Man witnesses assault, wonders what to do

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Dear Amy: I am a 30-year-old gay man who doesn’t particularly like children.

While I was shopping at the grocery store, I saw a man smack his little baby across the face.

The child began crying and sucking its thumb.

I was shocked and disgusted.

Is there anything a person can do in these circumstances?

I feel guilty for not advocating for an infant who appeared to be less than 2 years old.

— Not a Parent

Dear Not a Parent: Thank you for recognizing that even though you “don’t like them,” young children are helpless human beings who should not be assaulted, by a parent or by anyone else.

Yes, you should have attempted to advocate for this child. Ways to do this would be to say, “Whoa whoa — wait a minute. Is everything OK here?” (You don’t want to risk an escalation by responding too aggressively.)

And then you should have also contacted store security and/or called 911. This incident might have been caught on the store’s security cameras.

Slapping a baby across the face is assault and abuse. Yes, it is shocking and disgusting, and this person (who might not have been the baby’s parent — or even related to the baby) should be stopped, and this baby protected.



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