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To have reported this to social services?

(57 Posts)
frappuccino Fri 29-Mar-13 23:34:16

I will leave out some details so as not to identify myself. I have reported a friend to social services as she is in an abusive relationship and I'm worried about the effect it may have on their children. She has admitted that her partner has physically abused her on a number of occasions, sometimes when the children have been in the house.

As well as this he controls her financially. She has two jobs and works very long hours but has to give him her wages then borrows money off family and friends because she can't afford food/petrol/Christmas presents for the children. She often stays overnight with friends because she is too scared to go home when he has been drinking heavily but will leave the children there with him. They are not small children, I'm talking teenagers here but still minors and I feel it's damaging all the same sad

WorraLiberty Sat 30-Mar-13 00:03:31

Are the teenagers happy to stay with their Dad without their Mum in the house?

I'm not really sure what the tenancy has to do with it as I imagine after 20 years it doesn't really matter whose name it's in.

I don't blame you for being concerned, but I'm not sure SS will even investigate this.

Just be there for her? I'm guessing that's all you can do.

AgentZigzag Sat 30-Mar-13 00:04:05

I thought the same as Amber yaimee, and I wasn't looking for a reason to get a dig in at the OP, I was just wondering what the OPs motivations for the call were.

She might not have realised what she was doing because she is, to some extent, also bound up in her friends situation and it's affected the way she sees it.

Even if it was to give her friend a kick to get out of the relationship, that could still be taken to be out of genuine concern and frustration at seeing her friend being repeatedly hurt.

aldiwhore Sat 30-Mar-13 00:04:18

YANBU. Whatever your reasons.
YABU if you expect thanks. YABU if you think it will force change. However, you have done all you can do.

And actually, YANBU to have done it because she went against your advice and went back... because really if she's adamant she wants to stay with him and SS turn up she may well convince them all is well and she was just ranting to a friend.

Been in a similar situation as your friend but without children involved, and it's a desparate, desolate place to be. Frustrating for anyone who cares. With children involved I'm sure there's a different spin on it, and consequences, but ultimately she's your mate and you want her safe... so please keep telling her that, encouraging her when she's feeling brave (have an action plan) and supporting her when she's not, and be prepared for her to change between those feelings in a blink. It's all you can do.

It all sounds so bleak, but trust me, if you are there (again and again and again) when she's feeling strong, and you have a plan, and she's is up for that plan, then you may be the key factor in her escape. I wouldn't be where I am now if it wasn't for a very patient mate who had a plan, and a 30 minute rage that made me follow it to the point of no return. But kids weren't involved, so hopefully someone can come on who's been there with children/teens who'll better advise you.

Unreasonable or not, you're a good friend, and I suspect it's impossible to put your own feelings aside when you know someone's folded and gone back to a bleak existence.

AmberLeaf Sat 30-Mar-13 00:04:48

Yaimee why would I be looking for a reason to have a dig? I don't know the OP from a nbag of chips.

I'm giving my opinion because that is what the OP asked for.

If I were in her friends position I wouldn't thank her for reporting me to social services.

I do think from what she has said that she possibly felt pissed off or frustrated that her friend didn't take her advice and then went back to him. I can understand her frustration as I've been in her position with a friend, but I wouldn't have reported it to social services.

aldiwhore Sat 30-Mar-13 00:05:42

If SS won't do anything, next time she turns up beaten and ready to run, phone the police... it very hard to know what to do. I could have throttled my mate at the time, my saviour.

Wingedharpy Sat 30-Mar-13 00:09:50

Well I personally think you've done the right thing frappuccino.
Your friend is an adult and is entitled to have a relationship with an abusive man if she so chooses but the children are entitled to be brought up in a non-abusive environment so their own relationships will be healthy.
At 14 and 16 years old they are still minors.

thezebrawearspurple Sat 30-Mar-13 00:10:45

You did the right thing, those kids deserve to live in a safe and secure environment. Somebody has to look out for them. This may help her get the help she needs.

Viviennemary Sat 30-Mar-13 00:12:36

Under the circumstances I don't think you should have reported it to social services without telling her. Her children are teenagers and there is no suggestion that he is abusing them.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 30-Mar-13 00:12:48


Your friend should be being considered to be a vulnerable adult so ss could have a duty of care to her as well as to her children.

