WWYD? I walked away from a potential child abuse situation... - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 17 Old 09-20-2010, 10:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
Toposlonoshlep's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: happy in the world
Posts: 379
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I feel so unsettled about this and regret not having spoken up further. I think the shock of what I witnessed really made me unsure of just what to do.

I was at the dermatologist's office today, which is part of a large hospital here in NYC. Very culturally diverse patient population. While I am waiting, a foreign man walks in (the ethnicity I feel is irrelevant to the situation, but the fact that he is from a different culture may be...) holding a teenage boy (severely mentally disabled) violently by the arm. In his other hand he is holding a wide leather belt with studs. The boy begins to pull away from him and the man just tightens his grip and holds him until the boy is on the ground. The man then proceeds to yell at the boy to "sit" and "stay" in a way that most wouldn't to their dog. The boy retreats to the hallway off of the reception area and cowers there while his father pursues him with the belt. Now, I don't have that much experience in caring for the disabled, but not at all ok, in my opinion. The boy is clearly terrified.

I pull aside a medical assistant who is handling reception stuff and draw his attention to the situation. He comes up to he boy, says, "what's wrong?", but the boy is clearly non verbal and just continues to cower.

The part that killed me was that EVERYONE in the waiting area saw this and everyone just stared. I overheard two nurses (there with their clients) say that it must be hard for the father and that he has to do what he has to do to control him. In the end, the man rescheduled the appointment and they left.

I cannot stop thinking about what I saw. I feel it was a bigger deal than anyone made of it. I can't forget that boy's fear.

What would you have done?!?

buddamomimg1.pngWriter/Designer/Hip Hippie Russian Mama to Torngtongue.gif (3yo) and Kboc.gif(4mo)

 

 
 
Toposlonoshlep is offline  
#2 of 17 Old 09-20-2010, 10:58 PM
 
angelpie545's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near water, with a refreshing rain
Posts: 6,674
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would call CPS immediately, and possibly gone outside to take a picture of the license plate the man was driving. I can't help but wonder where is that you went that people were so callous and uncaring to an obviously violent and abusive situation? I'm pretty sure all medical staff in every state are mandated reporters.

Bethany, crunchy Christian mom to Destiny (11) Deanna (9), and Ethan (2)

angelpie545 is offline  
#3 of 17 Old 09-20-2010, 11:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
Toposlonoshlep's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: happy in the world
Posts: 379
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by angelpie545 View Post
I would call CPS immediately, and possibly gone outside to take a picture of the license plate the man was driving. I can't help but wonder where is that you went that people were so callous and uncaring to an obviously violent and abusive situation? I'm pretty sure all medical staff in every state are mandated reporters.
I was in New York, the land of minding one's own business... That's what totally threw me off, the lack of reaction from the medical staff. It made me second guess myself. He wasn't hitting the boy, but it was such obvious abuse...Very few people have cars here, so following them wasn't an option. I did overhear, however, the date of their rescheduled appointment. Is it too late to call CPS and tell them?

buddamomimg1.pngWriter/Designer/Hip Hippie Russian Mama to Torngtongue.gif (3yo) and Kboc.gif(4mo)

 

 
 
Toposlonoshlep is offline  
#4 of 17 Old 09-20-2010, 11:26 PM
 
blizzard_babe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Land of Beer and Cheese, baby.
Posts: 4,910
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toposlonoshlep View Post
I was in New York, the land of minding one's own business... That's what totally threw me off, the lack of reaction from the medical staff. It made me second guess myself. He wasn't hitting the boy, but it was such obvious abuse...Very few people have cars here, so following them wasn't an option. I did overhear, however, the date of their rescheduled appointment. Is it too late to call CPS and tell them?
I don't think it's too late. They probably can't force info out of the hospital employees, but they can, um, STRONGLY remind them of their legal and ethical duties as mandated reporters nurses and doctors are mandated reporters, NYC cultural norms of minding-own-business be damned.

