Pour yourself a drink. You know what happened, you know she was unreasonable. Feb half term is hard work because of weather and crowds in main attractions.

We were on big Christmas Day out and it was shit. I'd worked so hard preparing for it.

Next time my DCs get TV all day and crisps.

Burma Sat 22-Feb-14 19:37:34

It does sound very upsetting and ending up with being yelled at on the platform would turn me into a hermit too sad. Try and put it behind you and just think the bloody planets must have all been in the wrong place last week and hopefully will be better aligned next week thanks.

Dodo76 Sat 22-Feb-14 19:33:10

Sauce, I honestly wish I had stayed at work then none of this would have happened. Perhaps a lesson for the future - try to do less.

SauceForTheGander Sat 22-Feb-14 19:32:05

Dodo it's really shit. Being a parent and out entertaining your DCs can be stressful enough without other parents making it worse.


Dodo76 Sat 22-Feb-14 19:31:58

Thanks Tribble. I feel better having reported it although I'm sure nothing will come of it. The police were great/very understanding. I cannot believe this woman has not behaved like this on other occasions. Much better to have logged it.

KingR0llo Sat 22-Feb-14 19:30:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TribbleWithoutATardis Sat 22-Feb-14 19:27:26

Dodo its unacceptable that a grown woman acts like that in public, to be frank I applaud you for reporting it to the police. For those that say the police have better things to do, what the hell?! Even if all the other party gets is a flea in their ear by a beat bobby it should be hammered home that they do not have the right to assault someone in public.

Dodo76 Sat 22-Feb-14 19:26:57

And yes, I do have a lot of other things going on ATM which are making me upset/anxious including my dad having died recently and ongoing issues with my abusive ex DH not to mention massive stress from working full time and being a single parent which is probably why it feels massively unfair then when I take one precious day off work to spend with my kids something like this happens. The day was topped off by my journey home when I got off the tube at my stop and was carrying DS2 as he had fallen asleep and asked DS1 to carry DS2's scooter which he did but then started riding it on the platform at which point a booming voice yelled out CAN YOU NOT RIDE YOUR SCOOTER ON THE PLATFORM. Great day NOT. I will barricade myself in the house in future.

Dodo76 Sat 22-Feb-14 19:22:12

It is most definitely assault and a really scary awful experience that I would never want to happen again. I am completely shaken and spent most of last night in tears with DSs asking me why I am crying. Yes it may be an overreaction to report it to the police but I felt a lot better after doing it, like I had taken control of the situation. I honestly think that whatever I had said to this woman, even if an apology, then nothing would have stopped her screaming at me and shoving me. And yes, it took a huge amount of restraint not to shove her back but I didn't because I would simply never cross that line! I have never hit an adult and it would't occur to me to do so. I have also never screamed at another child and would never dream of doing so. The most I think I have done is ask a child to stop what they are doing if hurting my child and ask where the parent is. Usual course is for the parent to come over, you jointly establish who did what, the child in the wrong apologies and all is fine. Whatever DS1 did, the minute she starts screaming and shouting at him and thrusting her fingernail in his face, she becomes in the wrong. What is also scary is the way she just didn't calm down afterwards as I thought/hoped she would do, she just kept ranting on about me being a terrible parent.

KingR0llo Sat 22-Feb-14 19:20:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SirChenjin Sat 22-Feb-14 19:18:49

It's not an overreaction at all. Being pushed is assault, pure and simple - it's not 'bad manners'.

Reincarnatedpig Sat 22-Feb-14 19:15:49

I was at the Science Museum today and can see why people go unhinged there. Of course this woman's behaviour was unacceptable and no normal person would behave like that. The police will not do anything unless there are obvious injuries though. TBH you will achieve very little from pursuing it, just forget it as best you can and move on.

KingR0llo Sat 22-Feb-14 19:15:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KingR0llo Sat 22-Feb-14 19:13:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SirChenjin Sat 22-Feb-14 19:12:26

A ridiculous modern convention??! What nonsense.

It's classed as assault in law.

AwfulMaureen Sat 22-Feb-14 19:08:30

OP did NOTHING wrong Arabella when she told the woman to stop shouting ....why assume her child was in the wrong? I would do the same as she did and then ask what happened. The woman sounds mad as a box of frogs op. Try to think that maybe she'd just received terrible news which knocked her off balance or something....

lljkk Sat 22-Feb-14 19:05:43

I wouldn't pursue it as assault.

I don't think OP did anything to deserve such treatment & the screeching woman sounds completely unhinged, but there are some better ways to put things behind you than others. Pursing this as "assault" sounds like a nightmare to me.

I don't care if pushed is a "crime"; it's a ridiculous modern convention to call that assault; OP hasn't mentioned that she fell over & broke her arm as a result of the push, has she? Annoying, but there are better ways to move on.

OldBagWantsNewBag Sat 22-Feb-14 19:03:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

K8Middleton Sat 22-Feb-14 18:46:46

Telling a 5 year old off for snatching & hurting her child is not unreasonable, I bet if the shoe was on the other foot then OP would have done the same. It was busy, so by all accounts her voice would have had to be loud.

I don't know where you have got the idea this is what happened Helen? It doesn't say that in any of the op's posts.

SirChenjin Sat 22-Feb-14 18:41:46

She is perfectly entitled to say "can you please not scream at him and waive your finger in his face". The woman who then took it upon herself to push the OP hard is the one who should be being held to account, not the OP and not her son who is in danger of being glassed in a pub hmm

MikeLitoris Sat 22-Feb-14 18:40:14

I dont think it is an overreaction to involve the police. That woman needs to understand that pushing another person is never acceptable. What kind of lesson is she teaching her dc?

I have a family member that was pushed from behind leaving a shop. He fell forward and smashed his face on a curb. He has had 3 lots of surgery and has not been able to work since (18 months).

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