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Topic: What to do about possible abuse...?
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JR

3/20/2010 1:31:56 AM
Member since:
Nov 2007
Total posts:1804
What to do about possible abuse...?

My daughter has spoken to my wife and I about a problem one of her friends at school is having at home. Both children are in grade 6 and her friend is new in town and at the school. My daughter says that her friend was crying in gym class the other day. When she asked him what was wrong, he told her that his dad had been hitting him in the stomach to "toughen him up".  
 
Now, I don't know this boy, but I know that my daughter is a very empathetic child and this is really bothering her. She promised to not tell anyone what she had been told. From what I understand, the boy's parents are separated or divorced. I don't know what the custody arrangements are. He has also been telling the same story to other children in the class.  
 
Here's the problem: I know that something must be going on. Either this boy is a chronic liar or he is being abused. Who do I talk to? My daughter gets very upset at the notion of telling anyone - she doesn't want him to get in trouble and she doesn't want to break a promise to her friend. Is it appropriate to go to the principal of the school? I've never had to deal with something like this before and I'm at a loss about what to do.  
 
Can someone who has been in a similar situation offer any advice?

 
 
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of3

3/20/2010 2:51:56 AM
Member since:
Mar 2010
Total posts:348
Tell someone...

If not I would say your just as bad as the abuser.

Amused

3/20/2010 5:56:19 AM
Member since:
Jun 2007
Total posts:3492
Make the calls immediately....

Talk to the principal, school councilor or teacher and have them look into it from the school. My question is why have they not picked up on this too or if they have, what have they done about it?  
 
Go and talk to the police and do it quick.  
 
Call CFS.  
 
This young fellow is asking for help "without asking". Think of the damage that is being done to his internal organs, his body, his mental health, his self esteem. His "father" is using him as a punching bag and if his parents are separated, one parent may be taking their anger out on the innocent victim. The abuse will only get worse for this child and it is horrible now.  
 
If you want, you just have to let them know how you came about the information and you ask them not to tell who anyone where the information came from. They are not supposed to reveal their sources anyway.  
 
I make the call when something is not "right" when I get told something or I notice something. Depending on the situation, I have no issues bringing it to the school personnel's attention so that they can investigate further. If it is noticeable to me, I have not problem calling in the authorities however in this situation, I would have no problem calling the authorities immediately. That is what they are there for - to protect the innocent, those that cannot protect themselves.  
 
If you need any incentive, picture the child laying in a casket....grim picture is it not? If anything happens to this child and you know you could have done something about, is that something you can live with for the rest of your life? If it was your child, would you not want someone to step in and protect your child?  
 
If this child survives the abuse, there is a possibility that when he has children, he too will abuse the children…the cycle has to stop but that is in the future, if the child lives to have a future.  
 
I am not trying to make you feel guilty. I am asking you to look at the reality of the situation. You asked for advice and my advice is to make the calls and make those calls immediately.  

blanket

3/20/2010 8:13:23 AM
Member since:
Jun 2009
Total posts:260
talk

to the principal. Something similar happened within my extended family a number of years ago. The child accused a parent of abuse. This was reported to school officials. The school officials cannot ignore this. They then reported it to CFS. CFS did an investigation. In this situation the abuse never did occur, it was a child mad at a parent looking to get back at them. In the end it was an eye opener for the parents and family counciling followed. Today they are a very healthy family which I'm pretty sure would not have been the case if they didn't have to go through what they went through with CFS etc.  
 
As you said either the child is lying or it's happening. Either way, help is needed. If the child is lying, I wonder what brought on the lies. That needs to be figured out with a professional involved. If the child is not lying the child needs outside help to get away from the attacker.  
 
I understand your dilema. Tell the principle and lose your daughters trust. Don't tell and the child is potentially in danger. This is a situation where you are going to have to break the trust. While she may not understand now later in life she will understand why you had to do it.

Cee Jay 55

3/20/2010 8:26:35 AM
Member since:
Apr 2009
Total posts:4079

Yes, definitely contact at least the counsellor at the school and repeat what you were told and your concerns.  
 
It is possible the father is misguided and actually thinks he is toughening up his son by hitting him in the stomach in an attempt to make him "macho".  
 
In any case, it would be classified as abuse if true.  
 
EDIT: Also, you state he has been telling others in his class. So as far as your daughter is concerned, any one of their parents may have called the school/CFS.  
 
