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Son attacked on his first night at Uni
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SallCymru · 19/09/2022 07:04

I’ve currently been awake since 4:30 this morning unable to sleep.
I took my son to his new university accommodation on Saturday, over 4 hours away.
He messaged me yesterday morning saying he’d broken his phone along with a picture of his bruised and bloody face. Told me he got drunk and fell over.
I have since found out from his older brother that he was attacked whilst alone and drunk and I’m in absolute bits.
I know he probably lied in order for me not to worry but now I’m absolutely petrified for him.
We live in a tiny rural village and he’s probably led quite a sheltered life compared to someone from a big city. I just want to help him and keep him safe.
I’ve bought my 3 kids up on my own for the past 11 years and have no support so I’m going out of my mind with worry.
How do I deal with this? Anyone been through anything similar?
Any advice would be great.
Thank you.

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Whataretheodds · 19/09/2022 07:21

Poor thing. It must feel really hard being away from him and wanting to comfort him. Can you send him something to cheer him up?
Is his brother older? Is he giving him practical advice? The university will have support services and he can report this to the police. They may also have a counselling service to help him process what's happened.
Does he need/has he had medical attention?

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stillvicarinatutu · 19/09/2022 07:22

Has he told anyone and reported to police ? He needs to

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sorrynotathome · 19/09/2022 07:23

He lied so you wouldn’t worry but sent you a picture of his smashed up face?

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WonderingWanda · 19/09/2022 07:26

What a horrible thing to happen on his first night. As pp's have said, you could encourage him to report it. There might well be cctv. I think otherwise you need to take your lead from your son. He may chose to talk to you about it in time but don't push it, he is trying to find his own feet.

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SandcastleQueen · 19/09/2022 07:29

Your poor son, people really can be shit. But hopefully he's also met some good people in his new accomm who will help cheer him up.

My old martial arts instructor was a really sweet, unassuming country lad, similar happened to him in that he got jumped by 5 men one night walking back to uni. He dealt with it by learning martial arts and getting his black belt in very short order- still remained the same quiet, peaceful guy but could definitely look after himself if needed! It's not for everyone but perhaps learning some self defence skills would help your son, it's about situational awareness as much as anything.

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SallCymru · 19/09/2022 07:34

Thank you for responding 😊
His brother has advised him to be careful and to always be with someone and not to get in that kind of state again. He’s told me he’ll let me know if he hears anything from him.
I’ve told him he needs to go to hospital to get checked out but I’m not sure he’ll listen to me.
I’ll contact him later on to have a proper chat to him now that I know the truth.
He’s quite closed off emotionally, pretends he’s tougher than he is so counselling won’t go down well with him.
I will suggest it to him though.
I just feel sick.

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SallCymru · 19/09/2022 07:37

Yes he did. Told me he’d fallen over. Don’t know why he lied but can only guess that he didn’t want me to worry.
I won’t know till I get hold of him later on.

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SallCymru · 19/09/2022 07:39

stillvicarinatutu · 19/09/2022 07:22

Has he told anyone and reported to police ? He needs to

I will have a word with him when he wakes up. He probably won’t listen but I’ll try and encourage him.
Just so hard with him being so far away and I can’t just go there to help him.

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Novum · 19/09/2022 07:44

How did he text you with a broken phone?

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SallCymru · 19/09/2022 07:46

SandcastleQueen · 19/09/2022 07:29

Your poor son, people really can be shit. But hopefully he's also met some good people in his new accomm who will help cheer him up.

My old martial arts instructor was a really sweet, unassuming country lad, similar happened to him in that he got jumped by 5 men one night walking back to uni. He dealt with it by learning martial arts and getting his black belt in very short order- still remained the same quiet, peaceful guy but could definitely look after himself if needed! It's not for everyone but perhaps learning some self defence skills would help your son, it's about situational awareness as much as anything.

Thank you for your kind words.
He’s a rugby lad and has always been able to handle himself (on the pitch) although hasn’t been in this type of situation before and hopefully never again!
I’ll suggest some self defence classes although he thinks he’s invincible but he’s no longer in the small village and I’m hoping he’ll learn this quickly!

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UghNoTime · 19/09/2022 07:47

How worrying but it will probably make him more cautious in future. Does he take drugs or do you think it's drink only? Does he need a cheap phone for when he goes clubbing? Less likely to be robbed.

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SallCymru · 19/09/2022 07:48

Novum · 19/09/2022 07:44

How did he text you with a broken phone?

Facebook messenger off his laptop.

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IncompleteSenten · 19/09/2022 07:49

Poor chap. That would have been terrifying

Did they mug him?

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ittakes2 · 19/09/2022 07:50

I am sorry this sounds dreadful I am sure there is someone at uni he can tell to get support? The uni must have a system to help and support the freshers?

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Oblomov22 · 19/09/2022 07:51

Firstly I'm very sorry to hear this. I'm about to drop ds1 at university this week and this is simply not what you want after dropping any child at university. you want them to be happy and settled.

You need more info. Where did he go, was he jumped? By a single person or many? On the Uni campus or off? Thus it is probably a crime so needs reporting.

We want our kids to be safe anywhere and he should be, he shouldn't need to worry about being attacked. But also as a protection for himself issue why was he alone, he should walk back to his student accommodation with others. (Yes I know he shouldn't have to, but for now it's probably best).

