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What should I do?

(10 Posts)
lumpasmelly Tue 14-Jul-09 13:51:05

I had one of my son's friends over for a playdate today - he is 5 years old, as is my son. Over lunch he mentioned that when his mummy loses something of his daddy's that his daddy "throw mummy across the room". At first I assumed that he was referring to some sort of playfighting, so I asked if mummy laughed - he responded that "no - she cries". He then continued to talk about this for another few minutes - saying that him and his older brother try to help by jumping on daddy and kicking or strangling him, but that daddy is too strong. He said that his daddy doesn't do it all the time, but that when he did do it, that he didn't like it, and that sometimes his mummy said that maybe they can go and live in another house. I asked him if he would miss his daddy if they did that, and he responded "no - i don't like daddy because he is not a nice man". My son chipped in at this point that his friend could come and live with us, which was responded to with much enthusiasm. That's the gist of the conversation and i am now in a quandry as to what to do. I know obth parents through the school and my husband and I have socialised with them on occasion. They seem like a nice enough couple....they both run a business together, and they send both their childrent to an expensive private school. They are well educated and jovial. However, you never know what goes on behind closed doors. On occasion i have noted that they do seem to spend an awful lot of time together - i.e. he is always with her at school events (though I thought that this was quite nice, and that it was a benefit of running your own business). My husband has also noted that the husband is quite obsessed with talking about how well he is doing (almost overstating the point) and that he sometimes makes inappropriate and disrespectful comments about women....i.e. he told a group of men at the parents night out that he and his friend had been ranking the MILFs in school and deciding how many beers it would take them before they took them to bed. He is also one of those men who is VERY short (5 foot 4) and obviously has a prolem with it - not that short men are typically wife beaters, but I would definately say he has some insecurity related to his height as he is always mentioning it. Anyway - I guess you get the general gist...the problem is, i am not sure what to do now. It could be that the little boy is just making things up, or that his mummy and daddy have been having a few heated arguments and if this is the case, then it really is none of my business. On the other hand, if there is some sort of domestic violence going on, I don't feel I can turn a blind eye. She is not a close friend of mine, but close enough that she has been round for coffee at my house on a dozen or so occasions.....even if it is nothing, she should know that her son is spreading potentially harmful rumours!!! My husband thinks I shoudl just forget I heard the conversation and ignore it, but I disagree. What do you think?? Oh - I did ask the little boy if he ever got hurt, or if his brother got hurt - he said no.

TheArmadillo Tue 14-Jul-09 13:53:23

It would seem unusual to me for a 5yo child to make up that kind of event.

I don't think it's something you really can ignore.

I would contact an organisation like women's aid for advice. But don't mention anything to the husband at all.

SueMunch Tue 14-Jul-09 13:57:44

I agree with TheArmadillo.

You should definately get some advice. My five year old would not make something up like this - I'd soon know if it was fantasy.

This advice seems to make sense:

http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org/how-we-help/our-partners/community-partners/making-communi ties-safer/domestic-violence

If you do take the step of talking to the mother, be careful how you phrase it as it is important to come from a caring angle.

Good luck and let us know what you decide

SueMunch Tue 14-Jul-09 13:58:45

Sorry forgot to link it properly

ties-safer/domestic-violence

theDreadPirateRoberts Tue 14-Jul-09 14:01:39

Is she coming for coffee again soon? Maybe over summer holidays? It might be worth getting some leaflets from your local refuge service (look on Womens Aid website for details) and leave them lying around? Maybe say - I was wondering whether to do some volunteering with them - what do you think? To give her an excuse to read them?

Or you could take the tack of 'x has been saying this - is everything ok?'

She may be looking for an opportunity to talk about it, she may be in denial, she may be blaming herself...

Helping a woman leave an abusive partner is a lot like going fishing. You can present the bait as temptingly as possible, but if they're not ready to take it they won't, and waggling it too aggressively can scare them off.

You can talk to WA about ways of helping, maybe get some ideas on the practicalities if she wanted to leave? How far would you be willing to take this? She may want to leave, she may not. It may not even be anything.

Hope you work it out

xx

Alambil Tue 14-Jul-09 14:02:16

I guess it's summer holidays now? how unfortunate

I'd not ignore it - very unusual for a child to be so graphic in a made-up story imo

I'd ring womens aid - 0808 2000 247 or the NSPCC to see what they say

NotQuiteCockney Tue 14-Jul-09 14:11:26

I would talk to the school, I think, in private.

lumpasmelly Tue 14-Jul-09 14:15:21

I agree with all of you - I think I will have a chat with her today as I am picking her son up from tennis and need to drop him off at her house (although if her husband is at home, i will wait for another opportunity). I think that her son is likely to mention the fact that my son said he could live at our house, so the sooner that I have the conversation with her the better. I am hoping that it is just nothing, but I do agree that kids of that age don't make things like that up - my 5 year old son was very concerned with what his friend was saying and completely understood what he was talking about. Wish me luck.

theDreadPirateRoberts Tue 14-Jul-09 14:16:10

Good luck!

SueMunch Wed 15-Jul-09 13:59:32

Any news on this?

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