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WWYD if your DD told you this?

(309 Posts)
ljs1979 Sat 27-Feb-21 17:33:50

Name changed for this just in case the person concerned is on here.

My DD (15) has just told me that one of her friends who lives locally is having a hard time at home but doesn't know who to confide in. She said her friend (same age as my DD) is living with her Mum, step dad and little brother (aged 5), and that both her and mum are afraid of step dad. I asked why - she said he starts lots of arguments and there's always shouting in the house, and that at one point (a few months ago), stepdad held a knife to both her and Mum's throat (5 year old little boy was sleeping upstairs when this happened). She said Mum got her and her friend out of the house and they stayed with a relative for the night.

I asked had Mum phoned the police or tried to get any help? She said no, her friend told her mum is too scared to do this. Her friend made my DD "promise not to tell anyone because I don't want my step dad to go to prison". My DD asked her friend can I tell my Mum about it, as I know she'd want to help if she knew. Friend said yes you can tell your Mum but no one else (hence how I know).

This is a relatively new friend of my DD's - we moved house and she lives locally (they get on the same bus to school hence she's recently got to know her more). I asked my DD if school are aware of the situation, or if anyone at all is involved with the family to support them - she said not that she knows of, she gets the impression from her friend that Mum is too scared to involve anyone for help.

I'm posting for people's opinions as it just sits really, really uncomfortably with me, that a woman, her teenage daughter, and a little boy are at risk of harm from this man just a few miles from my house, but no one knows about it except me and DD. I desperately want to reach out to this poor woman and her kids, but would I be overstepping the mark? It's worth saying I've never met her and I don't even know where their house is (DD knows).

I've said to DD if your friend is ever worried or feels unsafe she's welcome at our house anytime - day or night - please let her know that, etc. My DD is going to pass that on.

Is there something else I should do? WWYD?

OP’s posts: |
Chimeraforce Sat 27-Feb-21 17:39:15

My best mate had an abusive, violent dad who used to beat her and her Mum. (left the son alone though 🙄).
My mum let my mate spend as much time as wanted at ours. She was practically family. Ironic as we were piss poor and her parents were wealthy, not that she saw any of it.
I don't know what else you can offer just show the door is open.
My mate dated a knife an and then married a violent man so I hope she's OK. 😭

ljs1979 Sat 27-Feb-21 17:42:27

@Chimeraforce

Yes I asked about the little boy - DD told me stepdad "won't touch him because he's his own". In some ways I'm relieved at least one of them is safe, but it just sits so uncomfortably, I wish I could do something to help them. sad

OP’s posts: |
haggisandmarsbar Sat 27-Feb-21 17:43:55

I'd mention it to the school as they can make a safe guarding referral, if you explain you know in confidence and the school will deal with it sensitively, they may well have concerns of their own already.

StrangeAddiction Sat 27-Feb-21 17:44:20

To be honest it sounds like something beyond you reaching out to them. I think you need to involve the school and let them sort it out.

It's lovely that you have said the friend can come to you but that could create problems for your family if he gets wind that she's told you. I'd also feel sorry for the 5 year old left behind. He could grow up to think it's normal and carry that abuse on (obviously he will probably be terrified if he saw something like that at his age but over time could become desensitised to it.)

MiddlesexGirl Sat 27-Feb-21 17:44:54

I would contact NSPCC for advice.

thefirstmrsrochester Sat 27-Feb-21 17:47:07

I would contact your dd’s friends school to discuss safeguarding concerns.

doctorhamster Sat 27-Feb-21 17:47:18

Yes I agree that you should speak to school - the website should tell you who the safeguarding lead is.

JustLoveBarneyRonay Sat 27-Feb-21 17:47:28

I would take it to the safeguarding team at school.

I work in safeguarding, there may already be concerns and information sharing is vital.

MixedUpFiles Sat 27-Feb-21 17:47:53

I’ve been the kid in that house.

The right thing to do in theory is call social services. But there is a catch. When they investigate, there is a good chance mom will deny everything and the abuser will be infuriated by the entire incident and things will only get worse. This is why mothers have to be the ones to step up and protect their kids.

