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'm glad you told and admire you doing it I expect it wasn't an easy thing. Bottom line you did the right thing not just for the younger children but also for the 15 yo all are children and need to be protected some from others and some from themselves. Alan being in a possition to abuse other children is in it's self not only abusive to the child he abuses but also to him his parents missguided attempt to hide was just plainly crap for everyone. You totally did the right thing
I damn well hope your dh appreciates you, Starry.
starry I have been lurking and just wanted to say you are wonderful. Now you know exactly how toxic your ILs are, you can steer well clear of them.
Starry, well done!
I have a 15 year old. Even though he might seem like a big boy to you, he is still my baby. However, although it is my responsibility to make sure no harm comes to him, it is also my responsibility to make sure he harms no-one. When he was two, I didn't allow him to poke babies in the eye. When he was five, he was reprimanded for scratching a three year old on the face and given to understand there would be hell to pay if it happened again. I monitor his internet use! I do find it hard to put myself in your PIL's shoes because thank God he doesn't seem to have any strange tendencies but if he did something like that, I would expect the child's mother would scream blue murder and would not get up in arms with her if she did, I would be so ashamed,
Tell your dh not to bother trying to repair your relationship with your PILs. Tell them neither you nor ds want anything to do with them. Let him got visit the dragon's lair if he so wishes but life is too short to keep people like this in your life.
Starry, i honestly think that one day your DS will thank you for standing up for a child's right not to be at risk of abuse. I would be tempted to print this off and keep it somewhere safe for future years. Good luck to you and your DS xx
I've just sat and read all of this from start to finish.
To Starry: You are a bloody marvel and I would be truly proud to have someone like you as an Auntie to my children
To your DH: You should be proud of your wife. She has done the most difficult thing that she may ever do, but she has undoubtably done the right thing.
It is very seldom that people agree on Mumsnet; in fact this is one of the few threads I have ever seen such a consensus of opinion- I hope that tells you something.
There many men (and women) who are weak/ don't have the courage to deal with things and let the cycle of abuse continue..it's so much easier to not 'rock the boat'. To tell you the truth - I used to be one of them. My ex had a very racist sister & parents. We were a mixed race couple (he is white/caucasian) . I went out with him for 4 years and besotted with him to my mental detriment. Thinking the fairytale knight he might
never become. Eventually he left me because he couldn't cope with the pressure. The spineless gut-less-of-a-man he still is
Not once did he ever stick up for me, especially his sister who went out of her way to make my life hell and completely voicing her disapproval of 'my sort' and that 'we had no right to be here'. Never mind I've probably paid more tax in this country than the entire family put together. I puke how I put up with this and I sometimes sit with rage how I never ever stood up for myself or voiced my views. Sometimes I think of writing a strong worded letter to his parents/sister and posting it through their doors (personally) to tell them exactly what I think of them (with scientific evidence that their genealogy came from sub-Saharan Africa .....but pointless because they just don't have the brain cells to process that).
I'm going off tangent here.... disclosing child abuse, there is no right way or wrong way to disclose. There is only one option and that is to disclose. The fact that my PIL and to a certain extent - my DH, even questioned the disclosure, meant I was out to be hung. Not one ounce of rationality verbalised to me. Not once did they chime the same as the Mumsnetter's opinions here which is over 200 of them. Crazy, dangerous people.
Lessons learned: If you see injustice, speak out - the world needs people like us to make it a less dangerous place for our children to live in. rant over Red anyone? It's that time of night LOL .
Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.
somedayillbesaturdaynite, Cowboygals & Jux, my FIL and his 60years family rejection - Yah....there are more skeletons in the closet waiting to be discovered. Sorry, I do not have those details but obvious he hasn't delt with his suffering by the way he is rejecting me.
Starry, fil's 1st message about 60 years of being disowned and history repeating itself
Sreams to me that he has been in Alan's situation himself
I sincerely hope your husband reads this op, i agree with Rikalaily Has he defended you or your pov at all? I would be seriously rethinking my whole marriage if my dh allowed this kind of thing to continue. Its a good job your dc's have you to look out for them
Wow. You've definitely done the right thing starry. Your ILs sound horrific. What an awful situation
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
starry sorry for everything that you are going through but well done for standing up to protect young children who cannot protect themselves. I would echo what some other posters have said and ensure SIL knows everything that you do as you cannot be sure what it is exactly she has been told.
One thing I do wonder about is that the first text from FIL said
"I have put up with over 60 years of personal family rejection though no fault of my own. Only you can stop a repeat of it!
Is this right? because if it is it says to me that 'Alan' isn't the only one who has something he'd rather people didn't know about
Good that should be (autocorrect!)
Well done for doing this ....... It was a Todd and brave thing to do ...
and IMO being disliked by a lowlife is a compliment! if they see you as a kindered spirit you need to worry, FIL is a lowlife controlling bully!
Starry, you are so many many many times better than those people!
Being accepted/liked by them would come at a price that a decent person wouldn't pay! (and you didn't, good for you!)
you did good x
Wow, I thought my inlaws were just barking mad but it would seem that it is just the stock response to attack the person who is trying to tackle the problems. Looks like our tales are panning out the same although I don't envy you the difficulties you are having with your dh. At least mine also wanted to tackle the issues regarding his brother.
Stay strong, you are in the right. You will be doing better than me though if you ever manage to repair your relationship with your in laws. Don't think I'll ever manage it. I also don't think they will ever accept bil is paedophile either so there you go. Sometimes other peoples behaviour is so bad they don't deserve a place in your life.
You did the right thing. There is no question of that. Please, never doubt yourself whatever they may say or do in the future.
StarryCole - you are awesome. You have done the right thing. You have protected your son and if no one else can see that then fuck 'em.
I have been following this from the beginning and i would just like to applaud you and say well done. You did the right thing no matter what your DH and his family think.
You are much better off without toxic people like those.
Way to go you.
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