If you saw this, would you intervene?

This week's news of a father dragging his daughter by her hair raises questions about the responsibility of others to intervene.

TAMPA, Fla. (WTSP) – A viral photo of a man appearing to drag his daughter through a Texas Walmart by her hair has sparked outrage on social media from all over the country. A woman who saw it happening confronted the man, then took the pictures and contacted police.

Officers told her since the girl didn't have any bruises or missing hair they could not make an arrest on the spot. Child protective services is working with police to investigate the incident further.

“I don’t know if I could confront them but I would certainly give them a look like ‘are you really doing that to your child?’ ” said Lindsay Baumgartner, a mother in a Tampa park on Wednesday. “As a community I guess we really need to step up if we see something like that.”

“I think that everyone is scared of everyone now because you never know who’s going to pull a gun on you but that’s unacceptable,” said Heather Lopresto.

“It’s just how it is these days, people are afraid of what could happen if they do say something,” added Baumgartner.

Dr. Stacey Scheckner, a Tampa-based psychologist, said fear can be a powerful influencer when it comes to avoiding or engaging in confrontation.

“People may not want to get involved because they’re scared, they’re scared that maybe they’re making the wrong call, they don’t know what’s really going on, they’re fearful of the parents’ reaction,” said Scheckner. “I think we all need to ere on the side of caution, so that maybe you want to go get involved but bring someone else with you if you’re in fear, but to sit back and do nothing when it comes to a child, I think is definitely the wrong thing to do.”

Scheckner went on to say another major factor in reluctance to get involved could be the increase in people's tendency to bring lawsuits in today's society. In other words, people are conditioned to mind their own business for fear of getting sued.


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