my neighbors tie their teenager to the chair?! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 81 Old 06-25-2007, 05:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have been a witness to something quite disturbing a couple times now and I am not sure what else I can do about it. The family across the street has a 17 year old daughter that is going through a hard time right now. She has been unhappy at home and sneaking out with friends...stuff that I did when I was her age. The other night I woke up to a sound that I thought was a cat barfing in the yard and I looked out the window and saw her dad had her in a choke hold dragging her onto the lawn. She had stolen the car in the middle of the night and to keep her from running off on foot he had her pinned on her stomach on the grass with her hands behind her. :

At this point I was worried for her and I ran outside in my nightgown and told him that she could sleep at my house for the night so that they could cool off and talk about it in the morning. BTW, this is the 3rd episode like this that I have been a witness to. I was even more disturbed when I talked to her mom the next day and she said that sometimes they have to tie her to the chair so she won't run off in the night. I was speechless and just told them again that if she needed to come over to my house to get away when those situations come up then that would be better than hurting her... I told them that I couldn't watch her be treated that way and not do something about it. I don't know what else I should have done. I want to keep the peace with my neighbors , but that poor girl is hurting and needs something besides this kind of treatment. Any ideas?
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#2 of 81 Old 06-25-2007, 06:00 PM
 
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Holy %&*@!!!!! Screw peace with the neighbors, I'd call the cops! That poor girl!

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#3 of 81 Old 06-25-2007, 06:00 PM
 
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WTF!? : I would've called the cops. Call the cops. That poor girl!
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#4 of 81 Old 06-25-2007, 06:09 PM
 
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call the police. immediately. she is running away to get out of her obviously EXTREMELY abusive household.

is there any way to talk to the girl privately to find out if there are other forms of abuse happening? she needs to get out of that house as soon as possible...
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#5 of 81 Old 06-25-2007, 06:10 PM
 
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I would also call the police.

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#6 of 81 Old 06-25-2007, 06:18 PM
 
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I couldn't read and not respond, even though it's already been said. Call the cops, please.

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#7 of 81 Old 06-25-2007, 06:20 PM
 
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Call the COPS!!!!!!!!

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#8 of 81 Old 06-25-2007, 06:22 PM
 
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Call the police, call child protective services. Do it today.
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#9 of 81 Old 06-25-2007, 06:24 PM
 
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Just piping in to agree with what everyone else said. Treating a teenager that way is NOT okay.

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#10 of 81 Old 06-25-2007, 06:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is the part that I didn't mention...They think that she is bipolar and needs meds and that they are keeping her from harming herself if they physically contain her. When I have spoken to her mom privately, she has shared that she doesn't know what else to do because she won't go to counseling, etc. It's confusing to me because her mom actually works with troubled teens at a continuation high school. : It's the dad that acts violent. I have seen the mom stand in the middle of the 2 of them. I am due in 4 weeks and I am not comfortable creating problems for myself, that is why I WILL call the police next time. I let them know that after this last episode...
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#11 of 81 Old 06-25-2007, 06:31 PM
 
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for that poor childs sake please call the police...what your neighbors are doing is illegal not to mention cruel, an abuse of parental authority, a breech of trust, and i'm sure damaging to her mental health...i'm not sure what the exact charge would be but i do know this is very illegal to restrain someone against their will...
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#12 of 81 Old 06-25-2007, 06:32 PM
 
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Next time, call the police. Those parents could be on their last nerve and feel they have no other option but to physically restrain her, and in their anger, seriously hurting her. Time to interviene.

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#13 of 81 Old 06-25-2007, 06:35 PM
 
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i would not call CPS. that girl will be traumatized even more in foster care. i would call the cops and talk to them though. have them come out to speak to the family maybe? does your neighbor go to church? maybe his pastor could come out there? if it were me personally, i know it would be extremely uncomfortable but maybe you need to march over there and talk to them and their daughter. i'm sure having an out of control teen really sux, and they probably know they are handling it completely wrong....maybe they just don't know what to do...maybe they are bad parents? dunno? sounds like they all need family therapy for sure. perhaps you could go over with some referrals of family therapist or something. gosh i don't know. my field is in social work, and i can tell you that foster care is not the better option....but you need to do something. you are guilty by association if you don't speak up, ya know???

i didn't see your post saying you were pregnant....so never mind going over there. that stress will not be good for you and the baby at all.

