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Do you involve yourself or stay out of it?

(23 Posts)
BonjournoBono Fri 24-Mar-17 09:11:22

My teenaged DD witnessed an altercation and told me about it. I hesitated as what to do because we live near all the parties involved. I decided at the time it was best to tell the victim that my DD was a witness because I realised they were involving police. Victim wants to press charges.

I now have the decision as the parent whether she gives a formal statement. DD is the only independent witness and IMO it is morally right that she does do it, but as she is only a minor is this too big a thing to ask of her? Speaking to her she initially was keen to and not traumatised. She is 14, intelligent and reasonably mature. It was not particularly violent per se. She is worrying a bit now though and seems nervous. If the police want to investigate then I believe that is the right thing to do. But I also appreciate this is a big ask of a child. I don't have to agree to it, they made that clear.

Huldra Fri 24-Mar-17 09:18:12

Giving a statement may make her feel nervous in the short term but what would her feelings be in a month or two years time? Would she feel as if it were always hanging over her?

My son has given a statement before, it was concerning dangerous driving and someone being knocked over. Someone ended up lying in the road with their leg bone sticking out and an angry driver. The police were great with him and honestly I think it was good for him to do it.

Cartright Fri 24-Mar-17 09:20:20

I'm not sure if your question is if you should involve yourself in your daughter's decision, or involve yourself in the case, but I think if she is prepared to make a statement she should do so. I think she may regret it later if she doesn't, and a reasonably mature 14 year old is old enough to understand that sometimes we do things we may not find easy because they are the right thing to do.

BonjournoBono Fri 24-Mar-17 09:22:21

It's because the decision is mine ultimately as her parent this is what the police told me. I can say yes or no. She will do it if I say she can or not do it if I say no to them.
I'm not a witness so I cannot make a statement

Allthewaves Fri 24-Mar-17 09:22:22

She witness something and police are involved. It's pretty black and white to me that she needs to make a statement. Not doing so gives her the message that it's ok to be the bystander and not do anything

MiddleClassProblem Fri 24-Mar-17 09:26:21

What are any reasons not to?

What if she had been the victim in something similar and a witness didn't give a statement?

BonjournoBono Fri 24-Mar-17 09:27:08

We live near them is the only reason that's making her nervous, I think if this was a complete stranger it would feel different to her

TheUpsideDown Fri 24-Mar-17 09:27:56

Agree with Allthewaves
Yes, as a witness to a crime she should give a statement. That's the obvious right thing to do.

HecateAntaia Fri 24-Mar-17 09:28:23

If it was your daughter that was a victim and there was someone who was a witness, would you want them to stay out of it or make a statement that could help your daughter get justice?

Absintheshots Fri 24-Mar-17 09:29:17

Is giving a statement put her in any kind of danger? I am guessing not, so of course she should. She has witnessed the incident, so she is involved already. At 14 she is more than old enough to understand about telling the truth, and consequences about lying - which doesn't even apply in this case. The police is not the enemy, what is there to fear to speak to them? Telling her to refuse gives a weird message against the police.

wettunwindee Fri 24-Mar-17 09:32:26

Of course she should.

Imagine how you'd feel if your daughter depended on another 14 year old to get justice.

The police aren't going to shine a light in her eyes and play good cop bad cop. They understand how to do this properly and you'll be allowed to be there the entire time.

I assume her name will remain confidential.

BonjournoBono Fri 24-Mar-17 09:35:19

It's not the police that have made her nervous, it's the accused person. The police are very nice and I have 100% faith they will be kind and lovely as they already have been. It's not a police issue it's the fact that the assailant did something violent (male on female) and it's making her nervous for herself and for me, does this make sense? He knows who we are and where we live

wettunwindee Fri 24-Mar-17 09:39:56

and does he know she's the only witness?

BonjournoBono Fri 24-Mar-17 09:40:48

I'm not sure because I know that he had not been arrested when the police spoke to us initially but it is entirely possible

Absintheshots Fri 24-Mar-17 09:42:43

If you are worried about the accused, I understand better. Hope someone more involved with this sort of things will give some advice, my kids safety would come first so I can't invent advice when I don't know at all how this works.

