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Really need help - do I send this letter to Social Services or not?

(30 Posts)
paolosgirl Thu 04-Oct-07 21:38:33

I'll not bore you with the details, but basically a woman who used to live in our street (her DH still friends with some of the other DH's - they're still close by) has been drinking heavily over the past few years, has not been able to pick up the kids from school because of it, shouts and screams at them from 6.30am, turns up to school worse for wear - but not falling down drunk, fell down stairs when she was alone with them and an ambulance had to be called, and final straw recently was seen to kick the 3 yr old when he fell over (again, she appeared to have been drinking).

I spoke the HV about this 2 yrs back, she had a word with the woman who denied everything. Following the kicking incident I spoke to HV again, and she's referred it to SS, but has asked me to write to them also, with details of what I know.

Have written a letter tonight, but now have cold feet. Even though I'm not going to put my name to it, it will be obvious who sent it - and I don't want any retaliation from the woman, who is, to use the technical term, a head-case.

Should I send the letter or not????

kitsandbits Thu 04-Oct-07 21:40:58

I magine your self lying on the floor being kicked ar 3.

Imagine that was your mummy - she was the one taking care of you!

Of course you should send it!

2 years?? Thats awful.

CHOCOLATEPEANUT Thu 04-Oct-07 21:42:19

Send it

You are doing right thing

massivebigpumpkinface Thu 04-Oct-07 21:42:31

send it, please! You will be doing the right thing.

TotalChaos Thu 04-Oct-07 21:42:56

Nasty situation all around, but yes, I think you should send it. I suppose possibly you could phone up SS instead of write if you felt better doing it that way?

gingerninja Thu 04-Oct-07 21:43:21

I agree, you have to. That three year old can't. how desperate.

paolosgirl Thu 04-Oct-07 21:44:49

This is such a big thing - I don't want to stand by and do nothing, but it's going to be very obvious who sent it, as I'm sure they will have to discuss the letter with her. I've got 3 children also - one of whom is only 6 months. Supposing she takes it out on one of them? Seriously, seriously upset with it all.

omeN666 Thu 04-Oct-07 21:45:26

you have to send it, there is not really any choice..poor little soulsad

Blu Thu 04-Oct-07 21:45:37

Yes, i think you should send it - but I think you should sign it. presumably the HV asked you to do this so that they have an independent report - without a name the HV could simply say 'someone said'. But out confidential on it, and tell SS that you do not want your name given to the woman or anyone else.

lomondgal Thu 04-Oct-07 21:46:45

I would send it, couldn't live with the guilt and worry if I didn't sad

haychEebeeJeebees Thu 04-Oct-07 21:48:50

Definitely send it. No question.
Shouldnt worry about retaliation, sounds like she couldnt organise herself into any kind of retaliating confrontations.
And if she did do anything, log it all down as it will stand against her in the long run.
Just keep thinking of her dc well-being when you put the letter in the post box.

LostMe Thu 04-Oct-07 21:49:16

Only you know whether this is the right thing to do or not. From your post it seems as though you are doing the right thing. But what on earth is the HV doing about it?? For you to have already mentioned it twice and still they are reluctant to intervene????? I know I would also be worried about retaliation and who are we to tell you to send it or not. All I can say is that I would be proud of a friend like you. It sounds like those children need a guardian angel and you are doing what you can. x

MyTwopenceworth Thu 04-Oct-07 21:51:10

Yes. If you try to balance it ....You are an adult, the victim is a child. You live in a seperate house, the child has to live in that environment. You can access a lot of protection - If the mother came so much as up your path, you could call the police for immediate assistance, you could also get a restraining order. A child can die at the hands of abusive parents because they couldn't get that sort of protection, they were just left in that situation. I truly believe you must do this.

SparklyFairy Thu 04-Oct-07 21:51:57

I would send it. Just think if you were that three year old. He can't do anything about it so you need to do it for him.

GodzillasBroomstick Thu 04-Oct-07 21:54:58

I lived next to a woman who slept (when i say 'slept' i mean the loud screaming, thudding sort of 'sleeping') with various blokes while leaving her kids locked up in their bedroom for hours and hours on end, until they were screaming and crying to be let out, and we could hear it through the wall. We know they were locked in because we could hear it click, and also saw it when we babysat for an hour once.
Thing is, we had same dilemma. To tell or not to tell? Eventually we did, but she knew who it was and harrassed us about it for years after. The GOOD thing is...she stopped doing it, and those kids now have a normal life, and she had a steady partner last time i knew.

paolosgirl Thu 04-Oct-07 21:55:34

I mentioned it once about 2 years ago to the HV, and there was a team meeting in the surgery, involving the HV team and the GP's. She was interviewed, but denied everything, and so nothing further could really happen in terms of support.

Now it's obviously a bit more serious, with ambulance service records etc to build the case. I honestly don't want anything to happen to the kids, but really just want her to get help. She has had an unbelievably hideous time as a child and teenager herself at the hands of her mother and father, and really just needs help - but I'm not sure she'll see it like that sad

Sunshinecursedmummy Thu 04-Oct-07 21:59:47

I think you should send it as tough as it is. You would feel terrible if you did nothing and things escalated.

Poor poor kids.

LostMe Thu 04-Oct-07 22:00:31

I honestly believe you are doing the right thing. She does need help and this way she will get it. And the children will be protected.

gingerninja Thu 04-Oct-07 22:06:33

Paolosgirl, you're right, she does need help too but she's unlikely to seek it herself. Please please report this. I can't bare the thought of a child being subjected to violence and people knowing about it and doing nothing. I appreciate your concerns maybe if you ask they'll keep you anonymous

pneumalifenewname Thu 04-Oct-07 22:08:13

Send it. You can take the crap - the 3 yearold acn't

GodzillasBroomstick Thu 04-Oct-07 22:09:31

It may not make much difference if they keep it anon, ginger, my report was anonymous but the pesky woman knew whodunnit anyway!

tatt Thu 04-Oct-07 22:10:04

Unfortunately you have to, unless you are prepared to work with her yourself to try and solve her problems. If you see any abuse again try to photograph it or at least to note names of other witnesses.

clandestine Thu 04-Oct-07 22:11:10

Paolosgirl I think you should think of it as getting her (and her children) the help that she obviously needs, rather than doing something awful.

SS are generally measured in their reponse to this kind of situation, if anything possibly too much so.

If it was me who was out of my mind most of hte time on drink and drugs, I would hope in my heart of heart that someone cared enough to step in and put the needs of my children first

If it helps with your decision at all, in a similar situation, I would send the letter in a heartbeat!

paolosgirl Thu 04-Oct-07 22:12:44

Right, the letter is typed and ready to be printed. DH has just been in to see how I'm getting on, and is also urging me to send it. There's a postal strike on for the next few days, which gives me a chance to come to terms with what I need to do.

A huge thank you to you all here - I was getting quite emotional about the whole thing, and needed a bit of a push.

pneumalifenewname Thu 04-Oct-07 22:15:51

Well done brave ladeee

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