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#14 of 81 Old 06-25-2007, 06:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for confirming my gut instinct. It has been hard for me to decide what the right thing to do is because the mom and I are somewhat friends and vist with eachother. That is why I told them that I don't agree with what they are doing and that I will call the police. Otherwise I wouldn't have even tried to talk it out. I plan to talk to the daughter one on one when I see her next. Seeing her go through this has triggered memories of the dealing with my depression and anxiety as a teen and feeling like I just want to get away. Up until now I have felt like callig the police would ruin my chances to help her. Now I just feel like it's not worth risking her safety...
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#15 of 81 Old 06-25-2007, 06:48 PM
 
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I personally would call someone, cps, cops, whoever that deals with child abuse. To me THAT is child abuse, and I, in no way, will witness something like that and NOT do something.
One person can make a difference in this child's life, you can safe this child for whats next.
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#16 of 81 Old 06-25-2007, 06:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have decided that I am going to write her a letter and invite her to come and talk if she needs to. I feel like reaching out to her would be a better way to deal with things. I need to do it before another incident happens.
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#17 of 81 Old 06-25-2007, 06:57 PM
 
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Talk schtalk, call the cops.
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#18 of 81 Old 06-25-2007, 07:26 PM
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COPS and Cps. Today. That is horrible child abuse
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#19 of 81 Old 06-25-2007, 07:28 PM
 
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I still say call the cops, the new info. doesn't change a THING, except maybe make it WORSE! These people are sick in the head.

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#20 of 81 Old 06-25-2007, 08:04 PM
 
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this is upsetting to read. call cps!
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#21 of 81 Old 06-25-2007, 08:08 PM
 
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Please call the police, this girl needs protction.
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#22 of 81 Old 06-25-2007, 08:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soybeansmama View Post
This is the part that I didn't mention...They think that she is bipolar and needs meds and that they are keeping her from harming herself if they physically contain her. When I have spoken to her mom privately, she has shared that she doesn't know what else to do because she won't go to counseling, etc. It's confusing to me because her mom actually works with troubled teens at a continuation high school. : It's the dad that acts violent. I have seen the mom stand in the middle of the 2 of them. I am due in 4 weeks and I am not comfortable creating problems for myself, that is why I WILL call the police next time. I let them know that after this last episode...
The risk (to the girl) involved in waiting for there to be a next time is profound. Their handling of an out-of-control-possibly-chemically-imbalanced teenagaer crossed the line a long time ago. You don't have any garaentee that next time won't have escalated. This family needs intervention, immediately.

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I personally would call someone, cps, cops, whoever that deals with child abuse. To me THAT is child abuse, and I, in no way, will witness something like that and NOT do something.
One person can make a difference in this child's life, you can safe this child for whats next.
Our neighbors' girls (16 & 17) are nuts. They have trashy boys around all the time, and sneak out, smoke under my daughter's window and are just totally unruly. I remember wanting freedoms and privaledges my folks didn't deem me worthy of at 16-17. I snuck out, experimented, etc... and was generally dissatisfied with the manner in which I was parented. Not uncommon. My dad pop-riveted the screen onto the sill of my window, and put in a bolt to keep the window from opening more that just enough for me to squeeeeeze out with some difficulty in the event of an emergency. He threatened to put a dead-bolt on my door from the outside...

There are other ways for her to deal with her fear or anger than to go running off into the night to be abducted, raped, murdered, drugged, whatever. And there are other ways for them to handle their child.

It helps to have someone to talk to. If you're comfortable doing so, approach the girl asap, and avail yourself to her... "I know things are crazy and you're very unhappy. Please know you have an ally and a confidante. You can come over or call whenever you need to to talk, or if you need shelter." Let her mom know you are doing this. It might help mom to know she has this back-up, in a way. Ask the daughter if she wants CPS involved. Maybe she would value the intervention, she might thrive in a foster home... my foster brother-in-law did. My 2 brothers-in-law spent time as the foster kids of the family that adopted them (dh's) and flourished. Not ALL foster-situations are bad. If you're up to it to go this far, or far enough to provide her shelter... maybe YOU guys ought to foster her for a week or so... she'd see mom and dad, be right across the street from 'em, and shoot, maybe she would be helpful around the house as you prep for baby. Mom and dad could sign over temporary guardianship of her so that all is legal, or whatev. My close friend had to do this with her child while she got herself clean and on medication so that she could be the super parent she is now.
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#23 of 81 Old 06-25-2007, 08:14 PM
 
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I don't necessarily know that calling the cops is the best thing to do. My sister is bi-polar and caused all kinds of conflict in my family. There were incidents when she was in a severely depressed state that she would try to run away saying she was going to kill herself. My parents truly feared she'd do harm to herself. More than once my dad restrained her in our front yard as she tried to run away. My dad is an extremely gentle person. He rarely raised his voice, and he never laid a hand on me or my siblings. But in that situation he didn't know how else to keep her from running away. She wasn't running from an abusive situation. She was mentally ill. She also would refuse counseling and meds which she desperately needed. Granted, my parents needed professional help. My dad is a pastor, but he didn't have the knowledge or experience with how to deal with a situation like this. Now he frequently helps people with mental health issues, though!

