Should I Have Stepped In Or Was I Right To Turn A Blind Eye

A trip into town yesterday and what should have been an enjoyable lunch with two of my children will now always be etched on my mind as something completly different.

We had settled down to a lovely meal after attending an event yesterday. It was actually the best meal out that we have had in a long time as both the children had sat perfectly which is a rarity!

Sadly though just as we were finishing up our deserts a huge cloud came over the afternoon after what I witnessed at the table in front of us.

The table had infact caught my eye earlier on as I had seen a young couple with a baby of about a year old sitting enjoying their meal and I was astounded at how well behaved he was. Sitting quietly on a bench not making a murmur which is a far cry from what any of mine would have been like at that age!

Then all of a sudden there was a huge commotion, the baby had grabbed a glass that had hit the floor! The parents were screaming and staff came running over.

The manger quickly tried to calm the situation, but the father was furrious and was shouting at the mother.

Then the father proceeded to shout and hit the baby! I looked in astonished at first and couldn’t believe that he clearly found it acceptable to lay his hands on a child, let alone a baby who was barely a year old and had accidentally knocked a glass to the floor.

All went quiet but I couldn’t take my eyes off of their table. He then proceeded to strike him twice again whilst paying for his meal, all the tables that were a lot closer to me and the waiter who was taking his money were all witnessing this and nothing was being said.

By this point the mother was collecting together their belonging and my blood was boiling. 

He then picked the child up, shook him twice and grabbed at his face.

At this point I rose from my chair and made my way over to confront him. I then looked back at the worry on my own children’s faces and stopped myself.

In the past I have felt the need to put myself in other people’s situations that have made me feel uncomfortable and my husband had warned me that one day I would come unstuck.

This thought stopped me for the sake of my own children as I could have been putting them in danger by confronting a man like this.

A man that happily struck, shook and grab his tiny, precious baby in a packed restaurant without looking round once. Clearly so happy that his actions were justified and this is what worried me even more. 

Through this whole ordeal the baby didn’t make a noise, not one wimper and not one tear was shed and it is now killing me inside to think what this poor child must suffer at home if this monster thinks they kind of violence is acceptable in such a public place.

I will forever regret not going with my gut and confronting this man, but then if I had in reality what would have been done?

The police probably wouldn’t have deemed it as an offence and it happened in such a short frame of time I dont think this would have been an option anyway.

Would I have just caused unnecessary upset for my own children and put us in a dangerous situation?

All I do know is that my gut is now churning from what I saw and if a situation ever arises like this again I won’t be taking the British approach and turning a blind eye as my heart and conscience couldn’t take it! 

13 thoughts on “Should I Have Stepped In Or Was I Right To Turn A Blind Eye

  1. Oh Emma I have witnessed this behaviour too and just wanted to step in but thought better of it and then felt dreadfully guilty. This brings a tear as you say. What happens behind closed doors xxxxx

  2. What an awful situation, I can’t term you what I would do. Every part of me would want to confront him, and if my kids weren’t there I probably would. But I totally understand what stopped you. What an animal!

    1. I’m the same as you and without the kids there I’m sure I would have waded in without a thought.
      This will forever play on my mind now and just wish I had acted in some way.

  3. How awful. I wouldn’t have confronted him but I think calling the police might have helped as it was an assault and they could have alerted social services to help the baby.

    1. I’m kicking myself now that I didn’t phone them or video him as evidence. It all happened so quickly and I was up and down out of my seat not knowing what to do for the best.
      This will forever play on my mind now and I just wish I had acted faster.

  4. The police would take it very seriously, as would social services. It’s not too late to report it and they could probably trace the family through either paying the restaurant bill or using cctv. I agree, I would be hugely concerned at that man’s behaviour in private if that’s what he’s like in public. Please do report it to your local police, it would be terrible if something happened to the baby and you’d done nothing. That said, I think you did the right thing by not confronting him then and there, it’s for professionals to deal with not members of the public and it wouldn’t have been fair on your children.

    1. In going to get onto the phone first ring in the morning to the police as I really can’t get this out of my head.
      We were in large chain I the centre of town so I’m sure there will be CCTV to capture this.
      Thank you so much for you’re comment and giving me the push to realise something can still be done x

  5. What an awful thing to witness… I have been in this situation and intervened…. I suffered a stream of verbal abuse and expletives which did upset my children….my eldest shouted out don’t you dare speak to my mum like that…..sad that he was the only one who said anything, but it made me walk away,.though on a positive, I got a stream of abuse and whilst I did, the mother left her child alone I called the police as safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility…..though I can understand why people do not get involved.
    I hope you are ok, def call the police, hopefully he will be traceable. Xx

    1. Thank you and how awful you had to go through that!
      I was reported and being looked into when I spoke to the police at the end of last week so hopefully something will be done about it x

  6. I don’t know what I would have done either @thejoyoffive! What should be done? What can be done? What is the right thing to do?
    Makes your blood boil and the fact that the child never cried makes you concerned that the baby is used to that sort of treatment!

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