Neighbours

(33 Posts)
onethingoranother Sat 23-Jul-16 21:50:00

Posting in AIBU as I really need advice on how to deal with this. I'm not a nosy neighbour by any means, I am also not a perfect parent but my god I'm shaken & I'm not sure what to do. DH & I are sat outside in the garden, BBQ'ing, chatting & enjoying the evening. Next door's DC (they have two, a boy aged 2 & a girl around 7/8) have been crying. This isn't unusual - I regularly hear the mum screaming at the children (mainly the little boy, in the day-time when the girl is at school) and by scream, I really do mean scream. It's very hard to hear but I have brushed it off as simply none of my business. Anyway, next thing you know, the dad & the kids (can't decide if there is just the one outside or both of them) are in the garden, the dad is screaming shut up, shut up & making a growling snarling noise (kid screaming & crying, getting hysterical). We then hear smacking. Hear, not see. We sit for a while & listen. DH gets up, goes to the fence (they are very high & view is obscured) & doesn't see, but hears skin on flesh i.e. repeated smacking of the girl. The girl's pitch (cries) then increased. DH shouts out 'you better not be doing what I think you're doing else I'm going to come round and see you'. Promptly followed by me rushing over & begging DH not to get involved, & to sit back down. I reiterated to DH that yes, its absolutely wrong but it's nothing to do with us & begging him not to become involved. As I sit here now, we can still here crying/screaming children inside the house. I really don't know what to do. I have told DH I am going to mention this at the Children's Centre where I regularly take DD to groups. I have seen the mum there a few times so I'm not sure whether they are aware of any problems. Is that enough? Should I not even do that? I am sitting here close to tears at the thought of that little girl next door. The 'dad' is definitely the boy's father but I'm not sure he is the girl's father.

WWYD, and AIBU to report it to the Children's Centre? I'm not even sure they would do anything, as neither would the police (DH wanted to call them but I reminded him smacking a child isn't illegal & we didn't actually see anything).

Or tell me to mind my own business.

I've taken 20-minutes to write this & I can still hear crying.

Claireabella1 Sat 23-Jul-16 21:54:22

It is something to do with you. A child's welfare is everyone's responsibility. Your post was so hard to read, those poor children. I don't agree with your DH's approach. Call social services about the screaming but in this instance, call the police. If you're right about the abuse that's going on, you could spare those children, if you're wrong, then all you are is wrong. Please do something.

Trickyfriend Sat 23-Jul-16 21:54:38

Ring NSPCC 24/7 helpline.

0808 800 5000

BoopTheSnoot Sat 23-Jul-16 21:55:21

Nevermind the Children's Centre, I'd be calling Social Services. That's not just smacking (which I really don't agree with anyway tbh), it's beating. Sounds like mental and physical abuse.

Nanny0gg Sat 23-Jul-16 21:55:36

It doesn't sound like 'smacking'.

Phone the non-emergency number or the NSPCC.

How can you not get involved?

Sassypants82 Sat 23-Jul-16 21:56:10

Social services. Now. Thats not ok & those children need to be protected. Since when is physical violence against a child not illegal? It's assault. Your DH is spot on, you should listen to him.

Trickyfriend Sat 23-Jul-16 21:56:32

Actually F*ck it. Call the police. This is a repeated pattern of behaviour and depending on what police find they are the only ones with immediate powers of protection.

FoxesSitOnBoxes Sat 23-Jul-16 21:57:16

For fucks sake. Ring the police. Let them decide whether it was a crime. If you'd heard them hit an adult like that you'd be on the phone right away. Is it ok because it's a child?!

WhooooAmI24601 Sat 23-Jul-16 21:57:25

I'd usually go for the not-your-business but that sounds horrendous and you absolutely can get involved. Those children sound as though they have nobody protecting them; you have the right to try and help.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Sat 23-Jul-16 21:58:39

Ffs woman you "brushed it off as none of my business"??!!

You're dh is right. Police now.

OnlyEatsToast Sat 23-Jul-16 22:00:25

police. now

mrsfuzzy Sat 23-Jul-16 22:01:18

call police and if the twat next door has threatened you in any way report that too.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Sat 23-Jul-16 22:01:27

I'm so aghast I've spelt your incorrectly.

Shizzlestix Sat 23-Jul-16 22:01:29

Police, OP.

mrsfuzzy Sat 23-Jul-16 22:03:29

op that could be your dgc in that house, would you sit on your hands and do nothing, you have to do something.

Dozyoldtwonk Sat 23-Jul-16 22:04:43

Thank you everyone. DH has called the police. He was about to go round there himself but after me begging him not to intervene, we agreed to call them. They've said they'll be over as soon as they can (we live in a rural area). I'm a bit scared. But I know we've done the right thing. I am so worried for those kids.

I now feel ashamed I haven't acted before now. As I was getting DD into the car the other day (takes me a good 3-4 minutes), the woman was just screaming, I could hear her but she wasn't making sense - just screaming blindly. I assume at her child as he was in the house. She may have MH issues, I'm not sure - she doesn't work but her parent visit almost every day for a few hours to help with the children.

Trickyfriend Sat 23-Jul-16 22:07:33

Your name change has failed. However you've done the right thing.

Dozyoldtwonk Sat 23-Jul-16 22:08:30

Name change fail. Oh well. I don't care if I'm outed, we needed to do it. Just hope it's enough. Hope she's not a mnetter.

Trickyfriend Sat 23-Jul-16 22:09:53

Also do ring your local children's services Monday morning to report all the concerns so a timeline can be formed.

MsJamieFraser Sat 23-Jul-16 22:12:21

A child is being beaten and you don't think it's got anything tondo with you hmm

Phone the police!!!

Dozyoldtwonk Sat 23-Jul-16 22:12:44

I'm actually taking DC to our local one on Monday where I intend to report it. There are posters all around the place flagging child abuse etc. Hopefully they and/or the police can do something. I feel bloody ashamed I haven't said anything to date. Not that it's an excuse but today is the first time it has gone beyond screaming. DH and I are now coming up with all sorts of scapegoat theories like he could have been smacking his own leg (we didn't actually see anything, just heard). But my gut tells me we've done the right, and necessary thing.

Claireabella1 Sat 23-Jul-16 22:16:38

You have done the right thing, agree with pp that the police can decide if this is illegal or not. Should clarify, when I said I didn't agree with your DH's approach, I meant shouting over the fence, not reporting it.

CraftyPenguin Sat 23-Jul-16 22:21:31

I actually felt a bit sick reading your op. That poor little girl sad I'm glad you've called the police. I hope they respond quickly.

mrsfuzzy Sat 23-Jul-16 22:23:01

well done op and dh for doing the right thing, better to be seen to interfer and save a childs life than stand back and do nothing, wish someone had looked out for me and 1000's of other kids when i was that age.

Dozyoldtwonk Sat 23-Jul-16 22:26:15

Thanks mrsfuzzy, those poor DC are screamed at an awful lot & only this evening have we really stood up and taken notice. I feel very guilty for that. The police have called back, they're coming to see us first! Yikes. I really want something done now. But what can/will they be able to do, does anyone have any experience?

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