I think you should call a mental health hotline or hospital in your area and ask them what for advice. Intervening could either really help this family or it could hurt them. Maybe call a local pastor if you go to church or know one.
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#24 of 81 Old 06-25-2007, 08:34 PM
 
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I do not care if she has mental illness or not- that is NOT a free pass for her parents to put her in a CHOKE HOLD, or TIE HER TO A CHAIR!!!

If they are unable to handle her, then she needs to be in the care of someone who CAN!

He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.  ~Albert Einstein
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#25 of 81 Old 06-25-2007, 08:45 PM
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I do not care if she has mental illness or not- that is NOT a free pass for her parents to put her in a CHOKE HOLD, or TIE HER TO A CHAIR!!!

If they are unable to handle her, then she needs to be in the care of someone who CAN!
:
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#26 of 81 Old 06-25-2007, 08:48 PM
 
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I personally was a victim of child abuse/domestic abuse, and NO ONE did a dang thing when they witnessed my father hit me, and force food (LITTERLY) in my mouth, everyone was scared. NO ONE did a darn thing when they saw how my ex used to CHOKE me and sufficate me with a pillow. You know how that made me feel? Like everyone just didn't care, and just went on with their lives. It made me feel ALONE, and scared.

I don't ever hesitate doing what I feel is right when I witness any kind of abuse, and I have no problem calling cops when I see something like that.
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#27 of 81 Old 06-25-2007, 08:50 PM
 
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I did NOT suggest mental illness was a free pass to put a child in a choke hold or to tie a child to a chair. And I take offense that you suggest I did.

Consider for a moment the abuse the teen may be inflicting on her family. Unless you've lived with a mentally ill person it's probably hard to imagine. When she was in a rage my sister would yell at us, break things, throw things at us, hit, punch, kick, and claw at my parents, me, and my brother, pull hair, etc. Often this was caused by my parents denying her money or permission to do something. Physically restraining her was the only way to prevent her from hurting one of us or someone else.

Did my parents need help? Absolutely. Did they need the police and possibly CPS involved? No. Did my sister need to be in foster care? Absolutely not. That would have only made it worse. I'd go so far as to say that even a mental hospital could have caused more harm that good.

All I'm saying is that calling the cops is not the *first* step I'd recommend the OP take. Calling a mental health clinic, hospital, or hotline, or calling a faith leader (pastor, rabbi, etc.) of some kind is what I'd suggest. Things are not always as they appear on the outside.

ETA: The parents should definitely not be tying their daughter to a chair. They clearly need help. Dealing with mental illness is so tricky. I hope they find help whether the OP is able to be part of that or not. Sorry. I just can't be objective after growing up with my bi-polar sister. I don't condone the parents crossing the line. But I can understand why they might have. There isn't enough done for mentally ill people in this country. It's lonely to be mentally ill, I'm sure. It's also lonely to be the parents/sibling of one.
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#28 of 81 Old 06-25-2007, 08:50 PM
 
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before you call. In some areas this would just be seen as the parents dealing with the unruly teen and they will side with the parents..
that could make things worse for her...
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#29 of 81 Old 06-25-2007, 09:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soybeansmama View Post
The other night I woke up to a sound that I thought was a cat barfing in the yard and I looked out the window and saw her dad had her in a choke hold dragging her onto the lawn. She had stolen the car in the middle of the night and to keep her from running off on foot he had her pinned on her stomach on the grass with her hands behind her.
<snip>
...
Any ideas?
This is abuse.

Call the police.
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#30 of 81 Old 06-25-2007, 09:07 PM
 
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i agree it's not right to be abusive, and this is definitely abuse. but having said that, unless you've had a completely out of control teenager before, it's hard to say how extreme you would let your own behavior become to try and keep your daughter safe from herself and others. i can't imagine how upset i would be if my daughter stole the car in the middle of the night. THANK GOD she was not killed or hurt. the dad was completely out of line, no excuses. i am not advocating their behavior at all. i think it is awful, and i pray i never even have to think about my child and i being so distant from one another that our relationship would come to lies, yelling, and no communication. i'm just saying, it's easy for all of us to sit here and judge these parents and say how bad they are, but maybe they really love their daughter and are trying to protect her from her crappy friends and her abusive self. it doesn't excuse their behavior....but it does mean they need HELP.

in actuality, if the girl is 17 - she can move out. i did at her age, and it was a very tough lesson to learn. and i'll tell you that when i was in my early 20's doing drugs and hanging out with the worst "friends" i could find, the people that came and bailed my butt out were my parents. they rented a uhaul and came to the worst part of downtown atlanta and moved all of my stuff home to their place and let me live there for years & for free while i finally got my life together. they paid for me to attend college, and as bad i was as a teenager....they never gave up on me. and they definitely would have been considered "abusive" to me as a teenager in all of your eyes. just wanted to throw in another perspective. having said that though -- original poster....you owe it this girl to try and extend help to her benefit.

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