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At the laundromat.  The man, it looked like his grandfather, didn't see me until after he did it, I was outside in the dark coming into the laudromat.

I did spank my daughters when they were two and three, before they reached the age of reason.  If I hadn't, my eldest wouldn't have made it to her fourth birthday.  But they were mild swats on the bottom, not a slap across the face.  And they were little.  This boy looked around eleven.

I fiercely glared at the grandfather, of course, but didn't say anything, fearful of making more trouble for the boy.  The grandfather was ruffled when he saw that I had seen.  On the other hand, the boy barely reacted, which made me think that he was used to hard treatment.

There was an older boy out in the SUV outside.  I thought about what SwedishJewfish had said about bystanders not interfering, and I took down the license plate number.  That freaked out the older boy a little bit, understandably.

But now I don't know what to do.  I don't know enough about the situation, if meddling would make things worse.  Or even if I can meddle; I don't even know their names.  Maybe I should have handled it differently, said something right then.

Any advice from fellow Kossacks?

Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 4:09 AM PT: so I called the Massachusetts Child Abuse hotline and they gave me a really hard time, saying a slap wasn't abuse, and that I should have called the police if I thought it was abuse, and that they can't track down a license plate.

Originally posted to cordgrass on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 08:08 PM PST.

Also republished by House of LIGHTS.

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