hearing a minor commotion I turn around. father is berating the young boy about 6yo. the commotion keeps going and I’m not the only one noticing. same question being repeated. over and over and over. no response, none wanted. my heart begins to pound; intuition. recognising and fearing the worst. the boy raised by his wrists to where eyes meet then pushing him down with a thud. again the question. again raising the child. again pushing him down. womyn – mother, wife -stood there. head bowed saying and doing nothing. abuse must run in the family. I couldn’t take it any more. enough! car door slams. marching up to the wire fence. hands clenched. fury.
Oiy you! what the hell do you think you’re doing? you don’t treat a child like that!
voice projection worked well. he heard loud and clear. walking up to where I was he stood before me. with rail line and wire fence between us. he listens dutifully with hands clasped in front like a ‘good’ child; condescending bastard. all my energy used to calm my fury. reason. empathise, knowing how frustrating children can be. the need to detach from the situation and calm down. over and over it said. conversation becoming circular. can do no more. I go on my way. rest of the night wondering if the abuse continued. or got worse out of the public gaze. it’s always a concern whether speaking up is the right thing. the alternative is to do nothing. nothing is never acceptable. we have to give a shit. and he was challenged.