Sexual harassment, illness and friendship(6 Posts)
2 years ago my daughters best friend got cancer. They were both 14, he was a boy. They both have moderate learning disabilities. Through their friendship I became very good friends with his mum, and so we were very keen to support them through this horrendous time. We visited hospital twice a week when he was in, and would have him round regularly when he was at home. This went on for about 8 months with no problems, and then my daughter told me he was getting her to play' bouncing games' and asking her to open her legs, and she didn't like it. I didn't know what to do - she was very innocent, but clearly uncomfortable, and I don't think he meant to be abusive, he was urge driven with some lack of boundaries because of his LD. My daughter still wanted to be his friend, so we carried on with contact, with me heavily supervising, but it seemed every time I left the room he would be asking her to open her legs ( she was dressed and they were only alone for a minute at a time, so nothing happened). I didn't want to upset my friend, but told her the visits were making my daughter stressed and we withdrew. I think my friend thinks we couldn't be bothered and she won't have anything to do with me now, - he made a good recovery and I see them at school but she blanks me. I feel wretched about the whole situation - that my daughter felt uncomfortable, that my friend felt I had abandoned her and that we weren't there to support him either through s horrendous time. I'm not sure how I could have handled it better or whether I can do anything now? Or should I just leave it?
You did what you needed to do to protect your DD and this is absolutely the right thing to do.
Did you tell your friend about the 'bouncing games'?
You know you handled it as you should have so stop beating yourself up about it.
How is your DD now?
Is she OK with the situation? Happier? More relaxed?
I would leave it and get on with your life.
I think you should have told your friend about it at the time. She could have had a talk with her son about appropriate behaviour. He could have done it to other girls with a completely different result. As it was, you just pulled away and that must have been very distressing for her.
I think you should explain to her now what happened and why you backed off, but to be honest, I think she'll wonder why you didn't mention it at the time
Imperial- she was in bits, I didn't feel I could add to the burden and I didn't want her to feel I was judging her son - which I wasn't. When we stopped visiting I still tried to keep our friendship going but she ignored me - but I felt some of that was because of her stress, and also the practicalities of answering texts while living in a hospital with little mobile reception etc.
Maybe I should leave it but she was a good friend, and when I see her posts on Facebook I do reflect on things.
I know not everyone will agree however:-
I know this may be incredibly difficult for you, however, I feel you need to tell someone that behaviour needs addressing as it is inappropriate like another poster said he waits until an adult leaves the room.
His mum probably will not believe you and it will cause more issues in your friendship, his behaviour could escalate.
I personally would speak to a teacher about what your daughter said. The behaviour is sexualised (he may of seen something on TV etc and doesn't actually understand what he's doing isn't appropriate) and made your daughter uncomfortable.
You did the right thing for your daughter.
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