An Abusive Parent (usually the father) is beating up their child, while the other parent (usually the mother) just stands there and watches. There are two reasons why:
- They're afraid that they'll get beaten too, or aren't strong enough to stop it.
- They're apathetic. While they might be afraid to get hit, the real reason is because they don't care about their child either.
ExamplesAnime and Manga
- In Fruits Basket, Yuki's brother Ayame turns away as their mother slaps Yuki and yells at him.
- In the Bollywood movie Patiala House, the father forbids his son from playing cricket for England while the mother looks on
- V for Vendetta. In Valerie's story, as she reveals her homosexuality to her parents, her dad rambles and her mom "said nothing".
- In A Child Called "It", Pelzer talks about how his brothers and father never offered any help to get him out of the situation he was in with his horrible mother. Eventually, his father couldn't take the stress of knowing what was happening anymore and simply left. Despite clear warning signs, no one at the schools helped either for many years.
- In Harry Potter, Snape's father abused him, but his mother didn't do anything to stop it- Your Mileage May Vary on whether this was because she was depressed, afraid, or just didn't love him.
- Terri Windling's The Armless Maiden: And Other Tales for Childhood's Survivors is a collection of short stories about child abuse, as framed through fairy tales. There are several examples, including a story about her own younger brother who was too small to prevent her abuse and had Repressed Memories of it.
- In the Supernatural episode "Nightmare", while one of the Special Children Max is physically abused by his dad and uncle, his step-mother just stands and watches. When Max calls her out on this, she's just indifferent about it. However, she may have regretted it in the end, because she starts breaking down for losing her family (Max killed his dad and uncle with his powers, then shot himself).
- In Burn Notice, Michael's mother was pretty much this way in relation to his father abusing them, and it doesn't help that early on, she's deeply in denial about how bad Michael's father was.
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