April 4, 2014 - submitted by Christian, Australia

I come from a country town by the bay. Ever since I was little, I witnessed my mother being harassed by a group of people, and it seems they are still up to their old tricks. They would follow mom in the street, to parties, and eventually into her employment and would scream at her face with profanities or just sit down next to her at the cafeteria and openly talk about rumours and just be plain rude. This is just the tip of the iceberg, and the other details would be too personal too mention. My mother is too nice, so I am just wondering if it is my place to intervene now, that I have enough information accumulated over 3 decades.

The Oracle replies:

It's admirable you want to help your Mum but you really need to speak with her first. 3 decades is a very long time for your Mum to suffer at the hands of bullies and she must have her reasons for not reporting their behaviour up to now.
You can be supportive but she may not want you to intervene. If there is good cause to report the group for harassment, maybe the local police can help with what options your Mum has. She may have to make a formal complaint herself or give evidence so talk it through with her before you take any action. You may not be able to do much about the perpetrators without your Mum's involvement.
If you or your Mother don't have written records of what has been happening with dates, times etc, maybe now would be a good time to collate this information.
Good Luck.
Over to you.

To solve problems of this kind, you first need to find out why those guys bully your mother. You said she was nice, so I guess that's the reason. They are jealous to those who have friends and can be nice to others.
The second thing you need to think about is this: who can help her? You are her child, and mothers usually protect their child, not vice versa. They'll see it as a sign of weakness, and that's the thing your mother can't use.
But who is in the position to help her? Friends? Colleagues? Family? Police? I guess the last one is the best one. Following and stalking people is illegal in most countries, so use the law. Don't go to the police immediately, but ask for judgement advice. As soon as you found the laws you need, you can go, with your mother, to the police station. I hope this will help you.

This is a tough one, but I definitely wouldn't put up with someone treating my mother that way. I get being too nice to an extent, but when you have people harassing you like this it's damaging to your soul. I would say something. These people obviously have nothing better to do with their lives than to trot around making another persons miserable. Also, not sure where exactly you are, but if it continues I'd bring it to the police and get a restraining order. I wish nothing but the best and sending love, light and positive vibes your way to you and your mother. I hope that things get better!

I would say you should talk to your mother about the plans you have to intervene. Maybe if she sees that you are about to act, you both would act together. That way she will gain confidence too. Please think about doing it in a legal way (go to authorities). You could also get support in the media (social, newspaper, or something else). I guess it all depends in the influence this group has over the community. Overall, please think first on the consequences and be safe. I hope everything gets better. Raquel.

I think you must do something about it, I mean, you can't let people disrespect her and treat her like that, it's your mom and no woman should be treated like that, you could confront those guys or ask for help from the authorities, you say you have enough information so you can use that to prove it, you can't just let things like that, you just can't. Alan.

Have you ever discussed this with your mom? It sounds pretty serious and of course you want to intervene and stick up for her! That's very brave of you. But I think you should talk to your mom first. In the end it's best if she's the one to tell that group of people off. And if they keep stalking/harassing her, she's the one who should alert the authorities. You can't do all of that for her. Try to support your mom best as you can and give her advice on how you'd handle the situation. It won't be easy for either of you, but you can't solve all of your mom's problems for her and she'll have to learn to stick up for herself at some point. Good luck, Amanda.

The initial response is, 'of course you should step in,' but after further thought it is more complicated than that. Your mom has been dealing with this for thirty years! She needs love and small words of encouragement and hope, and those mean people might need the same. Jeff.

Don't take matters into your own hands without making sure your Mom is aware of what you are doing. You haven't mentioned whether your family has a Dad or whether you have siblings, Aunties, Uncles or someone you can get to help you. Don't do this alone. I hope it all works out for your Mom. Sounds like she's had a rough time. Alex.

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