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What would you do? Historical child sex abuse within the family

(152 Posts)
CV123x Sun 19-Nov-17 00:23:17

A week ago we were told my by husbands parents that my husbands half sister has reported his father to the police for touching her 30 years ago.

He has been arrested for historic child sex abuse, and has made his statement, we believe has also been to court - but now awaiting her reply for it go further ie crown/magistrates.

He admitted that he touched her on 4 separate occasions, 4 times of which he touched her breasts and once that he touched her vagina.

We were told this happened when my husband was a baby he is currently 30, so providing he was around 1 - she would have been around 12-13 years old.

She is accusing him of more, watching her in the bathroom, asking her to come into his bedroom and going into hers, for touching.

This is the first time my husband had any knowledge of this and understandably is shocked, sad, angry, disgusted, and is all over the place to be quite honest.

We have a 1 year old daughter, and his parents have told us that his father must only have supervised contact with our daughter. That we are to receive a letter to formally be told of the authorities findings.

We considered ourselves to be a close loving family, we saw his parents regularly, they had looked after our daughter on a few occasions.

His parents told us that the step daughter had told a school friend/the school all that time ago, that mum was called in to school and the social services were involved all that time ago - but there was no police involvement.

We haven’t received a letter, but have had a phone call from Social Services. They asked me firstly if I knew why they were calling, then told me to say why and what it was about, then asked how we knew. Our thoughts and feelings, how we have taken It and what we are going to do going forward. She decided to send someone around for a visit which we are due to have sometime next week.

We’re now all in limbo and keep talking things over and over. Our lives have been completely turned upside down.

My husband is sad because he loves his parents, and he had a wonderful upbringing, and they have always done right by him. He doesn’t want to cut ties with them as he says they are still his parents and that love is unconditional.

However we are finding it hard to deal with, we’ve only known ourselves for 6 days and already we’re had SS call and now arranging a visit.

My thoughts -

I can’t condone what he has done, there’s absolutely no defending or excusing his behaviour.

I’m sad that his mum knew, but still stood by him. I’m so angry about this, that she’s knowingly let my daughter around him. Why has she never told her son, did they think that because SS had involvement all that time ago it was over and it would never come back to haunt them.
I guess why tell their son if they thought he never needed to know? She’d already got 3 kids from a previous failed marriage, perhaps she didn’t want to be left bringing up 4 kids by herself, although the second youngest would have been 12-13 and the other two a few years older, So hardly young. Did she not want her son to grow up without a father, or only seeing him now and then. Did she think bringing him up with them both together the best option. Would my husband been the man he is today (the most wonderful husband ever) if they didn’t do what they did? What would it of achieved telling him say when he was 16 what would that of done to him? Do I wish I didn’t marry my husband and have a baby with him - no I bloody don’t. It wouldn’t have changed the fact I fell in love with him. It’s a huge shame we’ve ended up not having the family we thought we had. Id love to know your thoughts regarding his mother

My husbands thoughts

He doesn’t want to punish his mother but says she has some serious answering to do.

He has told them via text at the moment that they are still his parents and he loves them unconditionally, but he needs space and time.

He believes we should take a half half approach going forward, they never look after our daughter again, but we don’t deprive them or our daughter of their/her granddaughter/grandparents, but visits are with us present, and either we go to them or they come to us. That his dad can never attend any of her birthday parties, due to other peoples children in attendance, that we only see them on bigger occasions, birthdays etc and not to much on other times.

Currently we can’t even think of anything worse than being in there company, as we are still coming to terms with the news, and going over and over thoughts and feelings. We are yet to tell them they are uninvited to ours for Christmas.

However we have SS coming around next week, we’re angry and honestly pissed off that we now have them involved with our family, my husband and I are good parents, and now we feel as if we are on trial. I know they are looking out for our child, but what do they want from us?? To tell them we hate his father, that our daughter will never be seeing him again, because as “perfect parents” you shouldn’t want your child around a pervert, because they are right you shouldn’t, but do we now stop our daughter and any future children from knowing their granddad until they are of age we have to explain all this to them, instead of keeping some kind of normality...?
would love to know your thoughts on contact or no contact

