I Didnt Intervene

by Dina
(Location Unknown)

Today I went to the mall, and as I was leaving when it was closing, I saw this couple with 4 kids walking. I think they are the parents of the 4 kids. The couple sat down on the benches that are at the mall. They let the older kids push the younger kids on the mall stroller. They were pushing it up and down a ramp and then when they pushed it rolled over at the bottom of the ramp and one of the kids got injured, so he was screaming and crying that he hurt his back. A girl ran away and the dad said that he was going to hit her when she returned. This bothers me as I don't like hearing talk of violence toward children (Therr was violence in my home growing up, and when I hear this talk it upsets me, rattles my nerves, & causes stress).

It is bothering me that I didn't say anything to them, such as that they should have taken better care of their kids. I didn't confront them as there was the possibility that they would be upset towards me, and also that I was alone. I didn't want to start an argument/fight with strangers.

That was sad that there were three adults there (there was another adult that came when the little boy was crying) and only 4 children and that could have been prevented.

I feel bad that I just looked at them and walked away, and I wonder how you would have dealt with it.

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Comments for I Didnt Intervene

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Jan 07, 2015
by: Darlene

I moved this thread to the online area because I thought it could do a great deal to help others on my site, while still maintaining the privacy of the person who sent it.

Dina, you are not alone. And I thank you so much for reaching out for my response. I can tell you're such a compassionate person. Fear is always at the core when we don't act when we know in our hearts that we should have. Try not to beat yourself up for not stepping in. Remember what it feels like from more than one angle. What it felt like as a child when no one stepped up for you when you were helpless. But also, how it felt when you didn't go with your instinct, your intuition as an adult.

When you are compelled to act (not act out), but to act, because of some type of injustice, it's your Inner Self, your Higher Self speaking to you. The trick is to get past the fear and then past the urge to do something that could make matters worse. For you or the child.

Most people don't step in and stop the abuse, in part because they don't want to bring conflict into their lives, but often times it's because they are afraid of not being liked. They don't want to be the subject of the anger or ire of the person they are confronting.

What's important to remember is who is being victimized and whether or not that person can stand up for themselves. If it's a dangerous situation where you fear for your life, then bringing in the authorities is a good idea. So what I would say to you is examine your fears. Examine why it is you didn't step in. Without judgment. No chastising yourself for what you didn't do. Just examine it all objectively. The fear you felt could well be from being transported to a time in your life when you yourself were helpless to do anything. That's not at all uncommon.

Once you go through that process of checking inside for what was really going on, then if you believe you could do better next time, then make a commitment to do better next time. And then don't be afraid to share with others how you overcame your fears and how that made you feel. Doing so could very well inspire more people to step up in situations like you described.

I have been in such situations many times throughout the course of my life. As a child, I stepped in for my siblings often. But as a teenager, I kept walking by a house where I could hear a child being beaten. I couldn't sleep for a week, thinking about what I should have done to try and stop that poor child from the beating he was getting. It was terrible. And I couldn't get the sounds of him screaming and the lashes of the belt hitting his bare skin. To tell the truth, as I write this now, I'm taken back to that time where I still hear him screaming for his life. But that situation, that time when I didn't act, left in me a deep desire to step in if it ever happened again. I used the experience in a very positive way. I stepped up for many other children
over the course of my life as a result of what not stepping up did to me. So there was great purpose in it, but only because I see it that way.

So ease up on yourself, Dina. Recognize the good that can come from what happened and how you reacted. Then bring purpose to all of it. That's how you can make a difference in this world. I send you love, light and healing energy. Thank you for sharing your story with my visitors and me.

From Victim to Victory, a memoir
Darlene Barriere
Webmaster: www.child-abuse-effects.com
author. speaker. survivor. coach
From Victim to Victory, a memoir

Dec 30, 2016
Know How
by: Linda C

I am a Grandmother of an abused child, unable to stop it, so guilt haunts me too.
I was told that if you ever see abuse happening in a public place, follow them to their car and call 911 to report their license number. The police will follow up. That way it is reported as a record and you will have a clear conscience without taking a chance on making things worse for the kids.
I have also used, telling the parents "wow, you are really having a bad day, is there anything I can do to help?" Kids can get out of hand at times for anyone, parents can get rattled. It sometimes helps to let them know, they are not alone and it might calm the situation. Good luck for the next time.

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