Is my brother-in-law a paedophile?

(135 Posts)
Marmitelover72 Thu 29-Nov-12 10:56:40

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

CindySherman Fri 30-Nov-12 12:34:47

Another voice here to say this is not right at all and not to let him anywhere near your children in future.

seeker Fri 30-Nov-12 12:36:51

Valium, people on this thread have sqid that a man offering to change a baby's nappy or help with bathtime is a "red flag".

I agree the willy flicking thing is odd- but my dp's grandfather used to say he'd get his scissors out if he saw a grandchild or great grandchild's willy. I didn't like it, but it didn't make him a paedophile.

valiumredhead Fri 30-Nov-12 12:43:12

Offering to bath and toilet children who are capable of going by themselves,not putting a nappy on because he felt the child didn't need it, asking to flick his willy, being gone for ages and child being upset afterwards. Having a serious feeling something isn't quite right.

You are right , no singular thing is odd ( except for the willy flicking which is pretty bloody odd!) but all together that seems pretty inappropriate behaviour and nothing like a cousin changing his baby cousin's nappy.

stargirl1701 Fri 30-Nov-12 12:44:51

Trust your instincts.

I think that people have said that childless men offering to help at bathtime is unusual. It's the other behaviour that is the red flag.

OP - i'm as easy going as they come and I would be concerned about this. I feel for you.

Everybody else - there is no need to think because of this thread you should do anything differently with your male relatives. I love and trust my bils dearly. The difference is the Op has a gut instinct telling her something is amiss. She didn't look for this, it's just come to her. Children are abused in the home sometimes. It's a fact. Knowing that does not make you hysterical.

valiumredhead Fri 30-Nov-12 12:48:56

And saying you will chop willies off with scissors is a a very 'Grandparenty' thing to say to encourage kids to be modest, similar to my granny saying she'd chop my tongue off if I lied. 'Shall we flick your willy' - nope that is really bloody inappropriate.

Marmitelover72 Fri 30-Nov-12 12:52:12

Xxx
p.s going to tell DH on Sunday as its the only chance we will have to talk this weekend. It's the hardest thing I have ever had to do!!

Marmitelover72 Fri 30-Nov-12 12:55:57

sorry... I mean it's GOING to be the hardest thing I have ever had to do!

Good luck.
Hope he takes you seriously op.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 30-Nov-12 12:58:33

Good luck marmite.

ZuleikaD Fri 30-Nov-12 13:03:42

Good luck Marmite - we'll all be thinking of you and I hope it goes ok.

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Fri 30-Nov-12 13:13:37

Would it help maybe to show him this thread, or at least your first post?

Good luck Marmite Just remember, its better to have the conversation and deal with the potential argument than to NOT have the conversation and to have your children exposed to a paedophile sad

Show him this thread

Not only will he then have the facts, he will see how reluctant you were to think 'bad thoughts' and he will see the opinion of others (which should help to stop the 'hysterical' argument in it's tracks)

For what it's worth, I have no idea whether you BIL is a paedophile. The behaviour seems a bit off, but MAY be innocent. The park incident is worrying, but again MAY be innocent. For me, your gut instinct is almost the most damning evidence of all.

Show your DH this thread and for the sake of your sanity and in case your instinct is right, don't let BIL spend time alone with the children.

seeker Fri 30-Nov-12 13:45:57

Also remember that it all might be entirely innocent, dispite trial by mumsnet. Tell your dh your concerns- but be cautions and sensitive. And have in the back of your mind that you might be wrong.

That's definitely not right. Please trust your instincts and don't leave your children alone with him.
Most abuse happens with family member/close friend.
I would tell your DH as other posters have mentioned. 4 years is not too young to have a talk with about private areas and not keeping secrets etc.

If I were in that situation, I wouldn't want to see BIL again.

Good luck OP.

ImNotCute Fri 30-Nov-12 13:55:55

Good luck on Sunday OP. Your thread reminded me of another recently where a mum was unsure about a few things that had happened around nappy changes etc, but in that case it was the grandmother.

I know the op in that thread rang the nspcc helpline for advice and seemed to find them really useful. So perhaps consider a chat with the nspcc? They must deal with these kind of issues a lot and could give you impartial advice.

madwomanintheattic Fri 30-Nov-12 15:25:00

yy, seeker. As I said, I have a single friend who is identical, and kids get hysterical in cold parks frequently. The only thing I would question is the flicking comment, but that too can be explained by the whole rugger bugger male bonding thing, if that's the type of guy he is. Still inappropriate, but not a sign of paedophilia iykwim. the rest of it is good sound parenting and is only suspect because he is a single male of a certain age with no kids, which is the crappest of crap reasons to shout 'paedo', however sensitively. It shows up our own prejudices.

Instincts can be right, but you can be mistaken too.

madwomanintheattic Fri 30-Nov-12 15:30:01

re the willy flicking game - it's the sort of thing I can see bil doing. He has three kids, all boys, and would see it some sort of crap game meant to get them to put their trousers back on. It won't, obv. It's like kids shouting 'no, no, don't tickle me!' and holding their shirts up so you get better access to their tummies...

Bit grim, and I wouldn't have it in my house, but it's the sort of ridiculous game that some families play, if they don't have any major hang ups about genitalia, and don't see that it could lead to discussions around paedophilia or make children uncomfortable. It doesn't have to be sexual. It can be inappropriate without him being a paedophile, iyswim.

valiumredhead Fri 30-Nov-12 15:33:20

Dh is into rugby ( is that what you meant by rugger bugger?) he wouldn't ask if his nephew wanted his penis flicked, and would think it very inappropriate behaviour and so I disagree that it can be explained.

I agree instincts can be wrong sometimes, so I am not suggesting going in all guns blazing at all.

valiumredhead Fri 30-Nov-12 15:34:05

It can be inappropriate without him being a paedophile, iyswim.

good point

madwomanintheattic Fri 30-Nov-12 15:48:59

Yy, sorry. I was in no way suggesting this was a fine and dandy thing to be doing, just that I can see a context where it would just be a funny ha ha get your pants on or I'll flick your willy type thang.

It ain't a game I'm comfortable with, and I would find it inappropriate for a number of reasons, but it doesn't necessarily mean the perpetrator is harbouring undesirable thoughts wrt his nephew, or indeed have any particular desire to touch, flick, or otherwise. He might have thought it was a good threat to use to get him to put his trews on. <yick>

It is exactly the sort of shite that bil would find hilarious. <petitions for divorce on dsis's behalf>

HansieMom Fri 30-Nov-12 16:27:25

I think you should have your husband read this. There is too much to say to get him to listen to it all in a conversation. I think he would just refute things and not be able to listen to anything further.

The time when your son was sobbing hysterically for two hours won't leave my mind. Poor little boy.

madwomanintheattic Fri 30-Nov-12 16:52:27

I've had my kids sob hysterically for two hours in my own company. Particularly if they are cold or overwrought from being out for too long.

It's a reasonably common thing in little kids and doesn't mean he's a paedo. He may well be, but a kid crying means nowt.

seeker Fri 30-Nov-12 18:20:08

I am very u comfortable with this. I am always wary of "trust your instincts'. This man has done nothing wrong except make an ill judged comment. Which he made in the presence of the child's mother! And one person actually suggested that she should go to the police. She is risking a huge family explosion- on what grounds?

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