Please Help Me To Know What To Do(14 Posts)
Long time lurker, but first time post hope I am in the right place ....
One of my relatives is a little girl aged 5 a beautiful bright, intelligent, loving, special little girl who I spend as much time with as I can
I have long had suspicions about her fathers behaviour towards her, the majority of the time he seems fine but there are occasions in the past when I have been concerned.
She spent the weekend with me when he collected her to go home the was a small battle over getting her shoes and socks on I was sat next to her while he was battling with her when she suddenly screamed in pain I looked down and he was gripping her tightly by the ankle and squeezing it tight, just out of sight but I could see. I told him to stop hurting her and said I would put the socks on her, but he brushed me aside and said he would do it. I was desperately trying to calm the situation when she suddenly screamed again and said hes doing it again and again I tried to intervene not totally successfully.
Minutes later he was walking out of the house with her hand in hand telling her they were going shopping and then home as if nothing had happened.
She is always asking if she can live with me forever. And I know she has problems at school sometimes.
Because I was so upset my daughter rang to speak to her mother to tell what had happened and was basically shut down and told to go away
I am heartbroken over what I saw the weekend and think if he can do that when I am 6 inches away from her whats he doing when he is alone with her and lone time with her happens a lot
This little girl is so special to me and I know my first priority is to her safety and happiness so where the hell do I go with this
Has she said anything else to you about her father's behaviour to her at home? What other suspicions do you have?
Is this all because he squeezed her lega whilst putting her shoes on?
I have to do this several times a day otherwise we would never leave the house.
Well I can only give a short reply here but I would say that children often disclose abuse in a very indirect way. That being said my daughter is always saying that she wants to live in a particular place forever because she has so much fun and doesn't want to leave. The next time she makes a comment like that responded with a comment such as " tell me why?" And see if it's about your house being fun or something amiss at home. Keep an ear out for comments such as " I don't like my dad" and probe further but never ask her outright if she likes her Dad or if he hurts her etc. ( this is leading). If she makes a disclosure such as my Dad hits me etc you can make a report to SS or the police and it would be down to them to investigate the extent of the problem.
Thank you for the replies so far -
She hasn't said anything about her dads behaviour toward her and a lot of the time they seem to have a good relationship, but on occasions he tends to keep poking at her winding her pushing her buttons. Hes a very odd but quiet lad and his father was very abusive especially to his mother despite this his father is a god to him.
The squeezing of the ankles was slyly done, and he had her ankle between his finger and thumb and was squeezing the ankle bones together there was no need for it. She didnt want to put her shoes on I know that and I agree she was playing up at the time but there was definitely a better way to deal with this including letting me do it it was not encouraging her to do as she was told it was nasty and viscous
I have history of working with children and am aware of CP issues. I am sure sometimes she does not want to go home because she does love it here, she was crying as she left this time which made it worse. I thank you Spirited for your reply and I will follow your advice I had already decided that I would see what else I can find out without without interrogating her so to speak, although I am terrified if I should ever have to get SS involved.
There's things in your OP that are worrying. You say you've long had suspicions about the fathers behaviour towards her. There must be quite a few other occasions where you've seen something that doesn't sit right with you. Also how you describe how he squeezed her ankle when he thought he was out of sight enough to make her scream, this rings major alarm bells.
Happy, adjusted children always want to go home imo. The fact that she wants to stay with you is telling.
What's your relationship like with either parent?
I do not like the way he winds her up for his amusement.
He is very ignorant and looses himself in TV or Computer he is actually computer obsessed and has to be reminded to answer her ( and anyone else) when she speaks to him - this is one of my big bug bears even if I am talking to someone else I have always indicated to all the children that I have heard them and will answer a soon as poss he just ignores ppl)
I have had to tell him not to drag her by her arm.
Living standards at home are not good but I have been told over the years by HVs that not everyone has the same standards grrrrr.
Mum does not get up in the morning he had to get her up for school (late always) and mum mentioned to me last week that she often crys in the morning when he is rushing her (makes me wonder if ankle squeezing is a regular occurrence)
During the first batch of cold weather november time last year I discovered that he was refusing to allow them to put the CH on because he was at war with the energy supplier. I begged them to put it on if it was money I would give them money I asked for my niece to come and stay with me in the warm all offers were refused. I eventually got mum to agree to accept some money for the heating and within minutes he phoned to say it wasnt necessary.
He took her to school in the cold weather without a jumper the school had to ring home to say she was cold and could they take a jumper in
I had a very good relationship with mum until the last few months we were very close mum seems to have lost her way and making some odd choices I am biting my tongue most of the time to keep the communication lines open between us. I could not bear to go NC and not see little one and this is what worries me if I get SS involved.
There's quite a few red flags here OP. I understand your hesitancy to involve SS but how much more do you have to witness before you contact them?
I'm wondering whether you could speak to your DN's school to see if they're concerned, which I can't believe they're not tbh.
Thank youNavyandWhite you are being very helpful.
School is another issue, she is bright intelligent always asking questions she only needs to be told something once or twice and its memory banked and recalled when she needs it, she is obviously learning at an expected rate at school and loves to learn new things, but she has had regular outbursts at school and I believe school have spoken to her parents and made some changes to her school day to see if it helps.
Honestly when I see her at home she is well behaved she can occupy herself well and play with others when the chance arises she shares takes turns enjoys board games has a great imagination etc etc so I dont know where these tantrums come from ...it breaks my heart tbh.
I have seriously considered talking to the school today but having been in a similar position with previous jobs I know once its flagged they are obliged to act.
I know it is DN that must come first but my God if I lost contact with her I am not sure what I would do and I know that is selfish and this is convo that has swam around in my head today
What a dreadful situation. You either sit back and do nothing so she can continue to have your love and support, or say something and risk no action being taken and her losing the loving relationship with you that seems like a refuge to her.
Have you had a conversation with the mum? Could you arrange a girly night for you both a try to get her to open up?
It's an awful situation to be in and I honestly understand your apprehension to speak to school or anyone else.
But from what you've written I think there are some definite safe guarding issues here.
Only you know what's going on and the severity of what is happening and only you can act on this. You sound like a lovely aunt and I'm glad this little girl has you.
Hopefully someone will come along with more experience than me to offer you some advice on what you can do. I'm glad you've posted though as it must be awful having this worry on your shoulders.
When will you see your 5 year old niece again, perhaps you can have a bit of a 'chat' to her and see if she says anything about her home life before deciding whether to speak to school or not?
What a terrible situation, I feel for your niece, and for you.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.