So sad to hear such a bad start.

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SallCymru · 19/09/2022 07:52

UghNoTime · 19/09/2022 07:47

How worrying but it will probably make him more cautious in future. Does he take drugs or do you think it's drink only? Does he need a cheap phone for when he goes clubbing? Less likely to be robbed.

I’m hoping that this will be a harsh lesson learnt.
No he despises drugs thank goodness but unfortunately drank way too much especially when he doesn’t yet know anyone or the area.
He will have to find his way without me being there for him but at the moment I’m worried sick!

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bigdecisionstomake · 19/09/2022 07:56

Sending you big hugs, you must be really worried. I work in student accommodation and we offer all of our newly arrived students advice on keeping themselves safe. All the sensible things like trying to stay with others after dark or if they've been drinking, not having expensive items like phones on show when walking home, making sure someone else knows where they are/where they're going/who they're with etc...

I know it's not any comfort at this point, but in my experience assaults on students are really rare if they take sensible precautions so I suspect he's just been really unlucky.

If he hasn't already reported it he needs to call 101 and also there should be a student welfare officer he can report it to at the University. If nothing else this will help the University see if there is a pattern and they usually have good links with local police/PCSOs who can target patrols in certain areas become problematic.

Flowers

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JourneyToThePlacentaOfTheEarth · 19/09/2022 07:58

So sorry to hear this op. Its hard enough him being away from home but for this to happen is awful. I feel sorry for young lads sometimes with the violence and expectation to be tough guys

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SallCymru · 19/09/2022 07:58

Oblomov22 · 19/09/2022 07:51

Firstly I'm very sorry to hear this. I'm about to drop ds1 at university this week and this is simply not what you want after dropping any child at university. you want them to be happy and settled.

You need more info. Where did he go, was he jumped? By a single person or many? On the Uni campus or off? Thus it is probably a crime so needs reporting.

We want our kids to be safe anywhere and he should be, he shouldn't need to worry about being attacked. But also as a protection for himself issue why was he alone, he should walk back to his student accommodation with others. (Yes I know he shouldn't have to, but for now it's probably best).

So sad to hear such a bad start.

I was worried enough about him going before this happened now I’m even worse.
These are all questions that l’ll be asking him later as he lied to me and said he fell on his way back to the accommodation with the other students.
Found out from his brother the actual truth. He was jumped by a few lads apparently. He didn’t get accommodation on campus so he’s at student accommodation about five miles from the university.

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SallCymru · 19/09/2022 08:04

IncompleteSenten · 19/09/2022 07:49

Poor chap. That would have been terrifying

Did they mug him?

He said he still had his money on him and the broken phone. But seeing as he hasn’t told me the truth about what really happened, I’ll be having a proper conversation with him when he wakes up.

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SallCymru · 19/09/2022 08:06

bigdecisionstomake · 19/09/2022 07:56

Sending you big hugs, you must be really worried. I work in student accommodation and we offer all of our newly arrived students advice on keeping themselves safe. All the sensible things like trying to stay with others after dark or if they've been drinking, not having expensive items like phones on show when walking home, making sure someone else knows where they are/where they're going/who they're with etc...

I know it's not any comfort at this point, but in my experience assaults on students are really rare if they take sensible precautions so I suspect he's just been really unlucky.

If he hasn't already reported it he needs to call 101 and also there should be a student welfare officer he can report it to at the University. If nothing else this will help the University see if there is a pattern and they usually have good links with local police/PCSOs who can target patrols in certain areas become problematic.

Flowers

Thank you so much for your advice.
I shall be telling him this when I chat to him later.
Hopefully this will be a harsh wake up call for him and he’ll be more careful from now on.

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Ansjovis · 19/09/2022 08:08

If he's closed off emotionally then the key thing to do here is not to show him any emotional reaction. If you do that then he may turn on his brother for telling you and he may be even less likely to be honest with you in the future - double whammy. I'm not saying turn off your emotions because you can't, just don't let him see them. Keep your communication calm and if you're giving advice only give it once. He's an adult now and is able to make his own decisions so you need to acknowledge that by not continuing to say the same things over and over.

It sounds like I am similar to your son but for different reasons and this is what I wished my family had done. May sound controversial to someone who is not used to this way of thinking but I am and it needs a delicate approach.

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SallCymru · 19/09/2022 08:10

JourneyToThePlacentaOfTheEarth · 19/09/2022 07:58

So sorry to hear this op. Its hard enough him being away from home but for this to happen is awful. I feel sorry for young lads sometimes with the violence and expectation to be tough guys

Thank you.
This is exactly what he’s like.
Since his Dad left 11 years ago he’s always had this tough little front going on. Breaks my heart even though he’s now 18.

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Quveas · 19/09/2022 08:10

SallCymru · 19/09/2022 08:04

He said he still had his money on him and the broken phone. But seeing as he hasn’t told me the truth about what really happened, I’ll be having a proper conversation with him when he wakes up.

That might make you feel better, but are you sure it's the right thing to do? He didn't tell you for a reason, but he felt he was able to tell his brother. If he feels that he can't trust his brother with information he may simply stop telling him things too. I would suggest it might be better to stick to the version he told you unless he actually tells you himself, and perhaps get your other son to pass on the useful advice?

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NashvilleQueen · 19/09/2022 08:12

@Novum honestly?

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