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Is it my place to worry?

(29 Posts)
FullofNuts Sat 22-Sep-12 20:06:22

First post here so I hope that I have posted in the correct place. I need some advice and cannot really ask anyone I know.

I am currently in a refuge and have been here just over 6 weeks with my daughter who is 4. I have spent some time chatting with another woman here and she has 4 daughters, 2 around the same age as my daughter so they play together and we visit the park/soft play together sometimes.

She has 4 daughters, a 10 year old who I get the impression that there may have been some abuse in the relationship with her father from things she and daughter has said, this relationship ended and she went on to have 2 more daughters with another man who are 5 and 3, she told me they just grew apart and split up, she then went on to have her last daughter with her most recent partner , she said this was a very quick relationship and I get the impression it was quite an abusive relationship. She fled and came into the refuge when her youngest was 5 days old- she is now 5 months.

She has been offered a house in the town next to where we are and is waiting for this to have some work done before she is able to move.

Today she was out for the day with her parents from another town nearby and was gone for most of the day. On returning she said that she could not find her phone charger and her phone was dead. I said that as I did not have the same charger she could put her sim in my phone so she can at least let parents know she got back ok.

When she returned my phone several texts were in my inbox under a females name. I am concerned about these texts and do not know what to do. I called the number privately and the person who answered is male. The texts were saying things like. I am worried that now you are getting house you won't want me in your life anymore, you know how I get if you don't answer your phone, I know you are busy looking after our girls but I need you to answer me so I know you still want me.

I am worried for this woman and her daughters as this does not sound like the sort of relationship she should be in especially if it was to be someone with whom she was in an abusive relationship with before. I do not know if I should talk to her about it, or to let the staff know. It will be obvious it was me who told and I do not want to stop her from being able to move.

What would everyone else do?

Sorry this is so long. thanks

lowercase Sat 22-Sep-12 20:13:17

i wouldnt say anything.

keep the door open for friendship.

garlicnutty Sat 22-Sep-12 20:28:20

I'd snitch on her. But I may be wrong in this - I can see why lowercase says to keep the friendship open.

However, if she goes straight back to a severely abusive relationship, are you realistically going to want your children spending time with hers?

Well done for getting out of yours! Wishing you all the very, very best for your future smile

Bigwheel Sat 22-Sep-12 20:32:17

I would tell the staff and tell your friend straight away what you saw and what you have done about it. She may well hate you for it, but I don't think you can sit back and do nothing, nor do I think she is capable of making a decision based soley on what is best for her and her kids. This man obviously still has a lot of power and control over her. Your staff need to be made aware of this so she doesn't fall into an abusive relationship again. How would you feel if you read a few months down the line that harm had come to her or her kids?

lowercase Sat 22-Sep-12 20:41:12

that may well force her back to him and finish the friendship.

you shouldnt really have called the number either, or read the texts.

FullofNuts Sat 22-Sep-12 20:41:39

As she is being housed in a different town from where we are now and I am on the property list in another town the other direction due to distance and not driving we prob wouldn't continue the friendship to the extent that it is not or what it could be my main concern is for her and her daughters and secondly that if I tell I don't want it to stop her from moving as she has been waiting a while and it is very hard for her in one bedroom with 4 children.

Do you think it would stop her being able to move?

lowercase Sat 22-Sep-12 20:46:39

could you disclose this after she has moved on?

then staff could keep an eye on her, she will still be housed, you can hang out until then with no ill feeling...

FullofNuts Sat 22-Sep-12 20:48:15

Lowercase.
I saw the name I didn't know and went to delete it and my phone opened then whole conversation and I saw text about not wanting me now you have house in the first text which concerned me which is why I read the texts.

I only read as it didn't seem like a normal thing to text to someone, but maybe I was wrong

FullofNuts Sat 22-Sep-12 20:49:22

Sorry too slow!

I think that is actually a good idea I didn't think about that. Seems like the best thing to do all round

BertieBotts Sat 22-Sep-12 20:52:22

The texts weren't really your business to read because they were presumably made from/to her sim card and she didn't realise that they would be stored on her phone.

However it's hard - I can see you did it by accident and I would also be concerned by that.

Buy her a copy of Lundy Bancroft! It's so easy to fall back into the old script of abuse without realising sad

Bigwheel Sat 22-Sep-12 21:03:52

Surely once she has moved out of the refuge the staff have no responsibility for her? I woud def tell them ASAP. I doubt she will lose her house but she may be better supported. Could you ring women's aid and ask their advice?

lowercase Sat 22-Sep-12 21:06:05

no responsibility, but could keep an eye on things.

i think forcing the issue could do more harm than good.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Sat 22-Sep-12 21:08:37

I wouldn't snitch on her, but I would definitely talk to her about it and tell her I had seen the texts. I don't think you should involve anyone else without having given her an opportunity to explain and have a conversation about it.

