I feel sick- *warning* child abuse

(7 Posts)
Namechanger2012 Thu 01-Mar-12 13:23:11

I've name changed for this. It's not really an ethical dilemma as there's nothing I can do about it but I feel sick to my stomach and just don't know what to think.

It's come to our attention that on the internet there's a video about a relative of DH's in which this relative is accused of being a child abuser. He used to work in an institution where he was responsible for the welfare of children and the video has pictures of him from then and now. The aim of the video seems to be to 'out' him as an abuser and to display anger to the government that he hasn't ever been taken to court or punished. It appears to be physical abuse he's being accused of.

Initial thoughts:

A) it could be true.
B) it might not be true and might be some kind of sick joke.
C) it might not be true and someone might have a grudge against him for some reason.

He doesn't live in this country and we've only met him once, a few years ago-before that DH met him a couple of times as a child but otherwise doesn't know him at all really, though he's a fairly close blood relative (he emigrated about 30 years ago and the abuse is claimed to have happened in the country he emigrated to.). As soon as we found the video we phoned immediate family and they said he knows about it and hasn't requested for it to be taken down or anything because if he does that 'it'll draw more attention to it'. Of course they also said that he says it's not true.

The video is in the public domain and has had many, many hits. He lives thousands of miles away so we're unlikely to ever see him again. If it's true then we can only hope he is punished for it. If it's not true then we can only hope his name is cleared. (But if you were innocent and were publicly accused of something like this wouldn't you do everything in your power to prove your innocence and get the video removed?!)

I don't know what my dilemma is. I just feel sick, for so many reasons. At the smaller end of the scale, he has the same surname as us and I don't want my family or I to be associated with him while this is out there. This might be extremely selfish, I don't know, I can't think straight. It probably depends on his guilt or innocence? At the bigger end of the scale, if he's guilty I am furious and sick and embarrassed and horrified and hundreds of other emotions. If he's guilty then I can't even bear to think about all the children he was in charge of over the years-including those in his own family. If he's innocent then I feel horribly, horribly sorry for him.

This doesn't affect us personally in any way but I feel guilty by association. I am so angry, probably irrationally so.

There's nothing to do is there? The only thing I can think of is phoning authorities in his country and telling them about the video. If he's guilty then he deserves to be locked up for the rest of his life. If he's innocent then it could ruin his life.

I just feel like having this information, even if it's just slander and there's no truth in it, is a responsibility and I have to DO something to somehow make it right.

Namechanger2012 Thu 01-Mar-12 13:26:43

I've just reported this and asked for the name to be changed as I realised as I hit post that the content could be distressing and there should be a warning-apologies to anyone who is upset.

fuckityfuckfuckfuck Thu 01-Mar-12 13:27:45

I think it's fair to say that noone will ever just stumble across that kind of video. How did you even become aware of its existence? If it's on youtube rather than, say, BBC news, then I'm sure most people would take it with a huge pinch of salt.

Namechanger2012 Thu 01-Mar-12 13:28:49

It's on YouTube. Ironically, we stumbled across it. Another relative put their wedding video up so we searched for our own surname and it came up.

Namechanger2012 Thu 01-Mar-12 13:29:43

If you google our surname it's the first thing to come up under videos.

Namechanger2012 Thu 01-Mar-12 15:46:02

Any thoughts anyone? I'm a bit desperate.

Glenshee Sat 03-Mar-12 00:02:48

I'm not sure what you can do except accept that you don't know the full story and perhaps never will.

I understand the video itself is not an evidence of abuse as such - or at least not undeniably so (otherwise the problems would escalate much further than YouTube?)

So given that you live thousand miles away, you're not really in a position to know how close or how far from the truth it might be...

Not particularly helpful I guess, - sorry.

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