IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Domestic violence takes place in all forms, and if you come across a situation happening in public, don't be a bystander. If you see something, say something.
"I came out of the store, and I've seen two young kids -- ages between 4 and 6 years old -- in the back without seat belts. I stood there for a while waiting for the parents to come out. Finally, the parents did come out. The dad came in the back, started cussing at the kids, started hitting them. Then he went in the front seat and proceeded to cuss at them and start smacking them again," said Manny, an Idaho Falls man.
Witnessing child abuse in the open can be a sad and intimidating situation.
But officials say the bystander-effect won't help anyone.
"I said, 'Hey, what are you doing hitting that kid that way?' And then that's when I intervened and it went from there," said Manny.
"If there's someone in danger and you have to step in and then protect their physical safety and things like that, that's something that people have the option of doing," said Sgt. Bryan Lovell, with the Bonneville County Sheriff's Office.
"There were a couple of words exchanged. I ended up calling a police officer after another gentleman from the store came in and actually backed me up on this. We took a picture of the license plate number, called the police," said Manny.
The investigation into this case with child protective services is being looked into.
"First thing people should do is contact law enforcement to come and get involved. It's always good to be a good witness and see and gather as much information as you can," said Lovell.
Lovell also said calls about child safety concerns are fairly common in Bonneville County. Like law enforcement, there are many places and programs who can help those that are exposed to domestic violence.
"I feel if they're doing it right now in front of others, what's going on behind closed doors when the kids are at home with their parents? If anybody sees kids going through this-- if you see it -- say something about it. Don't be afraid to speak up. More people need to speak up this way and not just look at it and look the other way. So what I did, I would do it again and again and again," said Manny.
For more information on where to get help with domestic violence or how to help someone, contact your local law enforcement agency or Child Protective Services, or visit the Idaho Falls Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center and the website of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.