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Would you report a neighbor for child abuse?
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Haylen_WebMD_Staff posted:
A California man posted a video online that show his neighbor apparently hitting his 10 year old stepson with a belt during a backyard game of catch. Authorities arrested the man on Friday on suspicion of felony child abuse.

Did the state go overboard with the charges? Would you report a neighbor to the authorities for hitting a child with a belt?

Haylen

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PooperScooper22 responded:
A beating just depends on the opinion of the parent. I couldn't justify the subjecting the child to physical punishment via belt, but some slapital punishment could be in order. The second time I was caught scribbling all over the walls, I found myself on the receiving end of a swift spanking. It didn't create any unrest in the house because it was quick and actually pretty painless. I was playing catch with Dad the next day. The psychological effect it put off was howvere much stronger and, as a result, my behavior from then on improved. I received three spankings and they each were either justifiable or simply long overdue.

The severity of said "beating" should be determined by medical professionals, physical and mental alike. With that information, a litigation in a court of law could be considered based on the data. But unfortuantely, formulating an opinion is tricky because most parents believe their own methods of punishment are effective so it's very difficult to figure out what is truly okay and what is just plain wrong.

I would have to have a complete understanding of the situation before I could call the authorities on a parent. Because then there's the issue of "who is going to take care of the kid(s) if the parent is in jail on abuse charges." I would rather make a call to the neighbor first, rather than just getting wrapped up and just calling the police. The gravity of the situation seems to lie more in the repercussions than in the act itself...tough topic, man.
 
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Anon_68239 responded:
Did I read this correctly?!? Some guy filmed and posted a video of a child getting hit? And posted it, like it was ENTERTAINMENT??? I don't know what I would do in that situation but, I know I wouldn't youtube it like it was some big joke.. shame on that guy!
 
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doxielover10 responded:
Absolutely !!! When I lived in NY my pet charity was helping abused women. I donated clothes for interviews. We did the hair and makeup
Jewelry, handbag. The only problem was teaching them to wear my 4 inch stiletto shoes LOL. We worked as a team, I was going to do the same thing for all. If the dirt bag showed up, accosted, begged, whatever, I pointed a gun in his face and told him I would use it and I would.

Allison
 
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fcl responded:
I would not hesitate to report child abuse. Hesitation can be deadly ...
 
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fcl replied to fcl's response:
there's the issue of "who is going to take care of the kid(s) if the parent is in jail on abuse charges."

So you would rather leave a child with an abusive parent who beats him rather than take the risk that the child might go to his other parent? OR another family member? When you see a child beaten with a belt would you really turn away?

"I would rather make a call to the neighbor first"

To do or say what? Few people are willing to have their parenting techniques/methods criticized and even fewer are going to appreciate interference by a neighbour.
 
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polarbearlees responded:
Yes I would and have. There are other ways of discipline that can be used. I raised 3 children by myself and did not hit them and they turned out well.
I have also stepped in and stopped the abuse and took the child with me till the police came. That person lost custody and had to go to anger management classes and parenting classes.
 
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Jeune1 responded:
I didn't watch the video because I can't really handle violence, especially if it involves children. I don't know. One or two swats with a belt, hand or switch, I wouldn't like it, but I wouldn't call the police. If the person were using what I thought was excessive force and/or seemed to have lost his temper, I'd call in a New York minute.

I also think someone who posts something like that online rather than calling the police could use a flick round the ear. Did he at least obscure the child's face?

As for the charges, it is true that police will sometimes charge someone with something even they know won't stick. But it could also be that the child suffered injuries that fully warrant the charge.
 
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Anon_68239 replied to Jeune1's response:
I didn't watch the video for the same reason so, I don't feel that I can offer an opinion about what I would do. I wonder though, if anyone has thought of this: Even the injuries sustained from a horrendous beating will heal within a few months, I wonder how long it's going to take that poor child to get over the trauma of being an "internet sensation".
 
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Jeune1 replied to Anon_68239's response:
I wonder how long it's going to take that poor child to get over the trauma of being an "internet sensation".

An excellent point.

That's part of why I wondered if the person obscured the child's face. The other part being I just think it is wrong to post a child's face on the internet without the guardian's permission.
 