PebbleInTheMoonlight Fri 24-Mar-17 09:46:44

Speak to the police about your safety concerns for your daughter because of the nature of what she witnessed and their proximity to your home.

This won't be new to them and they'll be able to spell out exactly what support is available and how to obtain it.

To be honest I would still encourage my daughter to tell the truth because thugs only get away with things like this because they rely on their reputation to protect them from prosecution as witnesses won't step forward.

Best of luck flowers

BonjournoBono Fri 24-Mar-17 09:48:58

Thanks, this is what I felt was right anyway but nice to get opinions on it. I will talk to them about it

TheLuckyMrsPine Fri 24-Mar-17 09:59:48

I think that you need to look at giving a statement from a slightly different perspective. You DD needs to view it as the police asking her what she saw and her giving the facts as she saw them.

It's not about getting someone in to trouble, it's about answering questions factually.

I understand that you are nervous about her safety but is that a real threat do you think? What would the person pressing charges think if you refused for your DD to tell the police what she witnessed? Would the situation still be awkward with the victim by not giving a statement?

It is very difficult - does she go to school with the alleged offender? Are they likely to bump in to each other? Are they the type of person that would seek her out/ harass her? Is the offence likely to be dealt with in Crown Court or is it a summary offence likely to be dealt with in Magistrates?

there are so many variables I can understand why you are hesitant.

juneau Fri 24-Mar-17 10:07:37

I think she should do it. After all, she will merely be stating what she saw, not accusing anyone or making any value judgements. I feel its our civic duty to give a statement when we see something happen. She is old enough to understand that and AFAIK the police are very good these days at safeguarding DC and making sure they have an appropriate chaperone present, etc.

Allthebestnamesareused Fri 24-Mar-17 10:20:12

At 14 if she had committed a crime she would be criminally responsible. I think the police re very good at dealing with young adult witnesses and indeed if it ended up in court and she had to give evidence (she may not have to , they may just accept her statement) then often that can be via video.

She sounds like she is sensible young lady. If she were mine I'd let her.

wettunwindee Fri 24-Mar-17 10:27:01

Ah. It sounds like she won;t immediately be suspected by the, um, suspect.

Honestly, you may get a policeman or lawyer on the thread but you would be best served going to the police station and asking these questions directly. They do have a vested interest in your DS giving a statement but they can still give you better and more specific information that a parenting forum - not that you were wrong to ask here.

emmyrose2000 Fri 24-Mar-17 11:40:28

If I'm understanding correctly, it's not the actual dealing with the police that concerns you or your daughter, it's the possibility of retaliation later by the accused (and/or anyone else involved)? If so, this is a very valid concern, and I can understand your unease.

Does the accused or anyone else other than the victim know that your DD is a witness? If not, is there a way for the police not to mention DD's name when dealing with the accused? Could she just be referred to as "a witness"?

Ultimately, giving the statement is the right thing to do, but I can certainly understand your worry if retaliation is a possibility. I'm sure the police have dealt with this sort of thing many times before, so I'd raise this concern with them and see what they say.

BonjournoBono Fri 24-Mar-17 11:50:22

It's the retaliation aspect completely and this is based on a bad experience we had a few years ago with a really horrible neighbour. IMO In that case he was quite mentally unstable and I had to call the police a few times about his behaviour towards me and they would warn him. It was always intimidating and in front of the kids. It only stopped when they moved out. I am still angry that I didn't push to prosecute him for it but because we had to live there it didn't seem like a good idea to antagonise him more.

This situation has reminded DD of this and I am trying to be reassuring towards her about it. I can't make her any promises though because other people are unpredictable. I think once you realise some men have no boundaries in their behaviour towards women it scares you as a female doesn't it?

I don't know what he knows, I don't know what he saw afterwards or what has happened after I spoke to the police. I will speak to them at our arranged time later. I think DD just needs some reassurance! She feels the same way I do about justice but I did not have to tell the victim that DD saw it, we could have just said nothing

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