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14 year old has made allegations of sexual abuse - what do we do now?

(20 Posts)
Susurrus Sun 02-Oct-11 19:36:59

I have posted this in Relationships too, but I'm not sure if that is the right place now. Sorry for duplicating threads but I need advice.

Dh was told by his brother today that their 14 year old sister has told their mum that her father (dh & dh's brother's stepfather) has sexually abused her. I don't know any other facts about when etc yet as BIL only got given the basic facts by MIL this morning.

I don't know what is going to happen regarding reporting this to the police, if it were up to me I would not hesitate but MIL's track record for this sort of thing isn't good. DH has told me that FIL punched him when he was 8 years old for no reason that DH can remember, MIL knew about this and did nothing. FIL only stopped going for dh and BILs when they became bigger than him and by default he stopped hitting MIL too as her sons wouldn't allow him to do it.

MIL has tried leaving but has had to go back as she has no money, she has tried calling the police, ss have been involved and all have done nothing to help the situation. I really hope what has happened to SIL is the last straw but I'm worried. I feel that if they don't report it, I have a duty to, but at the same time I am worried about SIL. She is already worried about what is going to happen now she has told someone. I believe her 100% but I feel that others may not and I don't know how to support her. She has some learning difficulties and I feel that this is probably why FIL would target her rather than her sisters as he would see her as an easy target and less likely to be believed.

Although she is still married to step FIL and they live in the same house with the children, MIL has slept in her daughters room for a good few years now while FIL has the master bedroom. He will not leave the house.

I am concerned for my SIL and her sisters. I feel strongly that this needs reporting but am not sure if MIL will. DH and his brothers are already talking about going round there to sort FIL out which while I am in no doubt he deserves it, I don't want DH and BILs to get into trouble. I just wish I knew how to support SIL through all this. What if she has to continue living with him?

DooinMeCleanin Sun 02-Oct-11 19:39:16

She needs to go to the Police.

NormanTebbit Sun 02-Oct-11 19:43:29

Take her to the police.

Pagwatch Sun 02-Oct-11 19:45:13

It is nothing to do with MIL. Your BIL and SiL need to go to the police. Now.
Don't let let them fuck about.

hellhasnofury Sun 02-Oct-11 19:46:28

The police. Now.

OddBoots Sun 02-Oct-11 19:46:50

Whatever anyone else is doing you and dh need to take SIL to the police.

pozzled Sun 02-Oct-11 19:49:21

What they said ^.

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 02-Oct-11 19:52:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Susurrus Sun 02-Oct-11 19:53:02

Thank you, I'm so sorry I'm useless, I didn't know I could take SIL without her mum's permission. I don't know why it just didn't enter my head.

Pagwatch Sun 02-Oct-11 19:55:14

You are not useless. It shakes everything you think you know about your world.
But I was that girl. And I sat and watched adults talk around the subject until nothing was done and I had to make polite conversation with my abuser until he died.
I loathed my family because of that. For years.

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 02-Oct-11 19:57:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hellhasnofury Sun 02-Oct-11 20:01:41

Not useless at all. It's far easier for people outside the situation to think rationally than it is for those involved. She's lucky to have people around her that care enough to help her.

My mum was abused by her father. When she told her mum her mother washed her mouth out with soap and continued to live with the abuser. Mum suffered another 5 years of abuse.

aliceliddell Sun 02-Oct-11 20:02:54

You're not useless. What SGM said; you got the advice, now just act on it. You will get support, so will SIL. Listen to pagwatch.

Graciescotland Sun 02-Oct-11 20:10:36

I know someone whose family "pretended it didn't happen" when their daughter told them she had been abused. She has cut them out of her life completely.

Please go to the police.

Susurrus Sun 02-Oct-11 20:44:37

I have just come off the phone from MIL so I have a bit of a clearer picture of what has happened today.

SIL has said that this has happened since she was about 7 years old. She only said anything at all because FIL has been kicking off about one her brothers staying overnight at someone elses house because he didn't give permission and there may be predators living there ffs! So SIL told her mum what he had been doing to her.

MIL said that alot has clicked into place after hearing this - things she didn't think anything of at the time but now is in turmoil over. She is packing with the kids right now. She said that SIL is terrified of going to the police and is hysterical saying that that no-one else can know. MIL has tried explaining that nothing bad will happen to SIL for telling and that they need to do something about FIL because what if he started on her sister (she's 8). SIL said that if he tries to get access to her sister (through custody for example) then she will report it.

MIL is worried that reporting it against SILs wishes will damage her even more. What do we do? I would phone the police without hesitation but SIL really doesn't want anyone to.

Who can SIL talk to to get professional advice about what will happen if she reports it? Surely anyone in authority (ss/doctor etc) will phone the police automatically?

OddBoots Sun 02-Oct-11 21:00:24

SIL could probably call Childline anon on 0800 11 11 for some reassurance in the first instance.

oldqueenie Sun 02-Oct-11 22:20:17

yes definitely encourage her to call childline. that is a safe place for her to talk and get support.

Lindax Sun 02-Oct-11 22:34:13

Our family has been in similar situation. Its best ime reported to the police as soon as possible. SIL, threw partner out immediately, but did not initially tell anyone else or report to police - thought she could deal with herself/would save niece the trauma of police/court, niece didnt want anyone to know.

Her partner continued to contact her and her daughter (phoning/showing up at school/house) pleading innocence or scareing them enough to make sure she didnt report it. It ended up being too much for niece and she confided in other family members and it was reported.

Police were great with niece, treated her with a lot of care and respect. The support and interviews, getting it all out into the open, helped her.

Your SIL is only 14, of course her reaction is not wanting anyone else to know, but in this instance, the adults she trusts must make the right decisions for her and it must be reported.

Let her have control where appropriate e.g. making decisions like who she feels most comfortable being there with her when she gives her statements to the police (might not be her mum as she is a witness) etc.

Something like this happening in your own family will change all your lives, dig deep and find the courage to deal with it head on and openly. There is no shame and only one person to blame. Keep talking and look out for each other. x

OddBoots Mon 03-Oct-11 17:53:40

Just to say I hope you have been able to get your SIL support and been able to take action.

Machin11 Tue 04-Oct-11 14:22:00

I do understand where you SIL is coming from, I was in that position with my uncle, my parents never reported it (my dad very controlling, overuled mum always - and said they would look like bad parents for not noticing) but I would have been traumatised to go to the police then. As said above make sure she has some control over who she wishes to take in with her (even if that choice is she wishes to be alone) I made the decision at 23 to pursue what had happened to me, and even though I know it's not my fault, to actually go into detail with someone there is excruitiating, I went on my own, and had plently of people around me to support me when I came out, I don't think I could have done it at 13 with my parents in the room, you feel so embarrassed going into detail!

I don't know what area you are, but some police forces (very few unfortunately) have SOLO workers, Sex offences Liaison Officers, they were fab with me, and even when I rang the police to start with, it was a female who I requested and got. I have to say they were amazing and put me at ease.

If you want to ask anything PM me, I don't pretend to be an expert but I did go through it so know how terrfyingly alone you can feel.

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