civil responsibility

Tara - posted on 08/18/2010 ( 18 moms have responded )

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hubby and I were having a discussion last night about how too often these days people see or hear something that is wrong such as a parent abusing a child, a man beating his wife etc. and do nothing because they are either afraid to come forward or simply desensitized and apathetic to care (which is the worst reason imo).
So the question is if you were in the following scenario what would you do?
You're loading your car in the parking lot of the grocery store, you hear a child screaming and crying, you look around and two cars down the lot a mother is smacking her child on the back of his head and at the same time trying to cover his mouth and yelling "shut up shut up" what would you do?
Scenario two
You are out at a bar or pub with your friends, you see a couple having an argument, he grabs her arm and starts hauling her out of the bar, you follow and see him smack her face and call her a whore. What do you do?
How far are you willing to go to assist another human being?

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Tah - posted on 08/18/2010

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wow look at all the com badasses and cops...smacking peope, blocking their getaways....i would caution all the badasses to be careful because while u may want to help it;s not worth your life..and people have died intervening in scenerios like these...and then your children are without a parent while she puts money on his books in jail everyweek and rides the bus to for visits every saturday....

Morgan - posted on 08/18/2010

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Oh and as far as the situation goes, there was something similar that made the news a month or two ago. Remember the story of the bf/gf in NY that got into a fight. A bum intervened and was killed by the bf. They then got together and left him to die. He did his civil duty to intervene and was killed. The gf was back with the bf 5 minutes later. Unless her life is at stake, then there are enough resources that she as an adult can seek out to get help.

Morgan - posted on 08/18/2010

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The first one, it depends. If a parent is smacking the kid in the back of the head and putting her hand over the mouth but it's because the kid is yelling bloody murder for absolutely no reason, then I wouldn't do anything. For some reason the scene you're describing just makes me think of some out of control kid screaming and his mother smacking him, trying to get him to shut up. You didn't say hitting/punching. Smacking is like smacking their hand or butt, not likely to really hurt. No she may not be handling it in the right way, but she's in no way hurting him, just trying to get him to shut up. Yes maltreatment, not abuse though. Now on the other hand, if she was hurting the child, hitting him hard or pinching him, hurting him, or was out of control with it, I would step in and get a plate #, call the cops, and see if i can calm the situation. It's not about yelling at her and seeing if she'll attack you, but just calming her until cops arrive.

SItuation number 2. I've been in the situation with the abusive husband. Now while I wished someone would come rescue, save me, blah blah blah, noone would have been able to save me until I was ready. Even if someone stopped a situation from escalating, it would happen later regardless. I certainly don't want to be hurt or killed myself by some idiot enraged husband while his wife came back to him regardless. I'd leave it alone and if someone else could help, then god bless them but her stupidity of staying with him is not worth my life.

Sharon - posted on 08/18/2010

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btdt both times. Hubby had to rescue me once.

I'd like to be all bad ass and yank the child away from her but face it, if I'd done that I'd be the criminal. Instead I walked up and said "hey!' forcefully (I was angry) but the look on her face stopped me - she was upset and having issues. I asked if maybe I could help calm the baby down, I couldn't. Baby was soooo not into strangers. But after I handed her/him back to his mom - being in "moms'" arms calmed him down and that just seemed to make things better for her. One other time - I smacked the mother in the face after she smacked her kid. I was a badass back then - didn't care if I went to jail for doing what was right - but then I didn't have kids or responsibilities.

I saw a girl getting the shit slapped out of her by a guy at a convenience store. I didn't even think - I just ran up to her and asked if she needed help. Hubby was waiting for me in the car and didn't know what was going on. He saw me coming and then running away. So he got out. Then the guy who was hitting the girl has a spazz and says he's going to cut me. Only he didn't see my hubby (bf at the time) coming from behind and got coldcocked on the side of the head and slammed to the ground. We're pretty sure he lost some teeth. The girl ran inside the store and we took off. Right or wrong - hubby didn't want to stick around and explain the guys' condition.

In hindsight - he was sooo right because I've seen and read of to many crazy chicks lying to cops about the abuse. If she did that then my hubby would have looked like a bully.

Today - with three kids - I'd probably break out the cellphone and get all the info I could until it reached a point that human intervention right then was necessary.

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Tara - posted on 08/19/2010

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Okay so now for my own responses.
In case number 1 I would intervene, whether I had my kids with me or not. I would likely get her plate number first and then go over and say "hey, you seem like you're having a bad day, can I help with anything?" and then see how she reacts. If she is hostile than knowing myself I would give her a verbal slaying. If she were relieved that someone was acknowledging her frustration than I would suggest that she calm down and try another method of calming her son.
In the second scenario, I have been in this one personally. I would (from at least 10 feet away) yell "Hey lay off." and then I would direct my next comments to her saying "do you need any help? I can help you." if she said yes than I would tell her to come back inside with me. If she said no than I would simply get a plate number, go inside and call the cops.
I have seen a woman kick her dog in the park, I mean hard kicking cause he wanted to go sniff another dog. She kicked him so hard I heard it from 20 feet away, the dog yelped. I walked over and asked her "can I help you? I'm a dog trainer and I can assure you there are better more effective ways to discipline your dog." She stopped, looked at me with her mouth open and then said " I hate this dog, my husband got him for me and he doesn't listen to anyone, he's too big and I'm scared I can't control him. What can I do?"
So I spent the next 20 minutes giving her a crash course is dog behaviour and some simple techniques to get her started on some regular discipline. Sometimes people just need to know someone is paying attention.

