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To think this is emotional/verbal abuse - not just sweary parents?

(25 Posts)
MyrrhMaid Sun 14-Dec-14 14:31:57

Sorry this is long but I have to get this out.

Before I go on, just want to say upfront that I have reported these people to Children's Services, last week. So this is being dealt with now. And if I hear one more thing I will simply phone the police. The only thing that stopped me upto now was knowing, beyond a shadow of a doubt, they'd deny it. The kids look well presented and cared for and there is the usual ambient music of photos of the kids on the walls, etc. Other neighbours are a bit further away so only us affected by it- which means we have no back up when we say this is going on. Maybe we are not being believed..?

And also - this is very difficult for me as I had a very rough upbringing when my mum died and my dad re-married someone who we now know had MH issues which explains but doesn't excuse her neglect and (verbal, emotional, occasionally physical) abuse of me as a child. When I was 12 my GP called out Social Services but they were stupid enough to forewarn my stepmother they were coming, so the house was scrubbed top to bottom and they walked in to the smell of cakes baking. They believed my stepmother's denial and I was left in that situation for a few more years. So this is close to home, for me. In more ways than one.

When the council have confronted the neighbours saying we have complained about hearing DV sounds they have looked them right in the eye and utterly denied everything so we know they will deny to the authorities. Just like my stepmum did.

Last year we got new neighbours. They are council tenants - a woman in her twenties and a bloke in his fifties with a nursery age kid and a baby. They are unemployed so in all day and I hear this all day as I work from home.

Within days of them moving in, we could hear a lot of verbal abuse coming through the walls and then in summer, started hearing it in the garden. The council asked us to start logging what we heard with a view to possibly evicting them for antisocial behaviour. Here are a few examples which are word for word quotes, we heard the man or the woman saying to or in front of the kids.

"Get out of it you cunt!" (man to ?)
"I'll knock you out!" (woman to one of kids)
""You stay there whilst I sort this shit out!" (man to both kids)
"Move cos you're an idiot!" (woman to older child)
"Keep this fucker in cos he has shit on his shoe! If you go to fucking school with all this shit on your shoe!...." (Man to woman, in front of kids).
"Fucking get inside now!" (Man to older child).
Woman calling older child "a little wanker" when he got in her way.
Man numerous times when baby cries shouting at it that it is a "fucking cunt".

And so on. That is a fraction of the stuff we logged. But gives you a sense of what it is we are hearing. I rang Social Services, they came out for a couple of months but left the kids in situ. Then they seem to have signed them off.

The council made me feel like Hyacinth Bouquet objecting to having chavs next door but as I started logging it, seeing it written down in black and white I realised how bad it was, the verbal abuse of their kids. They were told the council was giving us recording equipment so went quiet for a couple of months.

Last week it escalated again to the point my kids and I several times heard the woman shouting fucking this, fucking that at the kids and then some ominous thumping sounds - so I contacted Children's Services and have been told it looks "concerning". That was Thursday or Friday and still no-one has come out but am sure they will turn up in the next few days? 'Concerning' means they'll act, right?

I can't say they are hitting the kids but we heard abusive shouting at the kids, loud thumps like someone or something hitting a wall or door, and remembering I had just last week heard the woman threaten to knock a child out, (and thought nothing of it at the time as she always speaks to them like that) I set the ball rolling. And yes I should have done it sooner, but with my last attempt at getting social services involved seeming to have failed, it all seemed pointless.

Am I finding living next door to this distressing because of my own childhood? Or is this how people talk to their kids now? Is this kind of abuse at the level where kids get taken into care? Did the social workers balls up by leaving the kids there? I wanted to sound off somewhere but also because my head is so fucked up due to my own childhood with an abusive step parent who fooled the authorities - I can't get this into perspective.

I do feel powerless as it feels like we aren't believed. I am not imagining this - my kids and husband hear it as well. I have emailed the council and our (tory, indifferent) MP so it is on the record that we tried to get someone to act, should something awful happen. As you always hear "Why did the neighbours do nothing?" We have done something but were made to feel like busybodies.