Me+DH+DS1+DS2+Dog=me and a house full of guys, which is really just peachy, thanks.
blizzard_babe is offline  
#5 of 17 Old 09-21-2010, 10:15 AM
 
hildare's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: in-the-sticks-off-a-dirt-road, GA
Posts: 2,692
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have a big mouth and tend to be confrontational.. so, what i would do is probably not an appropriate move for you.
however, let me just say that medical care providers are MANDATORY REPORTERS of abuse. i could offer some advice to you, and suggest that you phone that office right now! and tell them when your appointment was and tell them what you saw. they can find out who it was by the appointment time. you can possibly id the folks in the office working at the time who may have witnessed this and let them know you believe that they should report this to cps and ask whether they have, and remind them that it is mandatory that they report the incident. my goodness, that poor child.
speak to the office manager/supervisor and threaten to call human resources. tell them you want it reported. yesterday.
(see.. i'm confrontational.. can't help it...)

Is it getting lonely in the echo chamber yet?

hildare is offline  
#6 of 17 Old 09-21-2010, 10:27 AM
 
Momma Moo Martin's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Southern Illinois
Posts: 420
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by hildare View Post
i could offer some advice to you, and suggest that you phone that office right now! and tell them when your appointment was and tell them what you saw. they can find out who it was by the appointment time. you can possibly id the folks in the office working at the time who may have witnessed this and let them know you believe that they should report this to cps and ask whether they have, and remind them that it is mandatory that they report the incident. my goodness, that poor child.
speak to the office manager/supervisor and threaten to call human resources. tell them you want it reported. yesterday.



I hope you call the office and CPS, op. Don't let this abuser control you too! You know what you saw and you are not crazy for recognizing the situation as horribly wrong.

Momma to my beautiful blessing pinktongue.gif (Nov '08) and two Spirit babies angel3.gif (Dec '09) and angel2.gif (July '10)
 
 
 
 
Momma Moo Martin is offline  
#7 of 17 Old 09-21-2010, 10:37 AM
 
crunchy_mommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 6,501
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Oh. my. gosh. I would have stepped between them. Or something I probably technically "shouldn't" do. Or started bawling. I don't know, that is so horrible.

Definitely call CPS & report whatever info you do know (what happened, what time you were there, what they looked like, if you caught a first name, etc.) Also would ask the med assistant that asked "what's wrong" to report as well.

Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
crunchy_mommy is offline  
#8 of 17 Old 09-21-2010, 12:47 PM
 
CarrieMF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Alberta/Saskatchewan
Posts: 8,930
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If you call what exactly are you reporting on a man holding a belt who was physically having to hold his son's arm & the boy was cowering?

You really know nothing about this this situation.

Cowering - the boy could be terrified of crowds, people, doctors, this particular office(especially if the appt was for him).

The belt - could be soemthing the boy really likes & is what the father used to get the boy to come with him with less physical force. The boy could have taken it off of himself & the man was holding it or took it away from the boy.

violently holding him by the arm - what exactly does that mean. How big was this boy? This may be the way they have to hold him to get him to come with him. He could be a runner & it may be the only way they can keep him from running away.

The boy pulling away, the man having to tell him to sit & stay makes it sound alot like this boy is a runner & he's had to chase him down to get him back.

Unless the man actually hit the boy with the belt I"m not sure what you're reporting on.

I work with an 8yo non-verbal very mentally delayed autistic child. When he's a teen or older what you described I can definitly see happening just to try & get any control over him & to get him to go where he needs to go.

We direct him in ways that it looks like we're dragging him by the arm(because we are) as it is one of the only ways we can get him to move. If we don't have to be somewhere fast then we let him go at his pace but that isn't always possible, especially out in public.

He is often told to sit & stay because he just won't. He listens better to a sharp tone in those situations than a normal tone. He'll listen to a sharp clap of the hands, slap on a table or a snap of the fingers. Our boy isn't much of a runner but he eats everything non-edible so we need him to sit & stay & keep 2 eyes on him at all times.