Stifler's - posted on 08/19/2010

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I agree with Morgan and Tah. Your own safety comes first when stepping in to fights especially if you have kids that need you. You don't know what's REALLY happening either. Maybe the kid was being an absolute turd. Maybe the wife was caught cheating. Who knows. I would have called the cops about both though or got security on to number 2.

Tah - posted on 08/19/2010

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im not saying that if a guy was beating the tar out of his woman to pop some popcorn but im not going to get in the middle..o i know firecracker....i was the bright one with all the colors but wasnt very loud..people never saw me coming but i burned and sparked when i got there and they felt me when i left...i was the one to call, my gf just visited me this summer and said my favorite line when i got that call was let me get my inhaler and my bat and im there...we have intervened on girls getting beat up by guys..crap..we rolled on them dudes...sprayed them stomped them...i brought my tail to va to calm it down..lol...but people are crazy now...my sister's husband used to abuse her, he got his behind kicked....by us..her sisters(6 girls,1 boy) who got out there and rolled on him..and my dad...and guess who just left from spending the night here after dropping a fridge and some other items off to their son who just started college down here.and celebrated over 20 years of marriage....the former Tina and Ike themselves..now true he has changed(couseling and some family style butt whuppings helped him see the light)..but even after all of that...she would run back to him saying.."i have to be with my husband"...so i will call the cops....if he is in the middle of choking her to death ot something i will use my OC spray or number 5 cota from karate of course i won't watch her die...but anything less than that gets a 9-1-1 call...my kids need me and i ultimately want them to sleep well knowing moms in the next room....

Sarah - posted on 08/19/2010

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In all honesty, I wouldn't intervene in either circumstance. I would call the police, or find someone to help.
I'm 5ft nothing and I'm in no way "tough" so I think I would end up getting a slap or worse. There would be nothing I could do that would help, so I would just do all I could to get someone that COULD help.

In saying that, if it was people I knew, the situation would be different. I have jumped in between friends that have been fighting, and a couple that were fighting and it looked like it was getting out of hand. I knew them all though, I was pretty certain I wasn't going to get to get hurt.

I think that getting the appropriate help, or taking down a licence plate, or filming evidence etc is enough. I think we DO have a civil duty to try to help others, but I also think that my duty to stay safe for my kids is more important, to me at least. :)

Meghan - posted on 08/18/2010

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as much as I know my son needs his mom...I wouldn't be able to sleep at nite knowing someone got killed and I could have done SOMETHING. I am a fire cracker, always have been and I have mellowed it out alot since I became a mom...but I would like to think that if my son where in a bad situation or I was, someone would do something for me. It's called karma.

Charlie - posted on 08/18/2010

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Oh i know how stupid it is but i never consider it until after the fact again stupid i know !

I mean slight possibility someone may have a knife but at least i dont have to worry about people carrying guns .

Ive generally calmed down on the whole jumping in to break up fights thing since having kids but i still get the urge when i see shit happen .

Charlie - posted on 08/18/2010

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Jamie always gets upset at me for jumping in the middle of punch ups , i cant help it , i see someone getting hurt i have to intervene , i just think if i stand there and watch im equally as guilty , i know i could just call the police but i never seem to think first i just jump into the middle of fists and feet , ive been hit before , accidentally but that time both of them stopped and apologized to me ad actually helped each other to take care of my face !

I guess i have some kind of hero syndrome LMAO , i will probably get really hurt one day which is why Jamie worries ...he thinks im nuts .

Krista - posted on 08/18/2010

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Oh, but I would definitely intervene with the kid. That's a given. With the guy, I probably wouldn't directly intervene unless I had lots of backup with me.

But in either case, before possibly intervening, I'd videotape them on my cell phone, including the license numbers, and would then call the cops. That way, it wouldn't just be my word against theirs when the cops do arrive.

ME - posted on 08/18/2010

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I would write down a LP # or description and call the cops in both cases...in the first case, I'd like to think that I'd go over and intervene as well, but it would depend on whether or not the kids were in the car, I was with my husband, or alone. Travis (hubby) would intervene in both cases I'm sure...but he's a little reckless, and I am not since having the kids...

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I would walk up and give her a piece of my mind AFTER I took down her license plate number and description to give to the police. I would also probably try and wrangle up a few witnesses for the police.



Second senario....I wouldn't necessarily give him a piece of my mind for fear of what he would do to me or if I said anything it would be from a distance, but I would inform the bartender or staff as well as call the police....for what good it would do.

Lyndsay - posted on 08/18/2010

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Scenario #1: First thing I would call the cops. Then I would march over and smack that bitch upside her head and tell her to shut up... then prevent her from entering her car until the police arrive. I might get a slap on the wrist for going after her, but in my opinion... you get what you give. I'm sure the police would agree with me. (I've been let go on two separate occasions for punching people in the face who have done something offensive to me.) BUT, if my son were with me then I would have to stifle that bit of my aggressive personality and just call the cops... although I would probably put my son safely in my own car and still go over and prevent her from entering hers.

Scenario #2: I would still go over and intervene... I would tell the guy to keep his hands off her or I'm calling the police, then I would offer her a ride to a safe place if she's willing to go... the problem here is that, as an adult, the woman would be capable of making her own decision (unlike the child from #1) so if she chooses to go with her abusive boyfriend (most likely) then theres not much I can do.

Meghan - posted on 08/18/2010

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I would DEF call the cops in the first scenerio! I would tell her off too and get her plate number. Unacceptable!
Scenerio 2 I have actually been out and seen this and stepped in...I have been working at a bar and seen this and stepped in. A few months ago I got a guy to come out with me and let him handled it while I waited by the phone.. Now that I have a son I can't step in myself.

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