TW child abuse
On my way back from dropping SmallBeaver off at dance, I witnessed a child being shouted at, and restrained with undue force, by a parent. The parent pinned the child's arms behind her back and lifted the child up off the ground by her wrists, pulling the child's arms high up behind her and attempting to make the child walk in that position. The child was bent over at the waist, clearly in pain, unable to move.
I crossed the street and stood directly in front of them, positioning myself at a short distance, but in full view of both adult and child. I waited. The parent noticed me and let the child go. The child sat down on the sidewalk, crying and the parent knelt down and talked softly to her. I waited for a while, and when things had deescalated, moved off a little. The parent suddenly became impatient that the child was not ready to get up and leave, and picked her up in the same way as before. I moved closer again, and another woman joined me. Others stood nearby across the street.
Seeing us, the parent mastered her emotions and knelt down again. The group of witnesses stayed a long time - well over 30 minutes. In time, the child calmed down and hugged the parent. The parent rubbed the child's back. They got up, and began to walk normally. The parent glanced back at me and gave me a small nod.
I don't know if what I did was enough. I don't know what else goes on in their home. I don't know if this was an isolated, bad moment in the life of an otherwise good parent. I don't know any of that.
What I do know is that when I was a child, plenty of adults knew what was happening to me at the hands of my brother and did nothing. Because of this, I thought everything I went through was normal and I do know that is not ok, so that is why I did what I did on Thursday. And that is why I talked to SmallBeaver about abuse in general terms.