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Violent parents

(10 Posts)
bigfatgypsy Sat 27-Aug-11 10:48:06

I'm looking for some advice about DV and would really appreciate some thoughts from anyone who experienced it as a child, if it's not too painful. I've posted about this before but have name changed as it's about family members.

SIL and BIL are always rowing, often in front of the kids (15 and 9) and it oftens ends in SIL hitting BIL. Recently BIL retaliated and hit SIL. dneph (15) saw all this and called the police. Dniece was with us thankfully but I'm pretty sure she has witnessed things.

Leaving aside BIL and SIL for now, I'm worried sick about the kids and how this will affect them. I've given them both my number and told them to come to our house any time if they need to.

For those of you who grew up with this, or have any other experience, can you advise me how best to help the children? Thankfully this violence is only ever directed at each other but I can't help worrying that one of the dcs will end up in the middle of it, especially the older one as he's a big lad now and can probably stand up for himself if pushed. It's mainly SIL who is actually violent but the rows are plenty.

I worry for them so much .

ImperialBlether Sat 27-Aug-11 11:54:40

On a practical note, are there specific times of the week when it's worst, eg Saturday nights when they drink more and don't have to get up early? If so, I would tell the children they are staying with you, then. It must be really awful for them to live with that.

You're right in that your nephew could well find himself in the middle of it, defending one or the other, or hitting his dad if he hits his mum.

What do your SIL and BIL say about this when they're not all fired up?

bigfatgypsy Sat 27-Aug-11 12:12:42

Yes it always when SIL gets drunk. BIL is always pissed anyway (another story) but it's when she's been drinking that the arguing starts and it all fires up. The worst times (well the ones I know about at least) have been when dniece hasn't been around. If anything, having her at mine makes them worse because they really let fly when she's not there. Knowing that I suppose means that at least they do tone it down a bit when she's there, but not so much for dnephew sad.

beatenbyayellowteacup Sat 27-Aug-11 14:54:36

I've not been involved in DV personally but I do know that children witnessing DV are considered high risk according to SS.

Is there any way the kids could live elsewhere? Do they want to? Do they have anyone to talk to? Do they get any support from schoo? There may be a program called Let's Talk (depending where they are in the UK) which is for kids who witness or are victims of DV.

garlicnutter Sat 27-Aug-11 15:20:05

If you're able to offer short-term respite for the kids, have your nephew to stay whenever his sister is away from home.

Discuss this openly with the DC, use words like "protect you from the distress of seeing your parents fight". It's terrible for a 15-year-old to be responsible for his parents' safety during DV; he is neither emotionally nor intellectually equipped to handle it. He must be quite traumatised, though it might not show up for some years.

See what specific advice you can get from the relevant charities. I'm sorry, I don't know which ones would be best for this.

They're lucky to have an aunt who cares about their well-being smile

Onemorning Sat 27-Aug-11 17:27:29

I saw DV as a child, and it was terrible. For me, I struggled with the fact that noone acknowledged what was going on - our bio dad never mentioned it, the neighbours (who knew everything) pretended not to notice mum's black eyes and worse, and our family never talked about it. So having an aunt who cares enough to say 'I know you're going through this, and I'd like to help' is wonderful.

I know things have (thankfully!) changed a lot since I was a kid, and as people have said above there is bound to be advice and support somewhere, whether SS or charities or both.

Squishylicious Sun 28-Aug-11 14:57:35

I grew up watching DV, and like with your SIL and BIL, it was my mum that was the violent one although it took a while for me to realise this as when I seen stepdad restraining my mum it looked bad. It was also down to drink. As my mum and stepdad were alcoholics it happened a lot. And like onemorning said - it is terrible.

Do your nephew and neice live far from you? I had an aunt who's house I could go to when things got too bad and that was a huge, huge help for me.

I would speak to your nephew and niece and let them know that you are there for them. Find out how they feel and if they want anything to be done. They probably feel really torn - loyalty to their parents against hating what is happeneing.

baressentials Sun 28-Aug-11 16:24:44

onemorning you have said exactly what I wanterd to say.
Everyone knew what was going on when I was growing up but nobody actually spoke about it. I felt very alone.
I would have loved just one person to acknowledge what was happening even if they couldn't actually do anything about it.

justhe1 Sun 28-Aug-11 16:28:54

You are doing a fantastic thing by being available to these kids and letting them know that are there for them anytime day or night.
Not so bad for the 15 year old, but the 9year old is restricted in their escape.
15 year old is likely to be out as much as possible with mates, 9 year old will be stuck in.

Make sure they have credit on their phones and your number as a favourite, Do you live far away?

bigfatgypsy Sun 28-Aug-11 22:07:22

Thanks for all your replies, hopefully it will help the dcs just to know I'm here if they need me. We live just round the corner from them so they could be here in just a few mins. Even the 9yr old could probably run round at night if she needed. I've given them both my number and I've actually told SIL that I've told them to come here any time. She actually seemed quite thankful.

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