Crap. I just witnessed a domestic dispute and/or child abuse. I’m sitting outside of Yager’s house (for the free internets, of course) and a house on my right just got really quiet. Then, out of nowhere I hear this thick WHACK and then some guy (presumably the father/male head of household) say, “I told you to stop!” Then a little girl starts crying and trying to say something but the father-guy keeps talking over her and saying things like, “Why did you make me do that? If you’d just done what I said, you wouldn’t get hurt.”

And I’m sitting here like, “FUCK.” I didn’t actually see anything, but I heard something (or, more likely, someone) being hit and then crying and yelling. What the fuck is wrong with people? What should I do? I don’t think I can do anything now, per se, but what do I do next time? And I know there’ll be a next time ’cause it’s never only once.


Viannah E. Duncan

Viannah E. Duncan is a writer and activist hailing originally from Los Angeles. She lives outside of Baltimore, Maryland, and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University. She has a cat, Cleo.

3 thoughts on “Crap

  • Monday, 09 July 2007 at 08:53:19

    If you are 100% positive that what you heard was real, and not a television, then I suggest you call the police.

  • Monday, 09 July 2007 at 13:07:26

    I wouldn’t jump to any conclusions from just hearing that. The day in age when parents spanked their children is not so long past. That might have been a father giving a child a whap on the rear. If it were an adult, it’d be a different situation.

    Personally, I think there’s something wrong with a country where a six year old calls her mother a bitch to her face, in the middle of the supermarket, the mother slaps (not beats, slaps)the daughter and is then arrested for child abuse.

    Everyone is so touchy feely these days, no one ever disciplines their children!! No wonder crime and such is on the rise. Not only is it because of societal and socioeconomic factors, but no one is teaching these kids at an early age that doing bad things has consequences more than “now, timmy, that was a very bad thing to do”.

    While I’m not calling your fears and views into question, for your opinions are your own, but I know that if I ever have kids (doubtful), they will be taught verbally that actions have consequences. If I have to back that up with a spank or two when they choose to disregard my verbal explanation, then so be it.

  • Monday, 09 July 2007 at 14:52:52

    That’s a good point, the parent could have been using a normal means of corporal punishment and might not have been actually abusing the kid. I’d disagree with your point that it’s the only effective form of discipline, though. Teachers have to discipline children all the time for inappropriate behavior in school, and it’s unlawful for them to use corporal punishment. That doesn’t means that all teachers are ineffective disciplinarians. What’s more, crimes are statistically more commonly committed by lower-income citizens. Children from low-income families are often much more likely to be subject to corporal punishment when a parent gets frustrated, and it’s these children that have the hardest time in school and are more likely to turn to crime. Personally, I feel that corporal punishment is unhealthy for both child and parent, because it teaches children that loving relationships can include physical abuse, and it allows the parent to not have to control their temper or exercise patience and understanding. I wouldn’t agree with arresting a mother for slapping her kid, but I certainly wouldn’t call it an effective form of discipline.


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