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Old 07-14-2018, 08:17 PM
 
Location: Florida
3,381 posts, read 924,747 times
Reputation: 2692

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I was recently at a friend's BBQ when all of a sudden her 22 year old daughter went into a rage after her 8 year old sister, grabbing her by the hair and holding her while she kept on punching the side of her arm. I was so stunned with this, and it took a brother who is 18 to pull the older sister off of the younger one. While the little girl sat by the pool holding her arm and crying, her mother just shrugged her shoulders and figured she probably got into something she wasn't supposed to.

Isn't this child abuse? I felt so bad, but I don't know what to do. I felt so helpless that if I stood up and tried to stop it or question it, then the anger would be turned on me. What would any of you do in this situation?
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Old 07-14-2018, 08:26 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
78,546 posts, read 70,455,727 times
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The mother was your friend? Has this friend ever mentioned to you any behavioral issues relating to either child? If you're her friend, why not ask her if the little girl is ok, and say you were concerned? See what she says.
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Old 07-14-2018, 08:37 PM
 
Location: Florida
3,381 posts, read 924,747 times
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She's actually a co-worker that invited us all to the BBQ. But I haven't said anything.
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Old 07-15-2018, 12:22 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,822 posts, read 55,970,721 times
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You should talk to her about the older one abusing the younger one. If she rushes you off, contact CPS.
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Old 07-15-2018, 12:46 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
13,820 posts, read 18,775,199 times
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Yes it is sibling abuse and it does not get any better and you need to sit that mother down and let her know she needs to get in between it or call the police. what would happen if the 22 yr old were to treat another person like this ? she would have gotten a beat down or would have been in jail . And you say the mother just shrugged her shoulders ? I would have been mortified if one of my adult children acted like this at a bbq around my co workers . It sounds like a. mom is afraid of the 22 yr old or b.mom has a screw loose somewhere . I think you best bet would be to report it to cps . Maybe they can get the 22 yr old some mental help or even the mom needs mental help .Something has to be done no telling what is going on when mom is at work .
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Old 07-15-2018, 01:00 PM
 
3,604 posts, read 1,640,290 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warhorse78 View Post
I was recently at a friend's BBQ when all of a sudden her 22 year old daughter went into a rage after her 8 year old sister, grabbing her by the hair and holding her while she kept on punching the side of her arm. I was so stunned with this, and it took a brother who is 18 to pull the older sister off of the younger one. While the little girl sat by the pool holding her arm and crying, her mother just shrugged her shoulders and figured she probably got into something she wasn't supposed to.

Isn't this child abuse? I felt so bad, but I don't know what to do. I felt so helpless that if I stood up and tried to stop it or question it, then the anger would be turned on me. What would any of you do in this situation?
Yes it is child abuse. If I was in that situation I would have set my phone on record and walked over to the older sister and asked her to stop. I would not let it be shrugged off. I would be prepared to lose my friend rather than see an adult sibling think itís okay to be physically violent with a child. I would show or send the cps the video and hope this Family gets help.
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Old 07-15-2018, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Connecticut is my adopted home.
2,276 posts, read 3,077,284 times
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It's certainly abusive behavior. I can't imagine shrugging it off if I were the mother. The comment from mom about the child "getting into something she shouldn't have" is a clear sign that there are boundary (or lack thereof) issues in that home. Both children need help. Video would have been a good thing but hindsight is 20/20. Maybe an anonymous CPS report would be in order.
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Old 07-15-2018, 01:26 PM
 
10,078 posts, read 4,022,502 times
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What did the other people at the barbecue do - how did they react?
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Old 07-15-2018, 01:56 PM
 
9,257 posts, read 9,216,940 times
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I think people should stop tossing around the word "abuse" so readily.

I think the thing to have done would have been to talk to the mother strongly at the time, and if she still shrugged, talked to the little sister. Of course, you're right that the anger might have been turned on you, but you would have been better able to defend yourself, and possibly other guests would have then stepped in.

Unfortunately, it sounds as if you don't know the mother well, and you're not in a position to talk to her after the fact, nor do you know enough about the situation to call Protective Services.
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Old 07-15-2018, 02:02 PM
 
Location: British Columbia ♥ 🍁 ♥
7,216 posts, read 6,570,009 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warhorse78 View Post


......mother just shrugged her shoulders and figured she probably got into something she wasn't supposed to.

Isn't this child abuse? I felt so bad, but I don't know what to do. I felt so helpless that if I stood up and tried to stop it or question it, then the anger would be turned on me. What would any of you do in this situation?

Yes, it is abuse. If the mother just shrugged it off it means she's accustomed to that kind of thing happening and isn't concerned about it. And because of that, my guess is the mother is or has been abusive too, to all of her kids, and the kids have learned their abusive behavior towards each other from the mother.

It's a really good thing that the 18 year old brother was there to intervene the way he did.

If the mother is just a co-worker and not a close friend of yours I'll suggest that you do not say anything to her and don't discuss it with any other co-workers who may also have witnessed it. That way you will avoid gossip and trouble for yourself at work with her and other co-workers. However if it was me who saw what happened I would still try to do some moral duty by the younger child that was abused. I would confidentially report what was witnessed to Child Protection Services and CPS can follow up on the family as they see fit. It's possible there have already been other previous complaints about this family or about that 22 year old daughter and CPS might already be familiar with that family's history and its problems.

.
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