I wouldn't tell her you called the number and a man answered, because you might alienate her.

I don't agree with the poster above who said you shouldn't have done this though, and I don't agree that you shouldn't have read the texts. She could have deleted them. She obviously texted this person or he wouldn't have had your number. If she used your phone to contact this person she could have known you would read the texts. Maybe she wanted you to and it's a cry for help. When children's safety might be at stake, it's OK to be nosy.

garlicnutty Sat 22-Sep-12 21:10:58

I doubt anyone will have time to keep an eye on her once she's moved. She may get a couple of routine SS visits but she's not a child to be watched over. I share your concern, Nuts, that she's very much under the influence and I'm glad you read her texts! I agree it would be best to tell the staff and her about your worries. At least, then, she'll get appropriate counselling before moving her abuser in.

Sometimes airing a secret can remove its power.

Bigwheel Sat 22-Sep-12 21:20:24

Under staffed and under paid. I very much doubt the staff will keep an eye on her once she has left. There will be a new women in straight away to take her place and their time. Please tell the staff what you have seen op. you have the oppurtunity here to help keep her and her kids safe. She may not thank you for it now, but she will one day.

fullofNuts Sat 22-Sep-12 21:23:50

Tired: She put her sim in my phone and I think that because the texts then came through, as her phone had been off due to no battery, they then somehow the ended up saved on be phone. how????

Garlic: You are prob right that WA prob won't have time to keep a look out for her when she has gone and as someone said they prob don't have a duty to anyway.

I did think lowercase had a good idea of reporting when she had left but now I am not sure and I think I should say something to her at least. Obviously I will have to apologise for reading texts but it was an innocent mistake but I don't really know what else to say and how to say it. Like lowercase said it may push her towards this person and I def. do not want that especially if it is the ex- but even if it isn't I don't think from the texts she should be with this person anyway

izzyizin Sat 22-Sep-12 21:25:03

The refuge staff don't have the power to delay or otherwise prevent her move, or to make her do anything she doesn't want to do, but if you don't alert them to this correspondence you may find that it casts a pall over your own move to a brighter future as, if you're anything like me, you'll never forgive yourself if something untoward happens to her or her dc that you may have prevented if only you'd spoken up when you had the opportunity to do so.

Is the refuge address kept confidential to protect the women?

If so I would be worried that she is a risk of telling him it. Putting all the women at risk.

I think you need to tell the staff. She clearly needs more help to see this man for what he is.

maytheoddsbeeverinyourfavour Sat 22-Sep-12 21:36:29

I would tell someone

My first concern would be about her children being in danger

izzyizin Sat 22-Sep-12 21:38:08

Please rest assured that the refuge workers will have encountered situations of this nature before and are experienced in the art of discretion so it is unlikely tht you will become embroiled in any confrontation or accusations of betrayal of her confidence.

fullofNuts Sat 22-Sep-12 21:42:42

Yes the address is confidential- that didn't cross my mind that he may be told it and possibly turn up.

Ok my mind is made up- am going to speak to her in the morn and will let her know that I will speak to the staff on Monday- Only on-call staff at weekends and they just pop in to check on us in the morn and eve and I think will be better to be told to and dealt with by the full time staff.

thanks for your answers I know now that I am going to do the right thing.

< Goes to ask wizard of Oz for some courage >

Bigwheel Sat 22-Sep-12 22:52:36

I would leave telling your friend til Monday. She may use tomorrow to try and persuade you to keep quiet or worse she may confide in her ex causing all sorts of potential problems. Leave it to the experts, let the staff know Monday morning what's happened and when you next see her after that calmly explain why you thought it was your duty to let them know and your worried about her and her kids.

garlicnutty Sat 22-Sep-12 23:22:05

YY, Bigwheel, I agree.

What happened to your username, Nuts? You're not coloured in any more confused

Re your phone: simples. It's been set to save texts to the phone memory (or SD card, if you have one). Stops the SIM card getting clogged up. You didn't do anything, the phone just automatically did what it's supposed to.

BertieBotts Sat 22-Sep-12 23:25:56

The original posts she had a capital F and in the later ones it's a lowercase f. It must matter for the highlighting feature.

I think everyone has had good advice on this thread.

fullofNuts Sun 23-Sep-12 08:28:42

Garlic (and anyone else): sorry about that I post on some of the other boards and changed my name to post and when I changed it back for this thread I put lowercase by mistake.

Being in the refuge is not something I want to broadcast everywhere, even in real life only my family and close friends know that I am in refuge. I is a chapter in my life I want to quickly erase after its done if you know what I mean.

Thanks for all the advice here have decided to wait until Monday like a couple of posts said to stop anything happening today while no staff here. I am going to tell staff first and let my friend know that it was me who done it as I want to be honest and hopefully she will understand that I am just concerned and she can talk to someone else away from the staff if she needs to and wants to.

thanks again

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