Callingallskeletons Sat 27-Feb-21 17:49:22

Definitely contact the school, they will make a safeguarding referral and intervene

HarrietLong Sat 27-Feb-21 17:50:00

Please report it to the school or NSPCC. Those poor children.

ljs1979 Sat 27-Feb-21 17:50:33

MixedUpFiles

I’ve been the kid in that house.

The right thing to do in theory is call social services. But there is a catch. When they investigate, there is a good chance mom will deny everything and the abuser will be infuriated by the entire incident and things will only get worse. This is why mothers have to be the ones to step up and protect their kids.



This was my worry too.

My first thought was I need to involve the school - but if DD's friend has only told DD and given her "permission" to tell me only - then they'll know where it's come from and would they even thank us for that? But potentially it could save this woman and her daughter's life! So hard to know what to do.

OP’s posts: |
Yebanksandbraes Sat 27-Feb-21 17:50:48

The friend may have told your DD and said she could tell you because she thinks you will be able to help. She may be scared and not know what to do, but she may be hoping that you will know and do something to end this horrible abusive situation. Please get some advice from the police/school/NSPCC/social services even if just anonymously at first. Those children are not safe.

ljs1979 Sat 27-Feb-21 17:51:34

HarrietLong

Please report it to the school or NSPCC. Those poor children.



I know, my heart was breaking for them when DD told me sad

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ItsJackieWeaverBitch Sat 27-Feb-21 17:51:51

I would contact the school, tell them what your daughter has said and let them set the wheels in motion. This man is very dangerous and could kill them- he’s already held a knife to their throats.

Didiusfalco Sat 27-Feb-21 17:53:38

Contact the DSL at both the secondary and little boys primary if you know which one he is at. Even if he’s not being harmed, witnessing domestic violence is still abuse. You sound lovely to be offering support and an open house to the girl.

SnotLongTilEaster Sat 27-Feb-21 17:53:43

This is so sad. You’ve been amazing to let the DD know she can stay with you if ever she’s afraid. Perhaps you can extend that to her family also?
When I was younger, I remember myself, my sister and my mother being thrown out of the house in the middle of the night quite a few times! Thank god we had my wonderful grandmother, but your DD’s friends mother may have nobody??

ljs1979 Sat 27-Feb-21 17:54:02

Yebanksandbraes

The friend may have told your DD and said she could tell you because she thinks you will be able to help. She may be scared and not know what to do, but she may be hoping that you will know and do something to end this horrible abusive situation. Please get some advice from the police/school/NSPCC/social services even if just anonymously at first. Those children are not safe.



That's a good point. Maybe she agreed to DD telling me in the hope I could do something. Bless her. sad

You're right - I need to report it. I'm going to call the school on Monday.

OP’s posts: |
Cocolapew Sat 27-Feb-21 17:55:53

Tell the school. It doesn't matter whether the mum would thank you or not, you can't keep this a secret.

ljs1979 Sat 27-Feb-21 17:56:10

SnotLongTilEaster

This is so sad. You’ve been amazing to let the DD know she can stay with you if ever she’s afraid. Perhaps you can extend that to her family also?
When I was younger, I remember myself, my sister and my mother being thrown out of the house in the middle of the night quite a few times! Thank god we had my wonderful grandmother, but your DD’s friends mother may have nobody??



Yes of course, I'd let them all come here if they needed somewhere safe. I just thought in the first instance to offer my DD's friend somewhere safe because Mum doesn't yet know her DD has told anyone... and I don't know how that would affect the dynamics. Would it inflame things for them at home? I don't know her mother at all, I don't want to make it all worse. sad

OP’s posts: |
user1936784158962 Sat 27-Feb-21 17:57:09

No, you probably won't get any thanks. That's not really the point. This is not a secret you can keep.

GintyMcGinty Sat 27-Feb-21 17:57:17

I would probably begin by calling NSPCC for advice and I would consider reporting it to the police and social services.

user1936784158962 Sat 27-Feb-21 17:58:26

You're really not qualified to try and intervene yourself. You could very easily put them in more danger by trying. Report it to the people whose job it is to intervene.

SnotLongTilEaster Sat 27-Feb-21 18:01:13

You will not make it worse at all. Just get your DD to tell her friend that they’re all welcome if ever they need somewhere. Your DD’s friend will tell her mother if needs be, I’m sure of it.

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