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Reporting Neighbours to Social Services?

(12 Posts)
SweetOne92 Thu 29-Oct-15 16:07:25

I am new here and I don't have any children, but I thought this was the best place to come about this issue, so I was wondering whether anyone can help me, or say whether what I did was the right/wrong thing?

Basically I reported my neighbours to social services last night and the guilt over whether I did the wrong thing has been gnawing away at me all day. What happened was this. Since I moved into the flat above them a year ago, several times now I have heard the mother and step father (he's worse) yelling at the primary school age daughter and being extremely unreasonable (eg the mother screaming at her and losing her temper because she had the audacity to be filling the paddling pool incorrectly). (They have a baby as well and while I haven't heard them being horrible to is, it is often crying most of the time for quite long periods). I have thought against calling SS in the past because I thought it was too hasty and I might have gotten the wrong end of the stick, but last night what happened was an absolute disgrace and I couldn't hold back from doing it. I was minding my own business when I heard the step father shout extremely loud at the daughter, saying "why did you say that to your mother!!???" and screaming at her calling her "horrible" and demanding she go to bed. When she didn't, I heard a very loud thud and him screaming something like "there you go!!!!". It sounded to me like it was violence but I could be wrong. What really worried me was she was absolutely howling and screaming, clearing sounding in extreme distress, not what I'd recognise as normal crying in children, for at least 10 minutes, while he shouted at her, dragged her outside (where I opened the window and glared at him) and gave her a huge telling off. I was a drama queen as a child and cried at everything but I never cried in that way unless I was REALLY frightened of what my parents were doing or were threatening to do (eg being walloped). After that I heard four bangs which sounded to me like the child was being beaten or something violent was happening. I also heard someone talk about "broken glass". Eventually she calmed down but I was completely shaken and angry about this because it sounded like abuse loud and clear. I was emotionally abused as a child and it makes me uncontrollably angry if I witness a parent doing the same. I felt like I had to call SS after that and I did, but I'm now wondering whether or not I did the right thing and whether I reacted to something that wasn't there. I'm not sure if the guy's general demeanor indicates he is abusive or not, but he is not a very nice person in general. He is often very inconsiderate (leaves the gate open all the time, blares loud music from his window/garage), rude and he drives his car into the driveway at incredible speed, seeming not bothered whether there could be someone there that he might knock over. So yeah, was it the right thing to do here? I am so concerned for that child and if she is being abused, I couldn't live with myself if I did nothing.

Twitterqueen Thu 29-Oct-15 16:12:17

You absolutely did the right thing OP.

Whether or not your neighbour did actually hit the child is not the #1 priority here - it's the fact that you believed he did.

So without doubt, you did the right thing. And if it happens again, report it again. and every time.

bigsnugglebunny Thu 29-Oct-15 16:15:37

I agree, you did the absolute right thing.

DannyFishcharge Thu 29-Oct-15 16:17:29

Totally the right thing.

LisbethSalandersLaptop Thu 29-Oct-15 16:19:45

of course you did the right thing

avocadoghost Thu 29-Oct-15 16:25:39

Absolutely.

It's not an easy thing to do at all, but you have done the right thing.

wondersofyourbody Thu 29-Oct-15 16:27:06

Right thing.

I always wished that someone had called social services if (when) they'd an inkling of what was happening in my home, instead of thinking it wasn't their business. Social services are busy and while it's possible they get involved in a case mistakenly, I imagine it's unlikely. Better to call and be wrong than leave a child ALONE with abusive parent(s).

IguanaTail Thu 29-Oct-15 16:30:06

Absolutely right. You could also have rung 101 if there was what appeared to be a child in danger. Even if it was nothing, it's far better to be safe than sorry.

Pico2 Thu 29-Oct-15 16:30:17

If you imagine some sort of far-fetched explanation, perhaps a very loud TV programme giving the impression of abuse, then the worst that happens is a SS visit, all's well and that's the end. But in the much more likely case of what seemed to have happened, then not reporting it could be very damaging.

The only thing I wonder is whether this sort of thing should be a police/999 matter, but not being there to witness it, I couldn't possibly know.

wondersofyourbody Thu 29-Oct-15 16:43:26

Right thing.

I always wished that someone had called social services if (when) they'd an inkling of what was happening in my home, instead of thinking it wasn't their business. Social services are busy and while it's possible they get involved in a case mistakenly, I imagine it's unlikely. Better to call and be wrong than leave a child ALONE with abusive parent(s).

ffffffedup Thu 29-Oct-15 17:55:43

Yes you are right to call if they everything is ok they'll close the case. If they're unhappy with certain things they'll keep an eye out and try and work with the family. I agree with pico I might of also rang 999 aswell. Keep a note of anything untoward

karigan Fri 30-Oct-15 23:56:44

Yes totally the right thing.

I called the police on my old neighbours a few years ago after I heard their little boy (approx 4) yell 'get off my mum' in the middle of a screaming argument, followed by a slap sound and then the lad screaming.

Be aware if he is generally a horrible person you may get hostility coming your way. I had said neighbour yell 'I know it was you' in the street at me to which I said 'yes it was.' And then very loudly 'are you going to smack me like you hit your girlfriend and her child?' Which sent him scuttling back into his hole. (and then my car was keyed- couldn't ever prove that was him)

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