Originally Posted by jdedmom
I would agree with you if it were other forms of abuse but how likely is it that she would see signs of sexual abuse. Can you explain the signs she could look for?
Which is why I said to get involved. From the outside looking in you might not see much, but from a better vantage point you might see more that would either put her at ease, or warrant more immediate action.
Just google signs of sexual abuse and you can find a million websites. Some things are there now, sure. Like the possible
isolation. But it could be that they're new, or that she's grounded, or that she has special needs. My point being, the family hasn't been around that long. Give them a chance to get to know them before condemning them. Its not as if you watched him molest the girl in front of you, or you watched him beat her. I know we all want to save children from horrible abuse, but sometimes there isn't any.
Where you see no harm in coming from calling CPS, I see great harm there. I would much rather be sure before I did something like that. However I would make every effort to get involved in their life. Being another pair of eyes won't hurt, and yet you'll be able to see more.
I had a neighbor a few years ago that I didn't like much. I didn't like her because she seemed like a horrible parent. She screamed at her kids. She spanked them. She was downright nasty to them sometimes. She didn't beat them or molest them, but many people would have called CPS on her if they heard her. Instead, I decided to befriend her. After friendship was established, I came to really like her. I realized she had no role model for parenting. A severe learning disorder kept her from learning about parenting in other ways like books or classes. She also had a mood disorder that wasn't being helped by having so many children so close in age.
I was able to be her friend and open up a dialouge about parenting. I was able to model parenting for her, and show her a gentler more respectful way. I was able to be honest with her and admit to her the times that I messed up, and how it made me feel. She was able to open up to me and trust me because she didn't feel judged.
Today, she's a better parent and a good friend. It was accomplished without CPS involvement.
No, its not sexual abuse. But you don't really know thats whats going on either. My point is, there are other ways to help.. especially
if you aren't even sure.
A mandated reporter that sees children in a professional capacity maybe, obviously can't get personally involved with the clients like that. If they suspect, and have a strong reason to call CPS then they should. However we aren't talking about a professional capacity here. We're talking about neighbors. I believe that we can help out people if we just extend ourselves a little bit.