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Anon_68239 replied to Jeune1's response:
Even if they obscured his face, the step-father was arrested and his name is all over the news. People are going to know it's the child, even if they can't see his face. And I agree, I don't think anyone should be able to post images of someone's child without their permission. I don't think this man who made this video is some big hero that saved a child, I think a real hero would have gone straight to the police and skipped the public footage.. but, then how would he receive his 15 minutes of fame?
 
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PooperScooper22 replied to fcl's response:
Hey don't miscontrue all my words now lol. I'm just saying that a lot of times we tend to blow things out of proportion. I've witnessed firsthand a father spanking his kid and instantly some woman began preaching about how wrong it was. She even threatened to call the cops. The kid was fine it was just a pat or two in order to reinforce a rule that the kid has repeatedly broken. Anyway, too many parents are now being deemed abusers by the new generation and if we continue to put parents down for physical punishment, where does it end? I don't think every person who hits their child should be deemed a child abuser. My parents spanked me a couple times and I received a couple slaps in the face from my mom but they were all just. To others at the time the acts may have been considered aggressive but what they wouldn't have known is that I continually disobeyed despite all other forms of punishment. All I'm saying is I wouldn't have wanted some "conscientious observer" to have called the cops on my folks and made the problem worse. In this specific case though, the stepfather acted way out of line and had I observed that kind of beating ensue, I'd be confronting him with a baseball bat and a cell phone with cops on speed dial. Sorry to get off topic..
 
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1nt3rnalc0mbu5t1on responded:
I dont agree with the posting of a video of this nature on any website. How ever I do believe that kids need to be disciplined, a belt, that might be a bit to the extreme. It just goes to show you how much parents want their son or daughter to be a successful athlete or famous. I havent seen the video nor do i have any motivation to do so. But what i have seen are children absolutely running all over their parents and acting out in ways i have never seen before. And all the parent does is say "Junior...dont scream or be quiet" There is no way to hold them responsible or any consequences for their actions. Give'em an inch and they will take a mile, and that philosophy will spill over into other parts of their lives. They wont respect teachers, authorities, other parents, etc. Growing up i was not punished by means of anything physical, except once i mouthed off to my mother and she slapped me across the face, i deserved it. And i never mouthed off to hear again. I didnt call CPS like kids will threaten to do, they think they are untouchable, because they are treated as such. So in their mind, why not bully that kid at school, mom and dad wont do anything to me but give me a lecture. Ask anyone who went to college, what happens during a lecture. You forget it about 10 minutes after your done.

By no means am I suggesting betting the snot out of your kids for doing something wrong, but sending them to their room that has a tv, laptop, ipod, ipad, dvd player, ps3, xbox 360 and every other video machine known to man, is a vacation, not a punishment. Id rather go to a room of isolation and fun, than have to deal with my parents as well. We need to be more firm with our children. I know the times have changed and people do change and we are in a very public world now with all the technology, so we have to be careful. But a red bottom every now and then can really get a point across. If i do something bad, i will get punished. Who knows, maybe the crime rate will go down as a result.
 
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rohvannyn responded:
I think everyone can agree that child abuse is a bad thing. The trouble is, how is that defined? Before you answer, consider that kids have been taken away from their loving parents and put in extremely abusive state housing for such minor infractions as giving their kids normal chores, very light spankings, and even in one case, having a pair of hairless cats!

That last case was interesting. The parents in question had two Egyptian hairless show cats but some neighbors thought they looked "mangy." Never mind they are supposed to be bald. CPS took the kids and it was many months before they were put back in the home, even WITH a judge's intervention.

Sure, you shouldn't beat or molest or otherwise seriously harm children. My own mom was taken away from her parents as a child and she reports to me that the abuse she got in foster care was MUCH worse than anything she got at the hands of her own mom. Before we go reporting people, we need to be very sure of the facts.
 
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Jeune1 replied to rohvannyn's response:
I think a real hero would have gone straight to the police and skipped the public footage.. but, then how would he receive his 15 minutes of fame?

Again, I agree 100%. It's scary to think the reaction to seeing someone in harm's way is to take a picture or movie.

Before we go reporting people, we need to be very sure of the facts.

I think I see what you're saying but the problem is as private citizens we rarely have the ability to be sure of the facts because we don't have the power to investigate. That's the state's duty. Does the state sometimes get carried away? Sure. But I think there are far more cases where the state doesn't investigate or doesn't take adequate steps to protect people. (Not blaming anyone, law enforcement and social services are overburdened.)


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