I Witnessed My Best Friend Being Abused

by Name Undisclosed
(Location Undisclosed)

My best friend, Angelina, and I were in our classroom late one afternoon. School was just over and we decided to stay in class and chat for a little while, just the two of us. We had so much fun together. Talking, gossiping, and laughing the whole time. Time passed by and we didn't notice that we had actually spent an hour in the classroom. I was looking over at the classroom's window when a shadow of a man emerged.


The man was walking very quickly, as if in a hurry. He walked towards the door to our classroom while we sat there in the corner, trying not to make a noise, scared if the man was a bad guy and wanted to hurt us. The man walked through the door and turns out it was Angelina's father.

The moment he saw Angelina at the corner, he rushed to her, grabbed her tiny arm, and dragged her out the classroom. As he was walking, he shouted at her, saying she was stupid and useless, and calling her all sorts of names. I was terrified. I rushed to the window to see what Angelina's crazy father would do next.

He raised his hand high up in the air. He slapped Angelina's face, hard. She was only 7 years old. WE were only 7 years old. I watched in horror and pity as she sobbed, trying to hold in the pain and her cries.

When she came to school the next day, her eyes were all swollen and she looked very depressed. As any best friend would, I asked her what happened. She told me that both her mum & dad "punished" her even when she didn't do anything wrong. She also said that she had bruises all over her body as a result of all the pinching, slapping, and hitting by her parents. However, the bruises were covered by her clothes. When she lifted her shirt up, I saw these blue-black bruises on her body.

At that time, I didn't know what ABUSE meant. I didn't know what to do if I witnessed an abuse. I had no knowledge on abuse whatsoever. But I did tell a teacher about it and all she said was, "Oh really? That's terrible!" I'm not sure if she had reported it or not. But that was my first time seeing a child being abused.

A few months later, Angelina transferred to another school. I couldn't get in touch with her and we eventually lost contact. I hope Angelina is safe and well wherever she may be. I'm now 16. WE are now 16.

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May 18, 2009
You did the right thing telling that teacher...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Now that you know what child abuse is, you can report it when you see it. At 7 years old, of course you wouldn't know. So don't blame yourself. The fact that you told a teacher was a very good thing. But that teacher had at the very least a moral, if not legal, obligation (depending on the country you live in) to report what you had disclosed about Angelina and her parents. You DID something; you told. I can only hope that 9 years later, people around you would have learned to intervene and not just brush such abuse under the carpet the way they did with Angelina. I too hope your friend is now safe.

I also hope you have someone you can talk to about the repercussions of witnessing this terrible incident. Even 9 years later, you may well have some emotional residue you still need to deal with.

Thank you for sharing this story with my visitors and me.

A Video Reading by Darlene Barriere
Darlene Barriere
Webmaster: www.child-abuse-effects.com
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

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