Do you suspect child abuse?

I’ve been in that situation before. You see a mother or father abusing their child and you can’t do anything about it. I was a sales clerk for Belk’s Department Store in Florida. The store was in “close-out” mode so all the merchandise and clerks were in the front of the store and there was only one check out counter. So when I saw a mother abusing her child there wasn’t even a phone available. She brought the boy into the store at night to find out if we had pants that would fit him. It was fairly cold out and the boy had no shoes. The two had a bad energy. The mother was pulling the boy and the boy was trying to get away from her.

“Mommy, my feet hurt,” the boy was whining.

“We came in to buy pants,” was her answer. When I told her there were no children’s clothes left she jerked her little boy’s arm very hard and he winced.

“You’re hurting him,” I said, trying to somehow help the boy. I could see the car outside in front of the store and there was a man sitting in the car waiting.

“I didn’t come in here to get advice on raising my kid. Do you have any pants or not?” She was very nasty.

“No, we don’t.”

I wanted to follow them out of the store and get a license number, but what about my job? What if someone stole merchandise while I was outside? And what would the mother do if I followed her? I’m sure she was capable of beating me up if I crossed her. There wasn’t even a phone in my area so I could call the police, and cell phones weren’t invented yet. At that point I wished there was someone to help me so I could get a license number.


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