Do I do something about this- "good family with a little child abuse" - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 40 Old 08-22-2010, 09:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My mother is friends with a mom at her chuch. The mom moved to the area a few months ago, and she is so nice. She has 6 kids and they are all very young. In public she is very nice to her kids, but at her home, she is I guess you could call it abusive. I know this because my mother said that she changes behind closed doors and is very tough on her kids. My mother told me how she wittenesed the 10 yr old dd run outside in a hurry and knocked her mother lightly with the door and in turn place her dd's head between the frame and door and repeatedly slam it shut saying "now you know how it feels!" According to my mother she does this kind of stuff alot, but also cuddles her kids ,and feeds and clothes them. I asked my mother if she was going to say or do anything, and she said no, that social services has checked her out many times from call from the neighbors about her children running around naked in the steets (on a back road, but with cars). My mother also said that the woman is really a good mother that is very strong with her disipline, but is a loving parent, and gives her children a good home. I talked about calling SS, since they have no record of the abuse, but my mother said she would be very mad at me if I called.

I don't know what to do. Should I do nothing?

My mother may sound like a jerk, for doing nothing herself, but I don't think she understands that there is something wrong and she was abused her whold childhood. I wont go into more details on my mother, but that she is not always aware of things mentally. Still I love my mother.
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#2 of 40 Old 08-22-2010, 09:47 AM
 
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Yes, call. I am sure she will be mad IF she finds out it was u who called but if she has had SS at her house before, she probably won't know who it was. They can't tell her it was u.
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#3 of 40 Old 08-22-2010, 09:47 AM
 
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I think you need to sit down with her, and discuss the seriousness of the situation, and then you need to call CPS with her. Put them on speaker. Help her through the call.

However, given that it's your mother who witnessed this abuse, and not you, I think she needs to be on the call.
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#4 of 40 Old 08-22-2010, 01:15 PM
 
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no. If I haven't personally witnessed anything I would never risk separating a family over what someone elses says has happened.

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#5 of 40 Old 08-22-2010, 01:38 PM
 
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someone just called cps on my friend for hot saucing and taking everything out of her sons room.
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#6 of 40 Old 08-22-2010, 01:40 PM
 
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So you have never actually met this woman yourself? All you have to go in is hearsay? I would leave it alone.
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#7 of 40 Old 08-22-2010, 01:42 PM
 
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This.

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Originally Posted by lonegirl View Post
no. If I haven't personally witnessed anything I would never risk separating a family over what someone elses says has happened.

Especially after this.
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Originally Posted by bluebirdmama1 View Post
I wont go into more details on my mother, but that she is not always aware of things mentally.
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#8 of 40 Old 08-22-2010, 02:39 PM
 
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I think calling in abuse on hearsay or third-party information would be a very unwise thing to do.

Get the facts first, and not through someone else. Particularly not through someone else who may not have a completely clear perspective.
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#9 of 40 Old 08-22-2010, 02:44 PM
 
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Since you didn't actually witness any abuse yourself, it don't think you should report the abuse, but you could call and ask for advice from them about getting your mom to call.

Alternatively, since this happened at the church, did anyone else see it happen? You could ask the priest (or whatever clergy, or some other church person such as the choir director) about it.

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#10 of 40 Old 08-22-2010, 02:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
So you have never actually met this woman yourself? All you have to go in is hearsay? I would leave it alone.
Agreed.

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#11 of 40 Old 08-22-2010, 02:51 PM
 
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i would not call.

they already have a long history.

i would watch and record some stuff on paper. on such and such day at xx:xx time i saw .... you need documentation and serious stuff. otherwise what's the point of calling. you'd be just another person calling.

and absolutely help the person who witnessed this to make the call.

you have to make this strong. you cannot make just the typical call. if the 10 year old just shares no mom is not strict, she is not afraid of her, that mom is kind and loving, no one is going to separate the kids.

the thing is - this could be some form of 'babywise'. the mom might feel she honestly IS doing the right thing. she perhaps lacked discipline in her childhood and has some trauma from that and so has decided she needs to be super strict with her kids or she truly believes in some sort of babywise philosophy.

though honestly i personally dont think this is a 'call CPS' situation at all. it is more of a 'figure out a way that THATS (the extreme punishment) not the way EITHER.'

it would be much better for you and your mom to get together and WITHOUT assigning any blame just sitting with her and telling her how much you guys are upset watching what you have seen. present them with copies of playful parenting, how to talk so that kids will listen... (since hse has 10 year old)... do NOT talk with any attitude of blame AT ALL. come from a place that you saw this and you guys are really, really upset. or maybe give them some books on what is nomal behaviour for kids. so not a discipline book, but that laura amies series on 'your one year old...' (it goes upto 12 years).

maybe it could be a group of you guys. if she doesnt know you OP you should not be in the talk. get a few members together (not the mean kind but ladies who are admired) and help the mom.

i dont think this is a CPS case and i doubt CPS will see anything wrong.

now this would only work if she knew the people who saw this, the people talking are people who are upset and witnessed the episodes. you want to plant the seed of 'maybe there IS another way'. she wont change right away.

or she is a true psychopath with a Dr Jekyll Mr Hyde personality.

