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Is my brother-in-law a paedophile?(135 Posts)
Hi I'm not sure if I'm in the right forum section but desperately need some advice...sorry this is long!
I have 2 boys aged 2 and 4. Sadly my elsest has special needs, severe speech, language and communication disorder so very vulnerable. We live down south and as most of my husband's famIly live up north, whenever they come over they stay for a good few days. My husband is very close to his 40 year old brother and I have always got on fine with him. The kids love him as he's just like a big kid himself and gives them so much attention, chase, rumble and tumble, pretends to be spiderman, buys them gifts etc so you could say he's the perfect uncle. However something has been bugging me the last few times we have seen him. God I don't know how to explain this....
A few weeks ago when he was here he offered to change my 2 year olds nappy. As I was busy doing something else, I happily agreed to this . They were upstairs for a while so I went up to see them and he had removed my sons nappy but hadn't put a new one on.
So he was just wearing a little vest. They were sat facing each other on the floor playing a ball game. I asked him why he hadn't got him dressed again and he just said "I thought it would do his skin good to have no nappy on for a bit." I found this quite odd seeing as he's not even a parent. It made me feel uncomfortable somehow. I tried to put any negative thought out my head.
Then last weekend we went up to my husbands parents for a few days. As soon as we arrived, the boys uncle was already there waiting as he lives local to them. He was playing with them, tickling them as usual and they were loving it. After we had tea, my eldest said he needed the toilet and straight away he offered to take him. I said "oh don't worry, he can go himself". 5 mins later he offered to give them a bath. I told him no need as they had already had one that morning. Then when I went into our guest room to unpack a few bits and get their pyjamas ready etc, my youngest was running around in the nude being a looney jumping off the bed etc and the uncle came in and started playing with him, he then made some comment like "look at you with your willy out, do you want me to flick it?" My gut feeling is that something isn't right and I haven't stopped thinking about it. I haven't told anyone as firstly he hasn't really done anything wrong and secondly just because my gut feeling tells me this is wrong i don't have any proof. I can't even tell my husband as he will think I'm being ridiculous plus the last thing I want to do is split the family up. Just so hard knowing what to do as whilst I can't tell anyone, all I want to do is protect my children more than anything just like any mum would.
Another thing that is bugging me is when my eldest was just 2 years old (so a couple of yrs ago), he took him to the park one winter, they were gone for absolutely ages to the point where me and DH were worried something had happened to them both. When they returned my son was so so upset, i had never seen him this upet before, and I could not console him. He cried for 2 hours. When I asked his uncle what had happened to upset him so much he simply told me that he was really cold. I remember going mental at the time and saying to my mum something wasn't right!!!
Please can someone tell me what I should do. Is this inappropriate behaviour? Or am I being silly? And if you were in my shoes what would you do with such little proof?
Thanks for reading
The flicking thing is frankly bizarre.
I wouldn't be stressing too much without that - I have a 40 yo single friend who regularly comes over to spend time with my children, and has changed many nappies, given many baths, and would probably have made a similar comment about nappy free time.
And I've been late back from many places courtesy of screaming and inconsolable babies/toddlers, particularly if it's cold (my youngest is also sn).
So, I'm not concerned about anything else - but an adult suggesting a kid wants him to flick his willy? that would be unnerving. I'm assuming he's not a rugger bugger who spends every weekend frolicking in a jolly manly way with towels in locker rooms, where that sort of behaviour would be seen as evidence of him attempting to male bond with his nephew in a perfectly normal and harmless way?
Ultimately, though, if something is unnerving you, then you have to pay attention to it.
Hmmm... my DH changes my DS's nappies and baths him but has always been vehemently against doing this for my niece because it makes him uncomfortable. I think there are very few men who would volunteer to change nappies/ bath children that aren't their own. My immediate family (mum and dad and sisters) love seeing my 2yo DS run around naked, my mum always volunteers to give him time without his nappy and i often tell him i'm going to bite his bum because it's so peachey perfect. But my BILs feel uncomfortable with his nakedness in a way they are not with their own children.
I was fine with most of the things you said OP until the 'flick your willy' comment which did something odd to my stomach. And the incident 2 years ago. Even though you only have a gut instinct that might be wrong, i would not be leaving my DCs alone with this man. You were given an instinct for a reason.
I know that we can get hyper vigilant these days, but the flicking of penis comment is just wrong.
Being enthusiastic about changing nappies, toilet, bath is also a tad suspect. I helped out at a morning playgroup and boy, no one was fighting for the privilege of changing nappies. Anyway, it was always done in the open.
It is very difficult as your suspect is a family member. I cannot recommend how best to approach the subject, but at any rate, do put in place separation/ protection strategies for when you visit.
Unfortunately, paedophiles exist (a family member was 'diagnosed' so to speak a few years back). When unsure, it is best to be cautious. The alternative is not an option. At worse, you offend a X feeling, but no one is hurt.