Am I making a mountain out of a molehill?

I hope help is on the way to get those kids out of that house (as I wish someone had got me out of mine). But does this sound like it is at a level where kids should be got out of there? Or am I seeing this as far worse than it is?

Also if no social workers appear at the house in the next couple of days - what do we do?

Genuinely asking for some perspective.

ChristmasDawndonnaagain Sun 14-Dec-14 14:37:46

1) Report to the NSPCC, they always follow up.
2) Is it possible you have missed a Social Worker's visit?
3) You are doing absolutely the right thing, I too was in a similar situation to you as a teen, my mother is an incredibly abusive woman.
I hope it is sorted for the sake of the children. I reported someone a few years ago. They too had parenting classes etc and hung onto the children. They also moved. I have recently heard that they were reported again when they moved and that the child that bore the brunt of their anger has been removed, so do keep reporting if necessary.

Cantbelievethisishappening Sun 14-Dec-14 14:39:16

I would be calling the police. Jesus.... this sounds horrific to have to listen to.

MyrrhMaid Sun 14-Dec-14 14:44:41

Thanks Christmas. Yes the first time I rang SS directly. This time I did i NSPCC as someone else said to me they kick arse.

They emailed me back for more details so I simply sent them part of the log we have built up over the months. They emailed back within a couple of hours saying it was "concerning" and that they will pass it on to Children's Services who may be in contact. That was Friday and they haven't contacted me yet. The family never go anywhere but have mysteriously vanished this weekend - I heard the woman packing the kids into the car with the usual "fuck" this and "fuck" that.

First time I was anonymous but this time I gave my name as I want them to be able to contact us if they need more info. My other (nice) neighbour works with kids in a home and she can spot a sw a mile off (as can I as I used to work with them) and as I have been stuck in the house the past few days, know no-one has come out.

We are not curtain twitching we just live in the middle of nowhere so if a person walks past or a car pulls into a drive everyone can hear it instantly.

MyrrhMaid Sun 14-Dec-14 14:48:03

Cant I wish I could sue them for child abuse as it's my kids who have to hear this - in their own living room or playing in their own garden. It can't not be damaging. If I could sue the council for housing them, I bloody would.

glammanana Sun 14-Dec-14 15:00:31

Myrrah I would certainly call in The Police on this,they could at least then get his/her name etc and see if there is any previous history of abuse and they can then get SS more involved as it sounds very scary indeed,those poor children do seem to be having a very hard time of it.
We had to do something similar a few years ago when we heard the father screaming and hitting the children and you would think butter wouldn't melt until I got a neighbour to listern when it was happening and we recorded the incident,SS then took action but it took a while the awful thing was the Father worked in Child Services and his excuse was he was stressed. !!

MyrrhMaid Sun 14-Dec-14 15:12:43

Yes the woman worked in a care home for elderly people down the road. Most of the residents are terminal. One of my other neighbours works there. The woman actually managed to get a CRB to work there but only lasted a couple of weeks.

My neighbour says that everyone on every shift refused to work with her. The woman who sacked her said they sacked her for using abusive language. I can't even imagine the mentality of a person, supposed to be helping elderly, terminal patients, who'd 'fuck' and 'cunt' in front of them and colleagues. Hopefully that is on the record somewhere and it might back us up. I forgot to mention that to anyone.

Saltysnack Sun 14-Dec-14 16:07:08

I don't think you are making a mountain out of a molehill. I'm sorry for your childhood experiences, but no, I don't think they are clouding your judgment here.

I would find that behaviour extremely distressing to live next door to, I would worry endlessly about the children and would want something concrete done. Thank you for taking action on their behalf

MyrrhMaid Sun 14-Dec-14 18:55:19

Thanks for those words, Salty. It is very hard to get out of your head when it is happening a metre or two away. I did wonder if I'd lost perspective - but this is more than just inappropriate sweariness, and I know that when I see it written down.

ouryve Sun 14-Dec-14 19:08:55

You are doing absolutely the right thing. The vast majority of parents don't talk to their kids like this.

