Do I tell?(254 Posts)
I have a moral dilemma. Please bear with me as I really need your strength to do the right thing. Last summer. We were at my PIL's house. Only family there and what I mean by this is my husband's parents and his siblings only. Summer BBQ. I felt it a safe environment. My son, aged 3.5, is very active, likes to run around the house and garden and playing with various members of family. I didn't think he was in any danger. I thought I knew my husband's family well, we had been together 8 years. I thought it was safe.
My husband's 15 year old brother, I will call him Alan, exposed himself to my son, It was an opportunist moment. My son alone in Alan's bedroom for a brief time.
We were all downstairs doing the family thing, it did cross my mind where my son was but I didn't think anything of it. Nor did my husband, whose brother it was. Imagine your son or daughter with your brother or sister, together playing alone in a room for the briefest of moments?.
Later on, my son told me Uncle Alan sat him on his bed. Uncle Alan pulled his trousers and underpants and exposed himself. My son told me this in enough detail and I was utterly shocked. It was enough for me to call the police.
Much emotional turmoil between myself, my husband and his parents. It was I that instigated the involvement with the police. Alan's parents were reluctant and very protective. They still are.
Co-incidentally, Alan was pulled up by the police on an seperate issue, at about the same time. The police was monitoring him because he was cruising websites of a NAPPY fetish nature and participating in 'chats' online. He came to the attention of the police as in one of the chats, Alan mentioned he had a toddler nephew, my son. My son was wearing nappies at the time. Till this day, I do not know the contents of the chats nor the actual sites he was on. I can only guess....
The police let Alan off with the privisio he does therapy. Alan being only 15 at the time, his mental state..the risks and being from a supportive home. The police do not view Alan as dangerous. Alan is back at school and living at home.
Fast forward 1 year to today, and my husband's other brother Roger (brother to Alan as well) and his wife announced they are expecting their first child.
My PIL's had sworn us to secrecy. Although we never promised to keep quiet if another member of the family had a child. It is both I and my husband's moral thinking, Roger and his wife ought to be told, to empower them to protect their child.
My PILs, particularly, my FIL has threatened me that if I said anything, 'a big thing would come between us' i.e., I would be ousted in their eyes. They don't deem Alan as dangerous and they don't want any 'trouble' least all by me, least of all as Alan is 'sitting his exams at the moment'. They are being very threatening and we had a heated and serious disagreement. They are extremely protective of Alan, being young impressionable and probably prone to depression.
Any mention of my son and I get 'he'll not remember in a few years', 'nothing worse happened, he's hardly been affected'.
I believe Roger and his wife ought to know for the right reasons. As a parent first and foremost and for the safety of their child. Roger and his wife are good people, very responsible. I'm sure they would understand and be mature about it, like we have been. Alan is a 'good boy' in every other respect and is taking therapy.
Both myself and my husband are being pressured and threatened by my ILs. I know my PILs will never forgive me in particular - even if I said and did nothing 'being the woman/wife'.
Please, let me know your views. What would you do? And imagine this in your own family. Your son/daughter and brother or sister.
I would have to tell.
The adult's feelings are less important than the protection of the child(ren).
(I have a list of opinions as long as your arm on the PIL and the entire situation btw but too tired to get into that right now)
HugeFurryWishingStool - I would love to hear your opinion on this. I hope you come back soon.
In your shoes I would, together with my DH, tell Roger and his wife. Alan's parents protecting him are effectively putting their own grandchildren at risk. I personally could not condone that, nor could I knowingly put another child potentially at risk.
It is great that their son is receiving therapy. However, his actions in the past cannot be undone. Roger and his wife have every right to know this happened. Your PIL may well go apeshit when they find out, but so be it. How bloody dare they try and bully you into keeping this secret in the closet.
I agree that they need to know but would be very careful as your inlaws would clearly blame you for passing the information on. I'd try to leave it to your DH to deal with, as much as possible.