Op are you a police officer a social worker or do you hold any DV related qualifications or work for women's aid or any other DV org ?

If no you did the right thing you have assisted her in every practical way a good friend could reasonably be expected to do and by passing it on to someone who is qualified to assist you have been more of a friend than most people would.

Being a good friend sometimes means doing things our friends may not wish us to do because its the only way to get them help and support.

yaimee Sat 30-Mar-13 00:15:01

amber it was just the way it came across to me, from your first post asking if op had offered support, then when she responded that she had and explained your next post made the assumption that the op had called ss because she was annoyed with her friend for refusing support. Seemed like the op couldn't win.
I have to agree that calling ss wouldn't have been what I'd have done either, but I think the op sounds genuinely concerned for her friend and her childrens safety, I don't think she sounds vindictive. It must have been a hard decision to make.

AmberLeaf Sat 30-Mar-13 00:22:51

Yaimee info in the OP was scant, so I asked questions. That is how it works on here.

You're reading far too much into it.

AgentZigzag Sat 30-Mar-13 00:24:01

'I don't think she sounds vindictive'

And that's a good way of judging whether you did the right thing OP.

If you didn't do it to get at your friend (and it doesn't come across as that at all to me) or because you were frustrated she wasn't doing what you wanted her to do at a time you thought she should, then you were doing it for the right reasons.

Nobody wants to call them, if only for the reason that something must be up to feel you have to do it, but the stories you hear of when SS get it completely and very damagingly wrong, don't really bolster the comfortable thought that 'if you've got nothing to hide you have nothing to fear'. There would be a worry in the back of my mind that I didn't have complete confidence they'd make the right judgement about the situation.

pollypandemonium Sat 30-Mar-13 00:27:38

YANBU but out of interest, why did you not report this years ago?

yaimee Sat 30-Mar-13 00:27:48

ok amber I'm sorry if I misunderstood!

AgentZigzag Sat 30-Mar-13 00:31:00

Nice last post yaimee smile

Don't come across it often on MN.

AmberLeaf Sat 30-Mar-13 00:46:20

No problem Yaimee smile

SatsukiKusukabe Sat 30-Mar-13 01:51:26

of course you have done the right thing the only who has been betrayed are the children by both parents

BartletForTeamGB Sat 30-Mar-13 02:24:04

I imagine my mother would have livid and would have done passive aggressive sad faces had MN been around at anyone who had reported my father's violence to social services but for the sake of us, their children who had to live like that & suffer that, I wish someone had so much. In fact, I can't believe how many people must have known what was happening & did nothing.

SatsukiKusukabe Sat 30-Mar-13 02:29:05

exactly Bartlet.

ceres Sat 30-Mar-13 06:29:07

"She's an adult making her own decisions"

but her children are not.

op - yanbu.

Hesterton Sat 30-Mar-13 06:37:11

Does she know about Woman's Aid? Another thing you could do for her might be to signpost her there.

PsychoCynic Sat 30-Mar-13 06:55:44

There are other agencies you could have involved OP, rather than SS. Personally, I'd be very apprehensive in calling SS, it could back fire and make her situation far worse. I grew up with a violent, alcoholic father and for some reason, we were ashamed and never spoke of it to anyone outside our family. You say your friend doesn't like going home but leaves the children there? I find that hard to accept, in a way that she would put her own welfare before her children. Either way, I hope things work out.

Altinkum Sat 30-Mar-13 07:59:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

teacherandguideleader Sat 30-Mar-13 08:13:26

If I was given as much information as in the OP about a family at school, I would be filling in a Child Protection concern. YANBU.

RandallPinkFloyd Sat 30-Mar-13 08:16:18

It think it's an impossible situation and tbh I don't think there is a right or wrong because there are no winners here.

The person in question is living a miserable life and so are her children. The OP is having to sit back and watch. Horrible all around.

I could say I wouldn't have called SS because I don't think I would, but I can't know that because I'm not in the situation. I don't have years worth of back story and details, and most importantly I'm not emotionally involved.

It easy to be objective when you're on the outside.

OP no one on here can tell you if you've done the right thing or not, it would make life a lot easier if they could but they can't. What is obvious though us that you care about your friend and are desperate to find a way to change things for her.

Unfortunately, frustrating as it must undoubtedly be, I don't think you can change things for her. Only be there to support her when she makes the decision to change things for herself.

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