Monday, March 31, 2008

Child abuse.

This morning on the Red Line, a woman got on at Sox-35th with her child. This woman proceeded to smack the child around for the next few stops until I got off at Garfield. The kid was playing with a newspaper, and this woman was hitting him, slapping him (or was it a her? I couldn't see). People on the train just stared -- what do you do?

I got off the train and went up to the train conductor, who upon my talking to her gave me the nastiest look.

There's a woman on the train smacking her kid around
----She just got off the train, whatchu want me to do about it? (Points to a woman walking by with two kids)
No, she didn't, she's sitting in the back of the train, hitting her child.
----Where she at?
In the back of this train car, the first train car.

The conductor gave me a nasty look and then went to check it out. As I was riding the escalator up, she was back in her position, driving the train car away from the station. She did nothing. She just wanted me out of her face. I was distressed.

I couldn't get out of the train and go about my day without saying something. I didn't know what else to do, and I thought perhaps the lady would stall at the station, call to the security upstairs (there's always security at the Garfield station), and maybe they'd hop on the train and watch. Call child services? Something. Anything.

If this woman was willing to beat her child in public -- and, I'll be honest here, my parents spanked me in public all the time, and I don't think there's anything wrong with it, but this woman was just wailing on the child for no reason -- imagine what she does in the privacy of her own home. Child abuse is such a serious problem, but -- like those on the train -- we mostly remain mum about it.

I didn't know what else to do. But the image of that child being smacked around while the passengers looked on in horror is going to stay with me all day, if not longer. Sigh.