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Woman Sees A Dad Kneel On His Son At A Birthday Party But Is Conflicted About Whether To Report Him

Photo: August de Richelieu / Pexels
Dad reprimanding son

Most adults have a sixth sense for danger when it comes to children. Even when it’s not your child, you take notice if you believe a little one is being mistreated.

This is exactly what happened to one woman who shared her experience at a children’s birthday party that she attended just the day before posting about it.

The upset poster took to the AIBU (Am-I-Being-Unreasonable) section of Mumsnet to share her concerns over an incident she witnessed.

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After believing she saw a child being abused, she is conflicted about how to proceed.

She started by explaining that while in attendance at the party, a couple, whose child was no older than seven attempted to discipline him when he became “unruly”.

The father, in an effort to restrain the boy, kneeled on the child for what is described as “several minutes.” According to her, the child was “very upset, in pain, and sobbing for him to get off.”

As for the child’s mother, the poster says she was there and saw the whole thing, but instead of getting the man off of her son, she apologized for the boy’s disruptive behavior.

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She wishes she would have stepped in.

Feeling guilty about her decision not to get into the family matter, the woman tells readers, “I'm ashamed that in the moment I froze”

“[I] was wrangling my own kids and the situation escalated suddenly, I couldn't believe what was happening on some level and did nothing to help the child.”

Now she can’t seem to shake the feeling that she should have done something to help the boy. She is tormented by thoughts of what might be going on behind closed doors at the family’s home.

Logically, she believes that if the father was bold enough to pin his son down in a public place, he could be taking things much further in the privacy of his own house.

The conflict the woman is having is that she doesn’t know the family personally. They share a mutual friend, the party host, but otherwise have never met.

She can’t just come out and ask her friend for the family’s info for fear of being identified once she reports the incident to child services.

The Mumsnet poster also has some concerns about the dad, saying, “Honestly I am a little bit scared of the violent father, if he knew I'd reported and could find out where we live...”

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Readers are appalled by the parents’ actions.

Now she wants readers to give her suggestions on what to do. Most agree that what she witnessed was a form of abuse.

One person commented, “What a pair of abusive b-s-ards. Are there pictures of the party on social media? If they’re tagged that may be a starting point.”

They offered an alternate suggestion in case that doesn’t work. “If not, contact the police and give them the host's details.”

Another person thought there might be evidence that can help. They said, “Were you at a community center or soft play? Maybe they have CCTV? Report to the police.”

The woman is right to be concerned. Far too often, people see children mistreated and recognize the red flags but are either afraid or uncertain of what to do.

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If everyone turns the other cheek, then who will stand up for the children that are victimized by abusive adults every day.

Every household is different and every parent disciplines in their own way. If you are ever in doubt as to whether what you’re seeing is abuse, err on the side of reporting it.

If it’s nothing, great! You can put your heart and mind at ease. Otherwise, you might just be the person that saves a child’s life. If you see something, say something.

If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic abuse or violence, there are resources to get help. There are ways to go about asking for help as safely as possible. For more information, resources, legal advice, and relevant links visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline. For anyone struggling with domestic abuse, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). If you’re unable to speak safely, text LOVEIS to 1-866-331-9474 or log onto thehotline.org.

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NyRee Ausler is a writer from Seattle, Washington, and author of seven books. She covers lifestyle and entertainment and news, as well as navigating the workplace and social issues.