My husband and I will take it Day by day week by week as to our relationship with the both of them, as me personally I don’t even want to talk to them right now, I couldn’t think of anything worse than being in their company, however I do understand they are my husbands parents and anytime and any contact he wishes to have with them nu himself is up to him.
I’m sure things Will get easier as time goes on with our relationship with them both (without our child and future children)

How do we know how things will be in months years decades time... im not sure what SS is expecting of us, we feel it’s a test if you say we may see them in time for occasions with our daughter in the future but it will never be unsupervised - will we flag up as shit parents, like we condone what he done??? Are we just as bad as I feel his mother is? Knowing all this time.... you shouldn’t want your child in the company of a pervert, but should you deprive your child of a grandparent(s)?? Kids aren’t blind nor stupid, but 5+ they’ll start to ask questions, how do I do right by my child? I’d never knowingly, on purpose or want to put my child at risk.
But if we feel we can move on and have some sort of relationship with his parents, do we lie to our children to say they are working or busy, what when they ask questions why don’t they see them etc.

At the moment we don’t know if his father will get a suspended sentence or the 6 months to 10 years his solicitor has prepared him for..
So how long he stays on the sex offenders register depends on that, IF he got 6months or under he would be 7 years on the register - so what then? He’s a huge danger from now until 2024/5 then all of a sudden he’s no longer a danger. The system just all seems a bit odd.

There is no doubt that things will never be the same again, but do we go NC or do we “meet in the middle”? I know i’ll always be watching him around my child and future children, and my trust for them both has completely gone. They aren’t the people I thought they were, but they are still my husbands parents and my daughters grandparents.

I’m sad and shocked this wasn’t delt with properly all this time ago....

I think we just both wish it would/could go back to how things were before, happy loving family, I guess it’s coming to terms with it and doing what is best for our family (the 3 of us) as Ultimately that’s what matters the most....

Would love to know your thoughts and views....

Many thanks for reading.

longingforalife Sun 19-Nov-17 00:37:39

Don't want to read and not comment.

What a mess for you both to deal with.

flowers sad flowers

Ttbb Sun 19-Nov-17 01:08:36

I think that the thing I would find the hardest to deal with is that you had s child, a daughter no less, and neither of them told you. I would caution you against allowing your FIL to have any kind of relationship with your daughter. Even if he only ever sees her supervised that doesn't garuntee that he won't be thinking despicable things about her. You must also think about how you will explain to your daughter why you have allowed her to come into contact with a potentially dangerous man or to not tell her at the risk that she will trust him and this could lead her into danger herself. It's a terrible business. As far as SS go I think they'll be more interested in ensuring that you get the support that you need rather than interrogating you. Good luck.

MrsAJ27 Sun 19-Nov-17 10:15:30

There is no way I would allow FIL to have contact with my DD or future children.

I think it is disgusting that your MIL knew that this happened/was happening and did nothing to protect her own children. I would not be to forgive this.

To be completely honest I would go NC with both if them, it is up to your DH to decide what he wants to do.

Protecting your DD and future children are more important than having a relationship with grandparents.

How is your SIL? Have you spoken to her?

Justbookedasummmerholiday Sun 19-Nov-17 10:20:28

Suggest to dh he is more than welcome to continue his relationship with dps but neither you or your dc will be seeing them. This is the only way to ensure your dc are safe. What if dh takes them and needs the loo? Pops into the garden? The shop? To Ss you need to be taking drastic steps to make sure he has no chance of committing anything again.

LavenderDoll Sun 19-Nov-17 10:26:56

I wouldn't let either of them near my children. One is a pervert and the other covered for the pervert.
I'm sorry this has happened but as someone who has had family destroyed by abuse I would go NC

mycatdoesntlovemeanymore Sun 19-Nov-17 10:29:44

I imagine how your husband may feel as it hasn't directly affected him and was such a long time ago, so may not feel tangible or real but ultimately his father is a peodphile. That will never change, and he will always will be a risk around children because of that. If I was in your situation now my children would not under any circumstances be around someone like this. It just wouldn't be worth the risk. I would also find it extremely hard (if not impossible) to continue a relationship with the mother, knowing she knew at the time .

AtSea1979 Sun 19-Nov-17 10:32:41

You are completely minimising what FIL, and MIL have done.

You must not let him near your DD. Your FIL is a paedophile, not only did he have those thought about a child but he acted upon them. He's a danger to children, and I'm sure there will be other victims. He's probably already had those thoughts about your DD if shes been left in your care. Don't mistake his grooming for caring.