Trust your instinct. I find it very odd that a 40 year old man, with no children himself, would offer to change nappies and bath your children. I have recently discovered that a close relative to my kid has been looking at child pornography and he now has the sex offender status. Thankfully, I had never left my kids unsupervised with him anyway, but obviously, I am now very careful to ensure that he has no opportunities to do anything untoward to the kids. The social worker who spoke to us to discuss his sex offender status told us to look out in particular for him offering to change nappies and taking our eldest to the toilet etc. Unfortunately you have little choice but to discuss this with your DH but whatever happens don't just let this be shrugged off, trust your instinct and ensure that your kids are never left alone with this man. Good Luck, it's a terrible thing that we have to worry about close family being a threat to our children, but sometimes it can be seemingly the nicest people that you have to watch out for.
How worrying for you. I actually think you should mention this to the police in case there is a file on him. Nothing to lose. Maybe they could search his computer. As others have said, you must tell your DH.
Thanks for all your amazing support, I certainly don't feel alone anymore. Feel like I have been carrying a massive burden all week and feeling much better at talking about it and to also know I'm not going crazy imagining stuff. Feel
Good plan sh77 is it Sarah's law that allows you to check up,on people your child comes into contact with if you feel they may not be trustworthy?
Am not sure how you could approach it with DH, could you say that your DS has mentioned that he is worried that his uncle might suggest that he flicks him again? Could that open up the conversation?
I think your concerns are real too.
Definitely trust your instincts.
Don't give him any opportunity to be alone with your children. How awful for you.
Thanks for all your amazing support, I certainly don't feel alone anymore. Feel like I have been carrying a massive burden all week and feeling much better at talking about it and to also know I'm not going crazy imagining stuff. Feeling angry right now that bil has put me in such an awful position but yes you are all right, I have no choice but to tell DH. Its just a case of when I tell him, need to find the right time, definately by the end of the week. My worry is he is going to find it strange that I didn't mention it sooner? And how the hell am I going to approach the issue? X
Is he in a position where he comes into daily contact with other peoples children? Youth work or anything like that?
Checkpoint Charlie - that would have been an ideal way to being it up but it was my 2 year old who he said it to so he doesn't yet have that much language, nor does my 4 year old because of his speech problem. You know, he was in a relationship with someone who had an 8 year old girl, as far as I know nothing dodgy happened as they are still semi friends even after the relationship finished. But one thing I know is that when they were living together his girlfriend kicked hm out once for catching him looking at teenage porn. I think it was shortly after this that they finished but think it was over something else.
Maybe that could be your way in, you are worried that if he looks at teenage porn, he might leave it lying around? Then say actually you know I have wondered if this is normal.... And then say about the flicking.... You could ask your DH if they used to do it when they were little or something and say that he said it to your son and does be think that is ok?
Scarlett - no he doesn't work with kids but I know he loves kids and often takes his best friends children out for the day as they have 4 kids so does it to help out to give them a break. What I'm confused about, as far as I know he's not gay so why would he like boys?
I don't think jimmy saville was gay either! Being a sex offender is a mental perversion, so adult sexual orientation is irrelevant.
Sorry to hear about your situation Marmite. I can't say anything more helpful than what's been said already; I do agree though that you shouldn't feel bad about thinking this.
My twopenneth on the not gay/likes boys thing is that I presume a paedophile just sees victims as children, rather than male & female. A very young boy would be much the same as a very young girl in terms of the influence a paedophile could have over them. The Jimmy Savile revelations have unfortunately highlighted that.
scarlettsmummy has said it much better! Exactly what I thought.
The nappy incident on its own wouldn't be so bad; people are often advised to leave a small child's nappy off for a while as it's 'good for the skin', and it could have been the case that he'd read or heard it somewhere.
But add in all the other stuff and no, it's not looking good at all. OP, you will have to talk to your H about this, and if he's unreasonable, or won't listen, or threatens to leave you (on 'How dare you call my brother a nonce?' grounds), then it might be a good idea to seek outside help, at least by giving the NSPCC a call to ask their advice anonymously.
I was expecting to tell you that you are being ridiculous and over reacting but this is VERY odd inappropriate behaviour.
I'm a foster carer and have looked after abused and abusive young people. In not at all hysterical but I would be concerned in your situation too. I don't think there is evidence enough to report him but does he have contact with any other children? Volunteering etc? This could be a red flag but also would mean it would be important for you to think about doing something 'official'.
I have looked after abused children who have behaved similarly and have gone on to be abusers.
Being straight doesn't make men like little girls.
Being gay doesn't make them like little boys.
The two things are just not related - if he is sexually attracted to children it might be to boys or girls or both, whether or not his other interest is adult men.
Trust your instincts. At the very least your BIL is making it difficult for your DCs to have clear boundaries, leaving them vulnerable to abuse by BIL/other people.
Encourage your children to have clear boundaries by ensuring that you and people around them respect their bodies. Eg. No unwanted tickling, don't ask them to kiss/hug relatives if they don't want to etc. Read a children's book with them called The Right Touch, good for helping even very young children understand that their bodies belong to them.
It's not looking good. I would trust your instincts and tell your OH x
Ok- must remember to tell ds never to change his baby cousin's nappy ever again.
Well if he wants to flick his cousin's wilyl as well, probably a good idea. If it was just a case of changing nappies this would be a non issue, but it's not, it's inappropriate behaviour.
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