Tearless But Tearful Child Abuse

by Carl
(Halifax, Canada)

Today I witnessed a horrific occurrence while at work. While doing a garbage run in the store, I heard the loud voice of a customer, ".....see this is why I don't take you anywhere." She was LOUD. No other customers were around and I think she was caught up in her rage not to notice me down the aisle to the left of her. I looked over and saw her toddler boy, maybe 2 years old. He was in the shopping cart seat where the push bar is. I continued on changing a garbage bag. I could hear the woman again. As I looked up and over, I was shocked as I watched the women punch the helpless boy in the face. It seemed like it was in slow motion. His head bent back. The child never made a sound. Not a tear. I dropped my bag. I looked behind her to see a man considerably taller than her dressed in a white t shirt with bright colors through the center on the front. He looked directly at me. I couldn't believe this just happened. I quickly thought of intervening. I didn't know what to do.


I left my stuff and went quickly to the office to call the police. Two top-tier managers and the #1 manager were there. I told them what I witnessed. They were quick to tell me it was in my best interest not to get involved as in the end it would be me that suffers.

I feel like I'm suffering now 'cause I did shit to help that little boy. I made up for the poor boys tears. I feel like shit. I was given an opportunity to help that boy from years of pain and I blew it. God forgive me.

A Video Reading by Darlene BarriereNote from Darlene: I regret that I can no longer continue the practice of commenting on visitor submissions to the degree I have in the past, as I am currently writing a book on healing from child abuse. I ask that you please read my post of June 24, 2009 titled Announcement Regarding my Comments for a complete explanation. I welcome you to follow my progress on my Facebook page at Healing from Child Abuse. When you get there, don't forget to click onto the Become a Fan link. I do hope to hear from you there.

Email addresses, phone numbers, home addresses AND website/blog URLs in visitor comments are STRICTLY prohibited, and could result in being banned from making further comments on this site.

Comments for Tearless But Tearful Child Abuse

Click here to add your own comments

Sep 08, 2009
You must forgive yourself...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Carl, I first will say that I do not believe God forgives, because I do not believe God condemns. I do not believe in a vengeful God, because God wouldn't be judgmental. Those are human characteristics, not divine ones. It is YOU who must forgive yourself, Carl, otherwise what happened to that boy was meaningless. Only through forgiveness can you bring about any kind of change.

Having said that, your managers broke the law; and they need to know and understand that. In Canada everyone has a legal obligation to report known or suspected child abuse. Look at what you witnessed, Carl, as a call to action. Perhaps there is something you can do to bring about change within your own organization. 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


Sep 09, 2009
Today I read about a two week old Baby found in a delelict house
by: maurice

The mystery of the human being/human heart keeps baffleing me. How a girl/woman could go through the birthing of a baby irrespective of the circumstance and desert it because of whatever Fear etc. is beyond me. Likewise in your trauma seeing a mother belt her two year old like a punch bag. How do mothers in particular do that? putting the guilt back on you and us who witness it. I should have done something about it, the Managers (The people in Position) were the one's to do something about it but acted ignorant. Don't blame yourself, it is a human tradgedy that sadly happens daily, what to do was always a problem Don't interfere in anothers rearing of their children and yet in mor modern time the Law tell us we should and must. You did what you felt the right thing to do on the spot reported it to your Managers. Your responsibilty over. You did the right thing. So stop eating yourself up about it. Darlene has given you her heartfelt comment. take heed of her words they are real and deep and will take time to decipher. When you do you'll feel all the better for it. Always believe in yourself

From Darlene: Maurice, with all due respect, it WAS Carl's responsibility to report, both morally and legally. My comments above perhaps did not make that clear. Passing it on to a manager did not absolve Carl of his responsibility, because his responsibility was to the child who could not speak for himself. When we believe that telling another adult makes our duty over and done with, then we are not doing anything but passing the buck. The buck must stop being passed if we have any hope of both intervening and preventing child abuse. My apologies for not making that clear.

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

Feb 06, 2010
You took the easy way out.
by: L. White

That child was helpless - you were not. You should have insisted the police be called. If the child is treated like that in public, heaven only knows what happens to him in private. When a child realizes others witness his abuse and do nothing, he begins to believe he deserves it. He will learn to be helpless - that's if he survives the abuse. If she's hitting him in the face now, she just might kill him before he's 4.
Yes it's hard to intervene, but intervene we must. No child should be left to suffer at the hands of an abuser.

Feb 07, 2010
slowly I re-read your Comment . Forgive me for not being supportive
by: Maurice

Nice one Darlene, Thank you for your real comment to Tearless but Tearful. Yes I did not read it in it's completeness and between the lines exactly what you were encourageing him/her to do. Personal responsibility in reporting abuse. How right you are and I am NOW too. There was a time when I was not as brave as I am now out of fear of The Abuser my neighbours. It just was not the done thing. Yes, Darlene I value your pointing this out to me. A real heartfelt message to all your visitors through your comment to Tearless But Tearful. I really am grateful. I get the message.

Oct 10, 2011
In case that happens again
by: BMW Princess

Nobody expects to see something like that. Most ppl think child abuse dosn't affect them. It's just something they hear about on the six o clock news. If you see something like that again walk over and say "Stop," in an assertive voice. PPl who hit kids are cowards and they don't want to be seen.
Don't beat yourself over it ok?

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Child Abuse Commentary.