Pagwatch Sun 14-Dec-14 19:13:53

I am sweary. I swear a lot. But I don't swear aggressively at anyone, let alone my children

There is a huge difference.

ninilegsintheair Sun 14-Dec-14 19:24:23

I dont think you're overeacting. Like you I had an emotionally/physically abusive upbringing thanks to my dad. I wish one of my neighbours had reported him at any point during the 18 years of hell I had. sad

Keep reporting it. Those children deserve better than abuse.

NotAClueReally Sun 14-Dec-14 19:37:46

No YANBU. I'd go so far as to say the world needs more people like you, actually.

raltheraffe Sun 14-Dec-14 19:46:09

You are right to report it but it is nowhere near the level of abuse for children to get removed. To take the kids into care there would have to be more evidence eg bruises, unhygienic house, kids dirty and unkempt.

I would say keep logging it, preferably record it as then there is proof and it is not your word against theirs.

I am sorry for your upbringing. I am a child abuse survivor and am still angry to this day that SS were not involved when they should have been.

Mostlyjustaluker Sun 14-Dec-14 19:58:00

It is very difficult for ss to confirm emotional abuse. Keep logging and reporting. If you think you hear domestic violence happening call 999.

Goldmandra Sun 14-Dec-14 20:01:22

You were right to report and would be to do it again in the future.

However, don't be surprised if you see very little changing. It is likely that SS will decide that this couple needs parenting courses and support to change how they relate to the children rather than that their children need to be removed. The first priority will be to keep the family together and make improvements to their home life. This would involve visits, help to make improvements to their home, even sending cleaners in if the house is very unhygienic, lifts to the childrens centre or the shops and help with organisation.

It is frustrating when you are aware of children being abused and nobody is doing anything about it but you can only do so much.

raltheraffe Sun 14-Dec-14 20:05:02

Why don't you tell them you can hear them abusing each other and their kids and you think their behaviour is shameful.

ouryve Sun 14-Dec-14 20:35:43

That always goes down well with aggressive bullies, ral. Never fails to inspire them to change their ways hmm

MyrrhMaid Sun 14-Dec-14 22:24:28

They know we can hear it. Even though we reported it anonymously the first time, it was obvious it was us. They toned it down after the council told them they might be loaning us the recording equipment. It's not that the screaming and abuse stopped, just it sounded more muffled and distant until this past week.

I don't get how going on courses would stop them. What is the point of that? The woman wouldn't tone down her language to keep a job so she isn't going to do it for two kids she doesn't care about. Although I suppose they have realised if they lost the kids they might lose the free council house as it's fairly obvious they only had the kids to get the housing points. From what I know of social services, that wouldn't surprise me, either to just send them on a course then sign them off whilst the behaviours continue apace. I was amazed the last time they came out to realise the younger child wasn't put in some sort of nursery in the day-time, to keep her safe and in a better environment at least a few hours a day. But she remains at home all day. I know from the constant screaming she is there.

Hearing a direct physical threat (and made outside the house where anyone could hear) last week made me wonder if it is more than verbal - as who would threaten to knock out a 2 or 4 year old? If those kids have bruises I am willing to bet money they are not in obvious places.

The house is very clean and tidy looking. They spend a lot of time lining up bins precisely and polishing windows. They have the cleanest car in the UK.

WhataMistakeaToMakea Sun 14-Dec-14 22:41:01

As a SW it sounds like gold has a good idea of what will happen. We aren't stupid to what's going on and I can well imagine the family you describe it's just we are very restricted in what we can do.

In order to get anywhere near removing children these days you have to have a huge amount of evidence. Unless there is an immediate threat of actual danger, you would need to prove you have done everything you can to support and offer the family help and guidance before you can say these people cannot change despite all this help.