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#12 of 40 Old 08-22-2010, 03:58 PM
 
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I don't think CPS will take a report of second-hand information anyway. I don't think what the mom is doing is okay at all, but I also don't believe there's much you can do at this point.

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#13 of 40 Old 08-22-2010, 06:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
So you have never actually met this woman yourself? All you have to go in is hearsay? I would leave it alone.
Agreed
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#14 of 40 Old 08-22-2010, 06:10 PM
 
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i would watch and record some stuff on paper. on such and such day at xx:xx time i saw .... you need documentation and serious stuff. otherwise what's the point of calling. you'd be just another person calling.
You need to call each time you see something happen, not document then give a long list. It is more effective to call each time and they will document it and keep it on file. As the list grows longer they have more to go off of.

My mother called CPS because my grandma was telling her a lot of the horrible stuff my aunt does to her kids and they didn't do anything or even take the information. You really need to witness what is going on. If you do witness then call, but if not all you can do is encourage your mom to see this for what it is.
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#15 of 40 Old 08-22-2010, 06:41 PM
 
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If your mom actually saw her slam her child's head in a door, I'd tell you to encourage her to call.

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#16 of 40 Old 08-22-2010, 06:44 PM
 
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wait, she is slamming her childs head with the door between the frame and you have to ask if you should call social services?

um yes.


I'm going to presume that your mother is considered to be a reliable witness. since what she told you has bothered you enough to share it here. You didn't dismiss it out of hand. I'd urge her to call since she saw it.
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#17 of 40 Old 08-22-2010, 06:49 PM
 
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I would definitely try to get her to call, or someone else at the church if someone else saw it. Slamming her kid's head in the door? OUCH! But I don't know if they'd pay attention to you because you didn't see it personally.
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#18 of 40 Old 08-22-2010, 10:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks all for the responces. I know I didn't wittness anything, but I couldn't get the thought of the little girl being bashed between a door frame. I really wish I could get my mother to call, but when I pressed about her calling, she got all mad and said she shouldn't have ever said anything to me.

I don't like the thought of interfereing with someones life, but I know the family with the mom I am talking about here is pretty much a wreck. They supposidly have pooh and pee all over the house, and no beds to sleep on since the rooms are filled floor to ceiling with trash, seriously, that bad. I trust my mother about that description- she was the one who told me about it. The family even has a goat living in the house and "goes" all over the place.

When I did ask my mother about calling and getting this woman help, she said that she cannot help her behavior since she was raised the way she is treating her children and lifestyle.

I have really got to get my mother to take some action herself. In the morning I will talk to her.
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#19 of 40 Old 08-22-2010, 11:07 PM
 
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You sound very concerned. You also say that your mother is not always very with it, mentally. Here's what you should do: contact the pastor at the church. Tell him that your mother has been telling you disturbing things about a family in the congregation. Make it clear that you have no idea whether there is truth to this or not - because you don't - and that therefore you are bringing it to his attention.

Chances are that if these things are true, he or she may know about it and be in a position to do something. But there's no way I'd make a call to CPS based on hearsay from a woman whose mental state her own daughter describes as "not always aware."
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#20 of 40 Old 08-22-2010, 11:13 PM
 
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That's not cool at all. I would call.

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#21 of 40 Old 08-22-2010, 11:18 PM
 
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Tell your clergyman. Vermont law requires members of clergy to report suspected abuse.

http://dcf.vermont.gov/fsd/reporting...abuse/mandated

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#22 of 40 Old 08-22-2010, 11:19 PM
 
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Normally I err on the side of keeping one's nose firmly on her side of the fence, but I read thistoday (disturbing and upsetting- 2 young girls removed from a Georgia home) and man, if only someone had called sooner.

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#23 of 40 Old 08-23-2010, 12:20 AM
 
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I would call clergy/pastor at your church and tell them.

I would also make your mother see that this woman 'may not know better' but that someone has to show her HOW to do better and if the one's witnessing the abuse won't then a third party (CPS) should be informed. Make her understand that they are a resource for education and betterment for this mother.

That's a really sad and disturbing thing to hear about. The fact that she doesn't act like this in public is telling as well.

