If you see a child being abused in public, do what you can to help:
- Divert the adult’s attention.
- Start a conversation with the adult. Offer sympathy. For example, you could say, “Shopping with children can really try your patience, can’t it?” Talk to the child.
- If the child is acting out or misbehaving, start a friendly conversation to distract him or her. Praise the parent or child.
- Find something positive to say about the child or the parent. For example, “That’s a pretty dress your daughter is wearing. Where did you get it?” Offer to help.
- For example, if a child has been left unattended in a grocery cart, stay near him or her until a caretaker returns.
- Avoid negative looks or comments. This may only increase the adult’s anger, making things worse for the child.