Social services are visiting and yet you are discussing continuing to see FIL with your DD. I wouldn't be surprised if they take that very seriously. You need to put your DD first and go NC. If your DH wants to visit them on his own he can but no way should FIL have so much as a photo of your DD.

VeganIan Sun 19-Nov-17 10:36:01

You cannot let either MIL or FIL have any kind of relationship with your DC. FIL is a child abuser, and MIL knew and did nothing. She didn't keep her own child safe and she didn't give your DH or you the information you needed to keep your child safe.

Spam88 Sun 19-Nov-17 10:59:00

I’m so sorry for your DH, what a horrible thing to find out.

If it was my parents? He’s a paedophile and a child abuser and id want nothing to do with him, and he certainly wouldn’t be coming anywhere near my children. And she’s just as bad covering for him.

You don’t have to rush any decisions. I think just not seeing them for a while is sensible, give yourselves time to think about how you want to deal with it. And social services just want to ensure your DD isn’t at risk from her grandfather, they’re not on a mission to remove her or anything like that, so just be honest with them about how conflicted you’re feeling about the whole thing. They can maybe advise what would be appropriate contact if any?

Dragongirl10 Sun 19-Nov-17 11:07:23

I am so very sorry for what you are having to come to terms with, the in laws you thought you had, are not there, it's all a lie of the worst kind.

I think its very simple, your D/D should have no contact at all with them, once she is an adult you can let her know why.

There is no way to guarantee her safety aroung him, particularly as she gets a bit older, you have to protect he and the only way to effectively do that it to avoid contact totally.

It is entirely up to your Dh to see his parents if he wants too.

This is not YOUR issue it is only your job to protect your child and future children.

britespark1 Sun 19-Nov-17 11:13:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

britespark1 Sun 19-Nov-17 11:15:29

Apologies - posted in wrong place. Have reported own post.

shushpenfold Sun 19-Nov-17 11:18:52

Britespark I think you need to start a new thread of your own as the original OP will still need answers on hers.

shushpenfold Sun 19-Nov-17 11:19:23

Sorry Britespark, just missed your update. X

greendale17 Sun 19-Nov-17 11:20:06

*You cannot let either MIL or FIL have any kind of relationship with your DC. FIL is a child abuser, and MIL knew and did nothing. She didn't keep her own child safe and she didn't give your DH or you the information you needed to keep your child safe.*


GerrytheBerry Sun 19-Nov-17 11:34:52

Without going into detail there is similar in our family and my children are not part of that person's life nor will ever be. As a (good responsible) parent your primary concern is to keep your child safe from any potential harm. The fact that this man did what he did is there and will never go away. He is a pervert /paedophile and in my opinion cannot be rehabilitated.
I personally would cut them both out. The mother knew what he did and stood by him, God forbid if my dh even looked at our children the wrong way (in that way) he'd be out the door.
I hope you are ok!

pinkingshears Sun 19-Nov-17 19:40:03

A horrible shock.
BUT I would not ever let the FIL be around any of my children. Nor would I want to see him. I might meet MIL once to explain I am angry with her for keeping quiet about the safety of her grandchild.
Your H will have to make his own mind up about seeing them.
Your poor SIL... is she okay????

CV123x Sun 19-Nov-17 20:18:21

A huge thank you all for listening and to everyone who has commenting, and not making us feel like horrendous parents.

I don’t really want my daughter around him, and at the moment I don’t really want my MIL either as at the moment I’m angry and upset at her for her failure to keep our daughter safe, and standing by him and in by doing so making herself look like she condoned it, we do want to talk to her about it, to have some of our questions answered- my husband believes she would have stayed purely for the sake of him, to bring him up in a “loving” home, with stability.

I have never met my SIL - I knew from the beginning she wasn’t apart of the family and was told from the age of 15 onwards she would steal money from family and friends, did drugs; including whilst looking after my husband and his nephew. She tried to kill herself once too, married a “nutcase”, and her mother (my MIL) didn’t speak to her and very few knew where she was, only a rough idea on which county. My husband hasn’t seen her since he was about 18. however I do believe she deserves justice to what happened to her

For example what we have having some issues with is, we have a family christening happening next year, my FILs nieces daughters christening, the news hasn’t reached them yet, however we’d obviously want to go and will go, i don’t know if they will ever know or not, or how they will react, but they may cut him out completely then that’s fine, however it’s these types of occasions we wish to attend why should we and our daughter miss out on family get togethers, let’s just say he gets an invite to these said occasions, then what? We have to tell him he can’t go as we want to? Or we don’t go and miss out and don’t see our family members anymore either - for Christmas, birthdays, BBQs, Baptisms, weddings etc.