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#24 of 40 Old 08-23-2010, 01:54 AM
 
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If the woman acts like this because of being raised like this, then WHAT THE WILL HAPPEN WITH THE KIDS?!??!?!?

Tell your mom that the kids deserve to have their mom given a chance to learn a better way. For the sake of themselves AND their children.

Oh, and it's not "a good family with a little child abuse" it's an abusive family that puts on a good front.
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#25 of 40 Old 08-23-2010, 03:03 AM
 
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Are you in a position to go with your mom to try to help this family? It sounds like this mother is completely overwhelmed. If it's true that her children are living in the conditions that you described and the mom is exhibiting the behavior that you described (2nd hand), then they need help.

If you go over there yourself, you can offer some concrete help for this woman. If things are really bad in the house, then you can make the decision about calling CPS yourself.

I would also alert the pastor. Not only are they mandated reporters, but there may be congregational resources to help this family -- counseling, physical help to clean up the house, people to volunteer to babysit.

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#26 of 40 Old 08-23-2010, 07:58 PM
 
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is it possible your mom exaggerated a bit? That would explain why she is upset about you pushing her. Sometimes people do that. If you did not see what happened I certainly would not call. Your mom may have stretched the truth a bit for drama and now does not want to admit to it.

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#27 of 40 Old 08-23-2010, 11:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lilyka View Post
is it possible your mom exaggerated a bit? That would explain why she is upset about you pushing her. Sometimes people do that. If you did not see what happened I certainly would not call. Your mom may have stretched the truth a bit for drama and now does not want to admit to it.
This is exactly what I thought when I read the OP.

Because it was your mom who witnessed whatever happened ultimately it has to be her who calls or doesn't call. I'd certainly encourage her to call (since of course things could have happened exactly as she described), but I don't think you can/should do much more than that. And depending on your relationship with your mom you could question her on it... "is the real reason that you don't want me to call because you exaggerated what happened? Can you tell me what really happened?" or whatever...

Good luck mama. I think the situation deserves a bit more probing. Keep us updated.

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#28 of 40 Old 08-23-2010, 11:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lonegirl View Post
no. If I haven't personally witnessed anything I would never risk separating a family over what someone elses says has happened.
:

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebirdmama1 View Post
Thanks all for the responces. I know I didn't wittness anything, but I couldn't get the thought of the little girl being bashed between a door frame. I really wish I could get my mother to call, but when I pressed about her calling, she got all mad and said she shouldn't have ever said anything to me.

I don't like the thought of interfereing with someones life, but I know the family with the mom I am talking about here is pretty much a wreck. They supposidly have pooh and pee all over the house, and no beds to sleep on since the rooms are filled floor to ceiling with trash, seriously, that bad. I trust my mother about that description- she was the one who told me about it. The family even has a goat living in the house and "goes" all over the place.

When I did ask my mother about calling and getting this woman help, she said that she cannot help her behavior since she was raised the way she is treating her children and lifestyle.

I have really got to get my mother to take some action herself. In the morning I will talk to her.
okay- THIS??? supposedly? this kind of stuff sounds like either gossip or a situation that requires someone to step in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka View Post
is it possible your mom exaggerated a bit? That would explain why she is upset about you pushing her. Sometimes people do that. If you did not see what happened I certainly would not call. Your mom may have stretched the truth a bit for drama and now does not want to admit to it.
my mother does this. she exaggerates and then refuses to elaborate if you catch on and try to coax more info out of her.

she has told my family back home that we were so poor we couldnt afford beds, formula or diapers (because we chose to cosleep, breastfeed and used cloth diapers), she said that I had become a crazy religious fanatic (because we homeschool and do not celebrate mainstream halloween & christmas due to being PAGAN and not wanting junk gross candy).

they came and visited for a week, and then went home and told everyone we starved them... because we didnt have any doritos, ice cream or coffee cake or soda.

so I would try to meet the woman everyone is talking about and scope out the situation yourself.

believing gossip is dangerous.

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#29 of 40 Old 08-24-2010, 12:44 AM
 
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Well, it kind of sounds like they have a squalor/neglect situation, and if CPS has actually been called before and has been to the home, it may be that there's a case open and they're working with them.

Most CPS workers would pick up on feces in the home and get the family involved with services in some way.

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#30 of 40 Old 08-25-2010, 07:20 PM
 
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i would contact the pastor of your mother's church and let him know what your mother has told you. i would assume that he must have some knowledge of this family. if in fact things are this bad...mom slamming a child's head repeatedly in a door, etc...then a call needs to be made. i wouldn't recommend that it be by you unless you personally witness this behavior though. i wouldn't just let it go though. children, even a 10yr old, aren't able most of the time to seek out the help they might need in this sort of situation. it is our job as adults, to see that children are safe.
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