The best thing you can do for the poor kids is keep reporting. Sometimes comments from neighbours can be that extra thing to bring to a meeting and convince people the family have not made progress. They wouldn't know it as I couldn't tell them (confidentiality) but some neighbours have given me brilliant evidence before.

MyrrhMaid Sun 14-Dec-14 23:29:16

Whata thanks that is reassuring to think it could in a small way make a difference. Obviously, from my childhood experience I would always have found this challenging to understand - why kids aren't just whisked away at the slightest bit of doubt - and at the same time I get why it is good, kind of, that that doesn't happen.

But the hardest part of this has been feeling like it is not worth bothering as you're hitting your head against a brick wall. When we did complain, nothing changed for those kids - or mine having to listen to it.

The council boast a multi agency approach but when they saw the full logs clearly weren't moved to act. I guess the police is the next port of call. But the council left me feeling like they thought I was a busybody so I guessed the police would be like that too. I'd give anything not to waste another moment of my life even thinking about this shit let alone having to keep logs, etc.

From what people are saying it looks like a case of complain every single time, log every single thing. The man is a right gobshite, and will probably try to do me for harassment!

greenbananas Sun 14-Dec-14 23:56:11

You are right to keep reporting, even if it seems to you that nothing is being done.

It winds me up when I read on mumsnet that there's no point on reporting because the abuse "doesn't meet the threshold". If you are concerned, then you should say so - you are simply doing the best you can for those children, and it does not make you a busybody!

Maybe if social services are able to prove that they are drowning in concerning reports that they haven't got the resources to investigate, they will get more funding?

It might be the case that something is happening behind the scenes, and they can't tell you. ...

Sorry this is so near the knuckle for you, it must be very distressing. I think you know, none better, that you are right to be worried and to take the best action you can... I do hope that parenting courses or whatever is offered will have an effect in this case!

MyrrhMaid Thu 18-Dec-14 21:20:55

Just a quick update. Looks like SWs were there today. We heard them furiously hoovering this morning and then two different cars in the drive, one after the other. (The whole time they have been there they only have the same few visitors). And no shouting at the kids all day. First time in a long time.

The minute the second car left, the man went off somewhere then reappeared. Still no shouting (and the getting in and out of cars is the usual flashpoint).

MyrrhMaid Thu 18-Dec-14 21:35:26

Forgot to say but can the SWs here tell me why they forewarn people in suspected abuse cases, that they are coming out? In my case, my stepmother was told by letter that they were coming and so she made me look like a liar. I had told my sympathetic GP about the neglect and what we'd now call emotional abuse, and also that the entire house was a total shit-hole. This gave her a week or so to tidy it from top to bottom, making me look like I'd made it all up. I have never forgotten that feeling of not being believed by adults - apart from my teachers and GP who totally believed me but couldn't get anyone to intervene or help me. After the SW left (I made myself scarce that day) my stepmother was ballistic about me making her look bad to other people. It was the 1970s and I'd have thought things had moved on.

This has brought all that back.

The hoovering suggested they had been forewarned. If the SWs had parked round the corner and turned up unannounced - they might even have heard something for themselves and got evidence.

Will they talk to the nursery? What we hear is so incredibly bad I can't believe the older child doesn't let something slip and if he is fucking and cunting in front of the teachers or other kids at this leafy, rural school - he will stand out like a sore thumb.

It's a relief they have been out now, but I just hope something happens.

Homepride1 Thu 18-Dec-14 21:39:08

I'm wondering if you live near me as I have heard exactly the same from my neighbors, the abuse, the thumps, it's all day everyday. I can honestly say in the time I have lived here I have never ever heard a nice word come out of their mouths to the children!

I have reported and I know other neighbors have to! I even called the school and expressed my concerns to them but it's still happening every single day.

Not sure what else I can do, they are also moving in a few weeks do hope they don't go off the radar

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