But it’s fine for him to be around his great grandchildren, his nieces children etc etc - they don’t have social services in contact with them. So if those people never know the type of man my FIL is then they will continue the same, or maybe they’ll continue to cross paths at these said events knowing full well that there will be so many people around nothing physical would happen.... (may I add contact with those children are very few and far between, only really at family events).

So basically he may as well just live in a cellar and never leave.. because what’s the point. He could have thoughts and act upon any child he sees around when he’s going about his day (providing he isn’t in prison obviously) but once’s he’s out or he may never go in... but for some reason it’s just us that have had our lives turned upside down, being judged on the type of people and parents we are.

What he has done is disgusting, vile, unforgivable... and I don’t really want my child(ren) around him, never unsupervised that’s for sure, but I do know that paths are likely to cross at certain events. Other than just cutting off all my husbands family there’s not much we can do about that, that’s up to how all the others feel about it all. You’d like to think the same as most people, and who knows he may not be involved in the family anymore.

We are led to believe more family is being told as it’s better they find out from him than someone else. As far as we know so far no one else has been told yet.

My husband thinks I’m being incredibly harsh on his mother, but I feel strongly about it, having spoken to SS they said the same and were actually unaware of SS involvement 30 years ago; and we’ve ended up having to tell my parents for additional support for us and they also had to agree they are disappointed in her.

Think for my husband he’s finding it hard to deal with, and coming to terms with that things have changed, and won’t ever be the same again. Finding it hard to “let go” of his parents, and the “perfect” family he thought we had.

I’m struggling with I have no idea what views my daughter will have in 18 years, she may disagree we have deprived her of her grandparents, and why couldn’t she of had the odd supervised access, but on the other hand she may ask why on Earth we didn’t cut him/them off completely.

All such a mess, but thank you for listening to be ramble on, and for your comments.

MoseShrute Sun 19-Nov-17 20:28:23

You need to tell other family members so they can make up their own minds if they want to have their dc around him.

MothershipG Sun 19-Nov-17 20:32:34

You do realise that the reason your poor SIL had such a troubled time was because of the abuse? How must she have felt about her mother staying with the man who sexually abused her? No wonder she was messed up.

The rest of the family need to be told so that they can decide if they want your FIL in their lives. He really shouldn’t be at family gatherings where people are kept in ignorance what he has done. That is completely unacceptable.

mumisnotmyname Sun 19-Nov-17 20:43:19

Your father in law is sexually attracted to children and has acted on his sexual attraction, I cannot imagine that you wish your child to be part of his sexual fantasies which is a risk of if there is contact, even supervised.

Your mother in law is likely to have been groomed by FIL, had everything minimized and explained away. She may even have been blamed by him. This isn’t to excuse her but it can help to consider her another victim of the abusers controlling behavior.

There is a lot of support and information out there, maybe start with the Lucy Faithful foundation?

WhittlingIhopMonkey Sun 19-Nov-17 20:44:27

Your extended family must be told and your FIL cannot be at any events involving children. He is a paedophile who abused his 13 year old step daughter.
Clearly her subsequent drug use and suicide attempts, poor choice in men are a DIRECT consequence of what your FIL did to her. It's not clear from your post that you've made the connection between the horrendous sexual Abuse she suffered and the behaviour that followed?

WhittlingIhopMonkey Sun 19-Nov-17 20:47:45

And as others said, even supervised contact will create a relationship between a paedophile and your DD, that opens the door for him to be in a position of trust he could leverage to abuse her. She'll come of age in the time of social media, there's a million ways he could access her without you knowing. You must tell your entire family and go no contact.

Venusflytwat Sun 19-Nov-17 20:54:41

The way you speak about your SIL sad

She was sexually abused by her Father. I’d say she’s entitled to be a bit fucked up.

He is a paedophile. His wife is a paedophile enabler.

They would not be getting contact with my children anytime soon.

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