Women and children first

witnessed a dreadfully sad event the other day.

gathered quietly at the steps of the church. The coffin of a young woman was
borne up those steps and inside the church.

the dreadfully sad event took place right in front of my eyes.

young woman with two small boys, stood solemnly, whilst chastising her children
through gritted teeth.

two boys were ‘playing’ on the steps.

were too young, possibly three and five, to fully understand what was going on.
She repeatedly told them to stop jumping up and down.

gave no explanation just shrieked. Has she quietly explained the need for them
to stand quietly for a few moments? I think not. Although I cannot be sure.

then I witnessed the event that saddened my heart. She slapped the older boy
around the head.

eyes glistened. He did not cry. He looked at her with disdain; and so did I.

violence begets violence (and it does not always) then this woman had begun her
son’s possible lifetime, frame of reference. You want something? You use brute

regarded her with defiance. I watched her as she looked on sympathetically as
the coffin (of the young mother of a small boy, allegedly murdered by the boy’s
father) disappeared from view.

wanted to say to this woman. Look at what you have done. Can’t you see the
stupidity-the dreadful possible consequences of your actions? Or maybe she
would never connect her actions with the death of a young mother and the
bullying of her son.

she had hit me I would have been entitled to call the police. Children do not
have equal rights in France…nor in many other countries.

was the first country to pass equal rights for children. What are the rest of
you waiting for?

cannot bring back little Hugo’s mother but can we at least think about our
actions and how they form the future.

stood there, watching this woman lead her two young sons away and I thought:
And so it begins. I hope I am wrong.


p.s. I didn’t mean to choose this layout but it seems somehow poetic and so it stays.


2 Responses to “Women and children first”
  1. Bill Kirton says:

    The positive to come out of this is that you had the reaction you did, Helen. It’s easy to assume that this lack of respect for others and this tendency towards violence – even against children – is the norm. I’d rather believe that there are enough of us with compassion and (again) respect for the rights of others to overcome it. Trouble is – it’s taking a bloody long time.

  2. T.L Tyson says:

    It enrages me when I witness a parent being physical like this with their children. I find a lot of people don’t have the patience involved to raise children.

    They have too many, too soon, and they have them way too young.

    I am sorry you saw this.

    More so I am sorry for her children.

    Violence never solved anything.

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