Right now we can keep him in control, he is slightly overweight but he's 8. When he's 15 or 26 he is going to be much harder & it is going to take more physical effort to keep him going where he needs to go, especially if he doesn't want to go.
CarrieMF is offline  
#9 of 17 Old 09-21-2010, 02:01 PM
 
2goingon2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 717
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarrieMF View Post
If you call what exactly are you reporting on a man holding a belt who was physically having to hold his son's arm & the boy was cowering? Just that. He was threatening the boy who in the OP's eyes, was genuinely frightened.


You really know nothing about this this situation. - Sounds like she saw enough to report.
Cowering - the boy could be terrified of crowds, people, doctors, this particular office(especially if the appt was for him).

The belt - could be soemthing the boy really likes & is what the father used to get the boy to come with him with less physical force. The boy could have taken it off of himself & the man was holding it or took it away from the boy. - Seriously?
violently holding him by the arm - what exactly does that mean. How big was this boy? This may be the way they have to hold him to get him to come with him. He could be a runner & it may be the only way they can keep him from running away. - True - I worked with developmentally disabled adults and children for several years and yes, this could be true.
The boy pulling away, the man having to tell him to sit & stay makes it sound alot like this boy is a runner & he's had to chase him down to get him back. - But speaking to him like he's a dog? Not necessary.

Unless the man actually hit the boy with the belt I"m not sure what you're reporting on. The threat of violence to a mentally incapacitated human being.
I work with an 8yo non-verbal very mentally delayed autistic child. When he's a teen or older what you described I can definitly see happening just to try & get any control over him & to get him to go where he needs to go.

We direct him in ways that it looks like we're dragging him by the arm(because we are) as it is one of the only ways we can get him to move. If we don't have to be somewhere fast then we let him go at his pace but that isn't always possible, especially out in public.

He is often told to sit & stay because he just won't. He listens better to a sharp tone in those situations than a normal tone. He'll listen to a sharp clap of the hands, slap on a table or a snap of the fingers. Our boy isn't much of a runner but he eats everything non-edible so we need him to sit & stay & keep 2 eyes on him at all times.

Right now we can keep him in control, he is slightly overweight but he's 8. When he's 15 or 26 he is going to be much harder & it is going to take more physical effort to keep him going where he needs to go, especially if he doesn't want to go.
- so in other words...what the OP saw was okay because you have to do that to keep them in line? My sister has been a foster parent to many different developmentally disabled teenage boys for the past 16 years. What the OP described is truly sad and needs to be reported. Unfortunately, some people do foster parenting for the money only.
He needs to be reported.

The sea monkey has my money.

2goingon2 is offline  
#10 of 17 Old 09-21-2010, 02:41 PM
 
earthgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,644
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
OP, I'm so sorry that you had to witness that. And obviously very sorry for the boy. While it's true that you don't have the whole story, it sounds like you saw enough to know that something was really wrong with that situation. I wouldn't know what to do either, but if you really feel that what you saw warrants a call to CPS then by all means do it.
earthgirl is offline  
#11 of 17 Old 09-21-2010, 02:46 PM
 
jeminijad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 936
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2goingon2 View Post
- so in other words...what the OP saw was okay because you have to do that to keep them in line? My sister has been a foster parent to many different developmentally disabled teenage boys for the past 16 years. What the OP described is truly sad and needs to be reported. Unfortunately, some people do foster parenting for the money only.
He needs to be reported.
No one is saying what she saw is OK.

But it is also not OK to involve the authorities in an innocent person's life, or to call up with vague stories of people in NYC with belts. It only makes sense to step back and look at the facts, in order to determine the best course of action.

Mother to R- 2/09, & C- 5/11

jeminijad is offline  
#12 of 17 Old 09-21-2010, 03:52 PM
 
Landover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Georgia
Posts: 252
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The point of reporting something is so that the authorities can investigate and make a call regarding abuse. You do not have to be absolutely certain that there is severe abuse happening prior to calling. Call... let CPS do their job.

What the heck is wrong with folks when we second guess a man who clearly strong armed a boy while threatening him with a belt? I can kind of see being too frightened to do something right then and there, but to sit and make up any ridiculous explanation to get the man off the hook is just silly. Maybe the belt was the boys favorite thing? That is just silly.