Edited by ChrisV, 2010-03-20 08:45:55

[FTW!]K-o.0-b-l-a-h

3/20/2010 8:30:30 AM
Member since:
May 2008
Total posts:803
o.0

at the very least an investigation is warrented  
 
i would def. make the school aware, they have contacts in CFS and could probably arrange an assesment fairly easily  
 

perhaps

3/20/2010 8:40:31 AM
Member since:
Sep 2008
Total posts:1637
Reminds me of the song..Alyssa Lies

Don't brush it off..contact the school counsellor..the worst thing you can do is to do nothing at all..your daughter doesn't have to know it was you who called the counsellor..you can tell her when the time is right for both of you..  
The song "Alyssa Lies" by Jason Michael Carroll"

Nik

3/20/2010 9:20:35 AM
Member since:
Oct 2008
Total posts:123
What I would do:

Write down as much details as your child can give about what was said and give this information to the school counsellor.  
 
Talk to your child about how proud you are that she told this secret and discuss why some secrets need to be told.  
 
Explain that she is helping her friend by getting some adults involved because the only way to help the friend is too get the abuse to stop.  
 
Her friend doesn't have to find out that it was her that told because it should all be confidential at the school and with CFS. She shouldn't have to talk with anyone (principal/counsellor) at the school if you have already sent a detailed written account of the events.  
 
Give your daughter a hug and tell her that she is a wonderful and caring person and that she must try to not worry about her friend.  
 
Encourage her to maintain a friendship with the kid (but be careful that he may be lieing about what is happening at home and this may mean that he has some 'issues' that may make it difficult to maintain a strong friendship)  
 
Understand that you will not be privy to what happens after you inform the counseller as that is all confidential.

NA

3/20/2010 9:56:18 AM
Member since:
Dec 2009
Total posts:708
and they have discretion

at the school...i was in a similar situation as a youth...we discussed it after school...when all students were gone home...with the cousellor and then a cfs worker came to the school...i was glad to be out of that situation for the little time it was.

t-bone

3/20/2010 11:02:24 AM
Member since:
Mar 2010
Total posts:71
approach with caution

If there is a way to find out whether this is happening or not with out risking anyones safety, then do so. Sometimes what kids hear, and report can be two very different things. But I wouldn't hesitate to getting the police or cfs involved.  
 
I have had to break up an abusive family before, it's not fun. But it's alot easier going to sleep at night knowing that she was in foster care and not being abused by her mom. She and her friend hated me for it, but in time they forgave me. The mom got councilling and they actually did move back in with each other after the relationship was healed.

TicToc

3/20/2010 11:19:35 AM
Member since:
Before Feb/07
Total posts:408
Have you ever heard the song Alyssa lies?

Sounds just like it, and the ending is not so good because no one did anything.  
If the parents are seperated you could always try talking to the mom (Since he is saying it's the dad), or you could ask your daughter to try and convince him to goto a teacher/principle/counceller at school himself, this way your daughter won't be involved enough to have to talk to CFS, and the police(that can be pretty scary for a young child)

The Brilliant Captain Obvious

3/20/2010 12:19:10 PM
Member since:
Jul 2009
Total posts:2040
.

Contact the school or CFS, and share the info with them that your daughter shared with you. This is a good teachable moment for your daughter as well. That doing the right thing is a good thing to do even if its not the popular choice. Sometimes you need to allow someone to hate you in order to help them.

Princess_A

3/20/2010 12:32:21 PM
Member since:
Mar 2009
Total posts:476
call

I would make the call. I was hit, slapped, and spanked as a child. The worst was getting hit with an inch-thick meter stick, as well as a hockey stick, as well as getting pushed into a wall. While I may only be 19 and that was not long ago, it began when I was about 9 or 10 and continued through most of my teen years. I told only my closest friend, but never talked to any teachers or counsellors for fear of what would happen if I were the reason my parents were to split.  
 
Today, I'm in a relationship, and it has changed greatly recently. Psychological/verbal abuse, but he doesn't see it, and I keep thinking he'll stop or change. I feel so alone.  
 
So if I couldn't break an abusive cycle, please help this child to do just that.

Brenda

3/20/2010 2:04:44 PM
Member since:
Jul 2005
Total posts:8662
Break it

  
Princess_Ali said "I would make the call. I was hit, slapped, and spanked as a child. The worst was getting hit with an inch-thick meter stick, as well as a hockey stick, as well as getting pushed into a wall. While I may only be 19 and that was not long ago, it began when I was about 9 or 10 and continued through most of my teen years. I told only my closest friend, but never talked to any teachers or counsellors for fear of what would happen if I were the reason my parents were to split.  
 
