To have reported this to social services?(57 Posts)
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
Op yanbu. I think you did the right thing regarding protecting the dc.
Ea and control and physical is very difficult. Its not something easy to understand. It was only when I saw and met others in DV groups or read woman's trust posts that I have any sort of confidence that I did right in calling time. Exhaustion is a strong factor and sounds like your friend may well be that. Also there are often other worries. I cried for 24 hours solid after making a tough call and still don't know if I did right. I decided I didn't want to be the one who stood by and did nothing. I once saw someone who said it was the making of both her mother and her father (he went to prison) when the mother reported bruising but your friend will need lots of support. I would suggest you look at woman's trust and get some support there. Its a specialised area. I was offered help but thought I was possibly just depressed as dr was saying this. It was confusing. There are interventions that can help though and maybe solicitor was something your friend wasn't ready for. Good luck. we do the best we can at the time with the tools we have. As long as we do that we can't do any more.
Whatever your friends reaction might be is irrelevant, the children's welfare is infinitely more important than hers, as they have no choice at the moment but to live in that environment, whereas she is an adult. You definitely did the right thing.
Yanbu your friend may not thank you but her dc probably will. I wish my mum had had a friend like you when I was growing up
I also think you have done the right thing OP.
I have to admit I was a bit when you wrote that your friend was too frightened to be at home with her partner when he has been drinking so she goes to stay at a friend's, but she leaves her 14 and 16 there unprotected?
I know that victims of dv are often in a very vulnerable place and perhaps not thinking rationally, perhaps friend believes that her children are okay left with the partner.
But really, someone needs to look out for these two minors. Have they got anywhere else to go when Dad starts drinking?
SS should be able to advise and offer support for the children at least.
It is recognised that witnessing domestic violence is a form of child abuse, so all the 'he might not be hurting the children' schtick is nonsense. OP I think you did the right thing, at least there is a possibility that the children will get support from someone so they can make choices about where they want to be. I work with our youth homeless team and in this circumstance we would be offering advice to both children about exit strategies.
PS - can I also suggest maybe making contact with the children's school. I have seen many families in this situation - dad controls the finances and is also an alcoholic. The children may not be being directly abused however these children often come to school hungry and school work suffers because they have nowhere safe and quiet to do their work. The school are the front line workers with the children and can probably help them the most.
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.
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.
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.
"She's an adult making her own decisions"
but her children are not.
op - yanbu.
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.
of course you have done the right thing the only who has been betrayed are the children by both parents
Nice last post yaimee
Don't come across it often on MN.
YANBU but out of interest, why did you not report this years ago?
'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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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