Please call both the doctors office and CPS. If more people spoke up and did the right thing in situations like this, it might save children from pain.
Landover is offline  
#13 of 17 Old 09-21-2010, 04:30 PM
 
meemee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Norther California
Posts: 12,761
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
what i would have done? maybe reported him, however expect nothing.

there are two things here. first i know nothing of the disabled culture. what might look scary to me might be completely normal in their life. the belt and scare tactic might just be something done out of the home, not at home. i dont know.

however i think i would rather report than go than talk to the dad. if indeed it is nothing, CPS can figure that out.

my friend is a special needs teacher.

different culture or here makes no difference. or should i say v. little difference.

there is so so so so so much torture against SN kids here. that's the main reason why that profession has a high turnover. teachers cant handle how parents take care/treat their children.

we as a society fail people with disability/Special Needs

 treehugger.gif Co-parent, joy.gifcold.gifbrand new homeschooling middle schoolerjoy.gif, and an attackcat.gif 
meemee is online now  
#14 of 17 Old 09-21-2010, 07:51 PM
 
Minky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 774
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I feel a little guilty saying this after reading all the responses, but I would have done the same as the OP. Knowing I was surrounded by mandated reporters, I would have assumed the nurses and doctors would have had a talk with the father when their appointment time came up, and called CPS if necessary.
Minky is offline  
#15 of 17 Old 09-22-2010, 11:02 PM
 
bella99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 422
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I work in social services and in NY State, so I am also a mandated reporter. I make CPS calls often enough, unfortunately.

The OP could call, but she doesn't have anything that would cause them to initiate an investigation. The call would be rejected, and in NY, there is no record kept of the calls not accepted for investigation.

She didn't see ANYTHING that was abuse or neglect. Whether this man was right or wrong, he didn't do anything illegal. The PP is right, the boy could have been scared due to any number of things, considering it appears he was developmentally disabled. And while the man *may* be using the belt as a form of control or abuse, there's no evidence he did anything with it, other than holding it.

What would the OP tell the operators at the hotline, that she saw something that made her uncomfortable and she is assuming there is abuse going on? The operators on the other end are trained professionals, who make decisions based on the information the callers provide them with, whether to initiate an investigation or not. Not every call results in an investigation. The vast majority of calls made are not accepted for investigation.
bella99 is offline  
#16 of 17 Old 09-23-2010, 11:39 AM
 
CarrieMF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Alberta/Saskatchewan
Posts: 8,930
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
holding a belt is not threatening someone.

telling someone to "sit & stay" can be the most effective way to get them to listen. It's short & to the point.

A 5, maybe 10 minute glimpse isn't enough to know what is going on, if anything.

And Yeah I am serious that the boy could have been wearing the belt & took it off, or it could have been something used as a reinforcer(not physically but if you do this then you can play with your belt).
CarrieMF is offline  
#17 of 17 Old 09-23-2010, 05:39 PM
 
Strong Mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: in love with my hubby
Posts: 2,998
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well obviously you dont know the whole story. But thats OK.You saw it, you didnt think it was right, you saw FEAR. Fear.
You should go back to the waiting area, and report it to the receptionists immmediately.Or call.

This happened to me once. I saw a mother in a clinic with her 18 month old. She looked tired and frazzled. The 18 month old was apparently very sick as he was crying non stop and coughing. The 18 month old was not too sick where he was trying to climb on the coffee table, under the chairs, you know,being a 18 month old. There was a point where he cried for about 10 mins solid. Everything she tried didnt work. I offered help. She declined. She then started shaking him and told him to the shut the f up.

I told the receptionist/nurse.
yes, she was probably a great mother. she was probably tired. i get that, been there, done that. my thing is, if shes doing THAT in public.........public.....what is she doing at home? I played it safe and told. I do not know what came of it, but I did my duty and told a mandated reporter.

Its not going to hurt to tell.

Me and my wonderful husband serve God. Blessed with twin girls 2/11/11. <3

Strong Mama is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off