Today, I'm in a relationship, and it has changed greatly recently. Psychological/verbal abuse, but he doesn't see it, and I keep thinking he'll stop or change. I feel so alone.  
 
So if I couldn't break an abusive cycle, please help this child to do just that. "

Please break the abusive cycle. You say your boyfriend "doesn't see it". Well he will never stop or change if he does not see it. Psychological/verbal abuse it terrible and can be even worse than being abused physically.  
 
Call some one, do not feel alone and break the cycle. From your posts, you are a smart girl...please do the right thing. I believe also you are going through school to be a teacher? Then you need to take the advice you would give to your students if they were in the situation and follow it yourself. Good Luck!  
 
Edited by Brenda, 2010-03-20 14:09:49

arae30

3/20/2010 3:05:30 PM
Member since:
Aug 2009
Total posts:18
Call CFS

It is their job to investigate all cases of SUSPECTED abuse. You only hvae to call and explain to them. DO IT NOW!

Mydogsnores

3/20/2010 6:10:33 PM
Member since:
Oct 2009
Total posts:357
Call Intake at Western CFS

There is nothing that the school could do in this situation, since it was not disclosed to anyone on staff.  
 
As many others have mentioned abouve, it is the responsiblity of the social worker on call to investigate any reports of suspected abuse.  
 
Hope you have done this already, and your daughter should certainly not feel as though she has betrayed a confidence,since in this case it's something that cannot be kept a secret.  
 

Ash_10

3/20/2010 10:01:04 PM
Member since:
Mar 2009
Total posts:43
have you

have you ever heard the songs "Alyssa Lies" or "Concrete Angel"???  
Please tell someone

old soldier

3/20/2010 10:26:34 PM
Member since:
Nov 2009
Total posts:44
Listen

  
Nik said "Write down as much details as your child can give about what was said and give this information to the school counsellor.  
 
Talk to your child about how proud you are that she told this secret and discuss why some secrets need to be told.  
 
Explain that she is helping her friend by getting some adults involved because the only way to help the friend is too get the abuse to stop.  
 
Her friend doesn't have to find out that it was her that told because it should all be confidential at the school and with CFS. She shouldn't have to talk with anyone (principal/counsellor) at the school if you have already sent a detailed written account of the events.  
 
Give your daughter a hug and tell her that she is a wonderful and caring person and that she must try to not worry about her friend.  
 
Encourage her to maintain a friendship with the kid (but be careful that he may be lieing about what is happening at home and this may mean that he has some 'issues' that may make it difficult to maintain a strong friendship)  
 
Understand that you will not be privy to what happens after you inform the counseller as that is all confidential. "

to this persons advice. It is truly well thought of and very good advice...

sweetspirits14

3/21/2010 1:04:36 PM
Member since:
Mar 2010
Total posts:437
...

i would go to the police or someone and tell them about it .. that is a serious statment and no one should be doing that to a child

JR

3/25/2010 1:26:04 AM
Member since:
Nov 2007
Total posts:1804
Sorry...

I'm sorry I took so long to update about this issue. There was some great advice given and I thank all of those who replied and tried to help out.  
 
My wife and I spoke to the principal at my daughter's school. She wrote down all of the information we had and assured us that she would investigate the matter discretely at first and would take appropriate action where and when indicated. She assured us that our daughter's name would never be brought up.  
 
Hopefully, the boy in question will get the help he needs soon.

[FTW!]K-o.0-b-l-a-h

3/25/2010 7:16:26 AM
Member since:
May 2008
Total posts:803
o.0

Kudos JR  
 
was the right thing to do

Brianne H.

3/25/2010 8:05:46 AM
Member since:
Jun 2009
Total posts:214
same thing

happend to my daughter, a friend was crying at school, talking about suicide and asked my daughter not to tell. But she did (which is the right thing) her friend was and still is extremely mad at her for telling, but my daughter new this was a cry for help.......She told two of her teachers and the councelor, who in turn helped the young girl and did all the extra contacting of other sources........I would call the school and express your concerns, and let them handle the situation, hopefully like in my instance they teachers will get back to you and inform you, or you can have them speak directly to your daughter......but tell someone..  

