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Should I report this domestic violence?

(37 Posts)
Wreckless1 Tue 02-Aug-16 10:07:44

I work as a receptionist in a private clinic. Over the years, I have seen an elderly man and his wife visiting for various treatments. They are very rich business people, both over 80. He can be quite nasty and keeps all of the money. She has to ask him for money when she gets treatment and he makes comments about the money coming out of his bank. A while ago she was crying in the waiting room and eventually told me that he abuses her all of the time and cuts her private parts. When I told my boss he said that he knew all abut it but she definitely didn't want any help because it will bring bad publicity to the family and he might kill her.I saw them in town a while ago and the man was twisting her hand up and I coulkd see bruises on her leg the next time she came to the clinic. Maybe the bruises could have come from other things but maybe they were from her husband. I can't sleep because of thinking about it and what should I do. My boss also said that it might be a lie but I don't think that is the right way to see anything like this. My boss told me that he isn't allowed to say anything t anyone because of his professional rules and laws and people have a choice for what they do or don't do so he will sack me if I report it and he will be in trouble with his professional organization. I know this but it is f******g terrible and cant be right in this day and age.

whateveryousay Tue 02-Aug-16 10:10:48

Report it anonymously?

trashcanjunkie Tue 02-Aug-16 10:12:58

Utter bollocks. It's imperative you report this to police and social services. Be very clear about what your boss has said to you.

Sassypants82 Tue 02-Aug-16 10:13:37

That is absolutely heartbreaking. Do you think you could reach out to her to talk it over & encourage her to seek help? What a horrible old bastard.

toptoe Tue 02-Aug-16 10:14:25

I think she told you so you would help her. Can you speak to womensaid and ask them for advice anon?

ElsaAintAsColdAsMe Tue 02-Aug-16 10:15:01

I would contact women's aid for advice in this situation.

They will have experience of this and be able to advise, maybe you could even subtlety pass their number to her next time she is in?

katemiddletonsnudeheels Tue 02-Aug-16 10:15:16

You have a duty of care here, so do report it but also bear in mind it's unlikely anything will happen flowers

toptoe Tue 02-Aug-16 10:16:48

I wonder what the NHS guidelines are on this?

I know in schools if abuse is disclosed you have a duty to tell the child you can't keep it secret. You are legally obliged to report it correctly. But with adults I'm not sure. If she's vulnerable mentally it might be the same as it would be for a child

ApocalypseSlough Tue 02-Aug-16 10:18:10

Definitely report it, regardless of any client confidentiality what she told you wasn't in a clinical setting and you've seen them outside work too. I'm concerned about the safeguarding culture in your office- it does really exist does it? hmm

Wreckless1 Tue 02-Aug-16 10:36:42

The last time she came to the clinic (I don't want to say what type of service I work in) she just hung her head and when I tried to talk privately and said that id seen them when he had her hand she just said that he was helping her as she was dizzy. It didn't look like that at all but I totally get why she woukd cover for him. Our rules are clear about safe guardingchildren but that adults have to have client confidentiality and they make their own decision. I will try and make an anonymous report but I am also angry at my boss and our rules that don't help.

ApocalypseSlough Tue 02-Aug-16 10:52:40

Call Vulnerable Adults at your local council.
It's a grim way of looking at life but imagine what it would look like if something happened. Do you think a coroner would be impressed at your clinic's ethos?

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Tue 02-Aug-16 11:09:25

She's told you. That was either a conscious or sub conscious plead for help.
He cuts her private parts. He should be locked up for sexual assault.
Please report. I thought you had to any case under safe guarding laws

Pseudonym99 Tue 02-Aug-16 11:21:44

A receptionist wouldn't be duty bound to report it. A healthcare professional would. If you had a particular duty to do something, you would be aware of it.

EreniTheFrog Tue 02-Aug-16 11:27:02

I'd suggest that you try and take her to one side and ask her if she would like you to report it. If she says not, then respect that. She can make her own decisions, surely.

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Tue 02-Aug-16 11:27:48

Anyone can report abuse. We all have a duty of care

Welshmaenad Tue 02-Aug-16 11:35:32

Please please please report.

Call the POVA team within adult social services and report with as much info as you can give them. Professional rules of confidentiality always have an exception for disclosing harm to children or vulnerable adults.

If you are in England or Wales new social services laws have recently given SS and the police additional powers to investigate abuse of vulnerable adults and action will be taken with consideration to this lady's safety.

ElsaAintAsColdAsMe Tue 02-Aug-16 11:43:23

I think in this instance jumping in feet first and involving the police wouldn't be the best course of action.

When I was in an abusive marriage my first instinct was to protect my husband. It is very common to do that.

Calling the police over what she disclosed confidentially could very well make things worse for her as he will find out she has been talking and there is a very strong possibility she will deny it to the police.

Please contact women's aid for advice on how to proceed op. They could even call and discuss the situation with the police as they usually have a police officer specialising in these situations on call.

Pseudonym99 Tue 02-Aug-16 13:11:05

We do not all have a 'duty' to report abuse. Yes, anyone can report it, but it be dangerous to do so, as those with that specific duty will have had specific training.

Finola1step Tue 02-Aug-16 13:14:16

Get some advice first from Women's Aid, Age UK or the vulnerable adult/elderly section of your local social services.

ApocalypseSlough Tue 02-Aug-16 13:33:59

Pseudo by duty do you mean legal obligation? We certainly have a moral responsibility to.

Wreckless1 Tue 02-Aug-16 15:08:44

Hi Pseudonym99 could you please let me have more information about what you mean? I wasn't going to be doing anything drastic but probably just contacting our local social services but an really worried about doing anything that could remotely be dangerous to this poor lady. I was hoping that the social services people could maybe get some help to her or maybe get some information to her somehow so that she knows how to get help. Its all horribly worrying.

ApocalypseSlough Tue 02-Aug-16 15:43:18

wreckless that's ss' job. Call vulnerable adults.

ApocalypseSlough Tue 02-Aug-16 15:44:40

Your boss is talking absolute rubbish as well.

Pseudonym99 Tue 02-Aug-16 22:15:48

Yes, by 'duty' I mean legal obligation. That is the NHS's definition of the word. I suppose the NHS speaks a different kind of English to the rest of us. Morally you could consider you have a 'duty', or morally you may need to keep your nose out. Depends on the individual. Ideally you would need to ask the individual what they want you to do.

Pseudonym99 Tue 02-Aug-16 22:17:30

I would be put out if someone did something ony behalf without my consent. Others would feel differently.

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