It may well be that the younger brother is 'cured', for want of a better expression, but what if...?
Tell them. Can't actually believe you're asking.
I think your DH should tell his older brother.
What does he (your DH) think?
It is for your DH to tell. If he doesn't, he is the biggest most cowardly man on the planet.
How dare your ILs tell you to keep this enormous, life changing secret from someone who would want to know this kind of thing.
If he doesn't, you have to. But if he doesn't, I would reconsider how much respect I would be able to have for a man who didn't.
Imagine if anything happened. Just imagine. You and DH would be just as guilty as the ILs.
It's not even a dilemma IMO. Having been a victim of abuse from a relative I am horrified you are even thinking here is even half an ounce of doubt about this.
Imagine if it was the other way round, and it was Roger's child he'd exposed himself to, and you were the one who was now expecting your first child. Would you expect Roger and his wife to tell you?
I would get your DH to tell his brother and ask him not to let on he knows if at all possible.
I'd also be putting a bit of distance between my family and the IL's. Btw, it's nice down here in NZ ;-)
DH should tell - and it can be on a - don't tell PILs basis
Today he is just showing, surfing the net, chatting because he is 15
Soon it could be more than that
Personally if I was the SIL and something happened to my child because of Alan I would hold you partially responsible
And the PILs are arses. They are burying their heads in their sand - he is not a good boy. HE should be ousted (although it's good they encourage the therapy). They are just as bad as him
I hope they are suffering with guilt
Yes of course you should tell. As others have said, if it were me who was expecting, I would want to know.
Your PIL are treating you terribly, pressurising you and threatening you. What difference does it make that Alan is sitting exams? The baby hasn't even been born yet. Sounds like emotional blackmail.
I would want to distance myself from the PIL for treating me and DH that way. Complete lack of respect.
Also lack of respect/care for your son - 'he'll not remember in a few years', 'nothing worse happened, he's hardly been affected'. Sorry, but they can't know that.
Thanks everyone for your supportive messages. REALLY APPRECIATE your responses. What's interesting is that so far, all of you agree that this sort of family issue should not be kept in the closet.
My DH has stepped up and will speak to his parents now. He too feels action needs to be taken but is more likely to be 'forgiven' given that he is their son. I am going to stay out of this now but will keep a close eye on things.
If DH & I get anymore pressures, I am going to vote with my feet and distance myself because I cannot be involved with a family that has those sort of undesirable 'values'.
One more thing about Alan. Does this mean he's a peodophile? Given his 'peadophilia tendancies'? And take into account his impressionable age at the time of the 'incident', just 15 years old. Would you ever trust him again? And do you think there is ever a possibility people like him can be cured?
If you're a pyschotherapist or sexual counselling expert that work with the likes of Alan, I'd especially like to hear your experienced opinion. Thanks!!
I am presuming that as the police were involved they have kept records on him and are monitoring his behaviour and compliance with therapy?
His he on the Children Services radar? Did they have any contact with you at the time? Is it worth contacting them and expressing your concerns - it may be they are already aware
Has his therapist been advised of the new addition? He needs to explore this in therapy I think.
Without a doubt, you should say something. A man exposed himself to me when I was four. He also pulled my hand towards him and tried to get me to touch him. I can still picture him in my head and hear his voice, thirty years on.
It has affected my relationships with men.
Sorry but you have to tell them
Tell them, definitely. Wouldn't care if Alan was in therapy or not, crazy to leave any child alone with him ever given what's hapened. Your BIL and SIL need to know this. Why do PILs need to know - can't you ask BIL and SIL not to tell them you have told them about Alan?
Definitely tell. What if something happens? They would never forgive you for not having warned them in advance, and you would never forgive yourself.
Without hesitation I would tell BIL. I would be concerned about your PILs controlling behaviour an doubt that they have fully grasped the level of danger Alan could pose. I would not be leaving my children unsupervised in their company.
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