Today my son was slapped, in the face, by a stranger.
You can read about it here
– because I’m just too tired and discouraged to write it all out again.
I am angry with this woman, and her full-grown companion who apparently backed up her lie. I guess I should have known this was a possibility. I can understand someone having a bad day and making a mistake, and I have empathy for such a scenario. But clearly this is a sick couple of individuals and it really saddens me that they displayed cowardice in response to a child brave enough to make a report. My son not only was brave enough to tell me – he was clearly afraid to do so, worried the woman might get “in trouble” – but he also conducted himself at the police station admirably even though he had his worries.
I am angry with the police, too. The officer who took our report saw the mark on my son’s cheek (we went straight to the station afterward), and admitted my son had no reason to make up such a story. At the same time, he told me that since there was a “witness” backing up this woman’s story, that no criminal charge could be filed. Affter I expressed my concerns about the dangerousness of an adult who would assault a child, then when confronted, deny the assault – the officer speaking with me said she “wasn’t dangerous” and cited her age as proof of this.
After this officer told me a criminal charge wasn’t possible, and I asked him for advice, he told me, “Don’t let your son walk alone in that area.”
I will just give you a minute to think about that one.
I am angry – and sad – because besides the woefully callous regard for my own child’s experience of assault, what is this saying for the other children in the neighborhood? Who is protecting them? Are we waiting for another incident before we take this woman’s actions seriously?
When I told Nels the woman denied hitting him, his face registered total, bald shock and he said, “What? … How is that possible?” I hugged him and I told him sometimes grownups lied. I told him I believed him, and that I love him. He put his arms around me and melted against me.
Nels and I did our part by filing a report. I have to tell myself that. Whatever this woman’s actions, we did our part by taking action. My son – my son is very brave and today was a day for him to demonstrate this.
I am discouraged, angry, and feeling that whole stew of ick one feels when their family is threatened.
My kiddo seems okay, and for that – I am very grateful.
I guess that woman is so full of her own stinky poo that the tiniest bit of doggie doo on top of it made the shit kettle boil over.
That is revolting. I can’t imagine how twisted a person has to be on the inside to hit a child in the face (and a stranger!) and then lie about it.
And you did the right thing by taking him seriously and taking care of him. I am so sorry Nels had that experience, and glad he has a safe family to care for him.
Thanks, ladies! Rough day! Hopefully I will feel better tomorrow.
I’m glad I supported Nels. When I was his age something similar happened to me and sadly I didn’t even know I had the right to report it.
Another thing that bothered me, that I forgot to mention… the police officer kept calling it a “smack”. He would not have said that if it was adult-on-adult. We use special words for hitting kids (“spank”, “swat”, “paddle”, etc) to justify hitting kids.
OK. Anyway… thank you to those who commented & supported both here, & on Twitter, and Facebook. Nels is doing well (I think) and I’m glad to know he’s got great grownups in his life.
We live in an imperfect world with imperfect people & organizations. You are familiar with some of my experiences. After I subside from my frustration, dismay & outrage with officials who don’t respond the way I believe they should, I get to deal with my feelings that I and my loved ones are unsafe and unprotected. I eventually get to a point where I discover choices I make to help me and mine feel safe and protected. For example…
A convicted rapist/murderer served his 25 years in prison and returned home to live with his mother at the corner of the school my daughter attended. She was in 2nd grade and most of the little ones were in quite a state. I tried to assure my daughter & her friends that if the police were monitoring anyone at all, for sure they were keeping their eyes on that man. BUT, as insane as this seemed to some people, I DROVE my child to school (our apartment overlooked the school playground) every day, and picked her up.
I’m not saying this is recommended behavior, but it made me and my daughter feel safe.
Big hugs, sometimes the world takes on a very scary demeanor. Remember all the sanctuaries that are here for us, when the ones we expect to step up Don’t.
That is an absolute outrage!!! Nels is clearly not going to get any justice here. I am so glad you helped him file his report: you’ll have helped Nels create a lasting memory of his own courage and forthrightness in a terrible situation, not to mention a lasting memory of his mama’s infallible comfort and support. I’m sickened by this woman’s actions.