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dilemna, if a friends child disclosed something to you....

(18 Posts)
shine2 Sat 04-Aug-07 22:32:33

what would you do?
A really good friends child said that they had been hit around the face,by the mum .The child was quite upset as it had just happened.I tried to comfort them as best I could but now feel unsettled,do I say something to the parents?
The mum doesn't know I know anything.

mamazon Sat 04-Aug-07 22:43:13

how old is the child? how well do you know the parents. is the mother normally calm and loving...would you consider that this may have been a very stressed moment of insanity that is now deeply regretted or something that is more common.

shine2 Sat 04-Aug-07 22:46:50

the hcild is 9 yrs old, the child said it has happened numerouds times before.

shine2 Sat 04-Aug-07 22:50:23

I am a regular poster,have name changed.

hunkermunker Sat 04-Aug-07 22:53:39

Do you believe the child?

What would you say to the parents?

mamazon Sat 04-Aug-07 22:54:21

how do you feel about the mother. is it something you are totally shocked by or can you (with hindsight) think it is probable.

you see the thing is if you mention that the child has disclosed this you could either be told that "oh s/he is such a pain ive never hit him/her" "i know i feel so guilty, i just snapped" " what the hell's it got to do with you (que aggresive person with the hump)" or a complete "don't kno what your talking about and then goes home to knock hell out of the child for telling.

i think if i were you i would try and speak more with teh child. reassure them that you are there for them and you will not do anything without telling them first. the child needs to trust that you will stick to your word.
if after speaking more you are still very worried then i would tell teh child that you are going to speak to someone about it all and try and get some help for him/her.
then contact social services and relay the info you have been told.

BirdyArms Sat 04-Aug-07 22:55:05

I think that you should say something. Might be a useful wake-up call for the mum. Doing nothing is imho opinion the easy way out which you may regret later. Difficult to advise without knowing the mother and child but as long as you phrase it as diplomatically as possible there shouldn't be too much to lose by saying something.

roisin Sat 04-Aug-07 23:08:59

I'd phone childline and discuss it with them.

BirdyArms Sat 04-Aug-07 23:21:03

After reading roisin and mamazon posts I think they are offering far better advise than I. I was thinking that if she is your close friend the situation is probably not too serious, ie she is not hitting her child hard or often, but of course none of us can assume that. Please do something though.

hatwoman Sat 04-Aug-07 23:28:04

I agree with Roisin - phone childline or NSPCC yourself for advice

shine2 Sat 04-Aug-07 23:32:20

sorry couldn't post as dd was hanging around.

I do know the mum really well and no I am not totally shocked,knew she had an anger problem but not to this extent.

Thing is I think the father must know,the child was crying to the father and being comforted after telling me,didn;t hear what was said as I was in loo,but dh said the child was crying saying mum was horrid etc and the dad was comforting the child.
Dh has said he would be willing to say something to the dad.

I am worried that the child could take the blame if it got out that I said something,eventhough he was quite open about it.

forsale Sun 05-Aug-07 01:15:56

my friends dd told me a couple of things that didnt sit right with me. Her parents were divorced so I suggested she speak to her dad. When I next saw her dad I said that I felt his daughter wanted to talk to him about home life just in case she hadnt spoken to him. She had and it all resolved itself. the child had been exaggerating a little

shine2 Sun 05-Aug-07 09:38:13

thanks for you replies,have been thinking about it and I'm almost sure the dad must know.Still unsure about what to do.

NannyL Sun 05-Aug-07 12:15:39

if you have any doubts about the safety of a child inform social Services

They know what to do... children are vulnerable and as responisible adults we need to protect them.
If the child discloses something they are hasking for help and not helping as almost abuse in itself. (IMO)

Social services will not just take a child into care unless there is very good reason, so dont feel guilty about that...

They will however (at least try to) montior the child / family, and ensure the child isnt at risk... this may just meen a quick chat with the parents, and then establishing the child was stretching the truth....

Give SS a call... have a chat with them and they will take it from there!

Better to be safe then sorry

Peachy Sun 05-Aug-07 12:46:21

van I also say- and this is important-

please DO NOT call childline to discuss this sort of thing


NSPCC has a wonderful service where you can discuss uch issues anonymously, have used it, and their number is on their webiste but childline struggles to answer the calls it gets from kids already, and it doesn't need a line clogged by an adult who could have called a more appropriate service

Peachy Sun 05-Aug-07 12:47:10

NSPCC helpline- 0808 800 5000

hunkermunker Sun 05-Aug-07 12:54:37

Agree with NannyL and Peachy - ring the NSPCC.

Mercy Sun 05-Aug-07 13:00:12

I know someone who was a similar position to you. She informed the child's headteacher who then contacted Social Services. SS visited the family very soon afterwards.

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