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?
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...
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...
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.