Q:

‘My kids were scared and upset’

I was in the supermarket and observed some really abusive behaviour, threats and suchlike. I felt uncomfortable along with everyone else who was watching but nobody did anything and I didn't know what to do. Is It ok to get involved and how would you approach this situation?  My kids were scared and upset.


A:

Thank you for writing in with your question.

In this situation, your first and immediate priority has to be for your children.

The situation is already not safe.

If you say or do anything will you and the children be safe?

I understand the incident was traumatic for you your children and all others that watched it, but you and your children’s safety has to be the gauge.

In this scenario immediately contact supermarket security or staff or yell at someone to say or do something, if this is does not work or is not available to you ring 111 and contact the Police.

The New Zealand Police have Police Units trained in Domestic Violence and ready to respond to these incidences.

I personally would ring them and not compromise the safety of my children.

Unfortunately most members of the public cannot respond in these situation for whatever reason.

This ‘really abusive behaviour, threats and suchlike’ is never acceptable.

This provides you the opportunity to talk to the kids about what they observed, what they can do if they saw this type of behaviour unfolding, and share with them that this type is not ok.

‘If you don’t know what you don’t know, you’ll always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got’.

This could be the reason why people made no attempt to intervene.

I was involved in an incident at a supermarket carpark in South Auckland.

A male person was yelling and swearing from outside the car at someone who was inside the car.

A women got out of the passenger’s side, got a baby from the back seat and with the baby on her hip walked towards the supermarket. The male person saw me watching and challenged me, my first instinct was to take up the challenge.

Instead I waited till the women and baby had walked past me.

I followed her into the supermarket and asked her how I could help.

Other people gathered around to support her and I went and alerted store security to the incident.

The woman and her baby's safety was my priority not the guy that was screaming and swearing abusing and yelling.

As family violence is a serious issue in our country I believe all people should have an awareness and education around family violence, which is the purpose of the campaign http://areyouok.org.nz/

Thank you again for writing in.

I hope this helps.

Family violence is Not Ok

It’s Ok to Ask for Help.

Vic

 

 

 

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