booboo16

3/25/2010 2:11:53 PM
Member since:
Feb 2010
Total posts:350
You Should Tell

Growing up in this situation I wish somone had helped me out. I know from experince growing up with an abusive parent causes more problems than wat you can see physicly. mentaly I felt worse about myself like I wasn't good enough that I was never going to be anything ect, and I wasn't physicly abused by my one "parent" as much as my mother was. I also ended up not being able to handle things as well or cope giving me angsity issues as well as dippresstion witch later turned into suicide attempts witch I was than sent away to councelling and treatment for. Even though I got the treatment and talked to people about thies things it still hurts to think about. It also messed up my praseption of wat a healthy relationship was. So I ended up thinking this is how a family was saposed to be and I than ended up getting abused more by other family members/ friends parents/ boyfriends ect. Although my abuses was more sexual and verble there are so many types of abuse and everyone is just as bad as the other. Even someone getting mad a t a partner and punching a wall or throwing a cell phone is considered abuse. You can go and reasurch al lthe types, But I urge you to tell someone. although the child may be sour over it, it is a far worse fate to leave a child in the care of someone who is causeing mental and physical damage. PLEASE TELL!

brandi falk

3/25/2010 3:50:58 PM
Member since:
Dec 2009
Total posts:20
what to do about possible abuse?

You need to call CFS 726-6030 there is a 1-800 number.  
Skip talking to the school its CFS's job to investigate. PLEASE call!  
Your daughter doesn't need to know you called and neither does the school. Just keep it between you and CFS. Just call the number and ask reception to speak with the intake worker and explain what your daughter shared with you and that you are concerned for the safety and well being of this poor child. It is the law for you to report this matter. Make the call and put the ball in CFS's court.

ladyb2011

3/25/2010 11:15:02 PM
Member since:
Jan 2010
Total posts:51
Different

situation on my part, but what happens if nothing gets done about the abuse? CFS just shrugs it off sort of thing? Then where do you go to?

Nik

3/25/2010 11:39:08 PM
Member since:
Oct 2008
Total posts:123
Involve the school....

  
brandi falk said "You need to call CFS 726-6030 there is a 1-800 number.  
Skip talking to the school its CFS's job to investigate. PLEASE call!  
Your daughter doesn't need to know you called and neither does the school. Just keep it between you and CFS. Just call the number and ask reception to speak with the intake worker and explain what your daughter shared with you and that you are concerned for the safety and well being of this poor child. It is the law for you to report this matter. Make the call and put the ball in CFS's court. "

By letting the school know then they can watch for signs of abuse and listen more carefully to what the student may be saying. The school may have other pieces of information that may be helpful to helping the child. The guidance counsellor must report these types of statements to CFS and CFS must follow up with an investigation.

ladyb2011

3/25/2010 11:40:06 PM
Member since:
Jan 2010
Total posts:51
Just

to elaborate. I have called CFS to report what I would consider abuse that I have witnessed. But the children are still in the situation. And I continue to witness and see and hear the happenings. They happen to live next door to me in an apartment, so it's quite hard not to "hear" some of the things that are going on in their household, So who else can I talk to and let it be known to, in hopes of helping out the children?

Amused

3/26/2010 6:31:57 AM
Member since:
Jun 2007
Total posts:3492
Babsy2010..

call the police and then contact the head office that CFS in Brandon reports to. Minister Gord Mackintosh is in charge of CFS so contact his office. If you call, follow up with a letter so that there is a paper trail. Ministers do not appreciate these types of calls/complaints and most react immediately to find out what is happening and the pressure is applied.  
 

golf

3/26/2010 7:08:59 AM
Member since:
Sep 2009
Total posts:44
child abuse

  
JR said "My daughter has spoken to my wife and I about a problem one of her friends at school is having at home. Both children are in grade 6 and her friend is new in town and at the school. My daughter says that her friend was crying in gym class the other day. When she asked him what was wrong, he told her that his dad had been hitting him in the stomach to "toughen him up".  
 
Now, I don't know this boy, but I know that my daughter is a very empathetic child and this is really bothering her. She promised to not tell anyone what she had been told. From what I understand, the boy's parents are separated or divorced. I don't know what the custody arrangements are. He has also been telling the same story to other children in the class.  
 
Here's the problem: I know that something must be going on. Either this boy is a chronic liar or he is being abused. Who do I talk to? My daughter gets very upset at the notion of telling anyone - she doesn't want him to get in trouble and she doesn't want to break a promise to her friend. Is it appropriate to go to the principal of the school? I've never had to deal with something like this before and I'm at a loss about what to do.  
 
Can someone who has been in a similar situation offer any advice? "

You have done the correct thing in reporting the problem to the school. By law the school will have to make a further report to CFS. Now, do not give any further information on this, a public forum. A general discussion on child abuse and how to report it is within bounds. You have given far too much information. I hope you understand how much damage this could do.

 
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