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Attempted diversion/coverup of child abuse.

(39 Posts)
starrycole Sat 16-Jun-12 17:13:00

Dear Gran on Gransnet

First of all, apologies for the attention grabbing title but that's the crux of it.

I would like you opinion/perspective on an issue here where I have recently been scapegoated. I'm a mum to two lovely children and I cannot get their grandparents (my inlaws) to see eye to eye with me.

I want to know if this is a 'generation thing' where back in the old days, these skeletons were just swept under the carpet. Also, please let me know if I have acted out of term but currently, I'm just trying to understand and make sense of it all.

There were two concurrent police involved incidents and the boy in question is just 15 (both police incidents I pursued to have the boy not charged and for psychotherapy/counselling instead).

1) The boy let's call him Alan. (who is my husband's brother) exposed himself to my daughter at just 3 ys and 4months of age upstairs his bedroom, in his parents house (i.e., my inlaws!)

2) He was caught cruising online chat rooms and possession of indecent images and websites of children and babies - all with a fetish nappy website slant.

I have now been officially disowned and scapegoated and victimised. My husband is not sympathetic for 'rocking the boat' (I pressed for full disclosure to his brother who is now expecting a child) and feels he could have handled his parents better.

My inlaws could not understand the one reason why I wanted full disclosure:
To empower their other son who is expecting and enable them to make the right choices to keep their baby safe.

I have had every terrible adjective described under the sun about me like 'selfish/narrow minded/gun trigger/ home wrecker/bad mother' in a charade of text message and verbal abuse (to which my husband said it is my fault for receiving them!!)

I can tell you I have acted throughout this with integrity and politely with no inflammatory adjectives of who they are or are not but not ONCE did my inlaws EVER submitted the reason I did!

So please grandparents, help me explain my inlaw's - my children's grandparents because I still.....can not.

Thanks for reading,


Bags Sat 16-Jun-12 17:32:05

Not sure if I have understood correctly, starry. Are you saying your fifteen year old brother-in-law exposed himself deliberately to your three-year-old daughter? How did you find out?

Is there another brother-in-law who is expecting a baby, or is it the same one who was found to have indecent images of children?

Are you asking for a full Criminal Records Bureau Disclosure of the prospective father, or the brother of the prospective father?

Sorry for so many questions, but I don't have a clear idea what is going on yet or how we could help you.

JessM Sat 16-Jun-12 17:33:37

Well we have some recently retired expertise in this area on Gn starrycole so hopefully they will call by soon. So sorry to hear you have been having a such a tough time with the family you have married into.
I can only suggest that when something unthinkable happens people experience something psychologists call "cognitive dissonance" - there is some mismatch between the things they believe and the information in front of them. This is a highly uncomfortable state and people do all kinds of things to try to make their inner world less uncomfortable. Somehow by being angry with you, they are avoiding facing the uncomfortable truth about their family member. I think this is not uncommon.
You see the same kind of thing happening when a spouse is unfaithful. Instead of being angry with the erring party, the anger of the injured party is directed at the one-step-removed "other woman/man" .
So there are ways to understand them. Which may make living in the midst of this a teeny bit easier.... but not a lot.
Anyway it is Saturday afternoon and probably quiet on GN. If this does not get picked up by those with expertise I will bump it.

whenim64 Sat 16-Jun-12 17:48:28

Hi starrycole

Yes, previous generations have swept sexual abuse under the carpet, but for the protection of other children this youth may come into contact with, the issue needs airing and he needs some help so this can be nipped in the bud, and his and other people's lives aren't ruined.

The police and social services have no choice but to act on complaints of sexual abuse, including accessing abusive images online - these internet images are evidence of children being sexually abused, whether they are pictures or videos. You should not be given a choice about legal action if a complaint is made - it's so serious it is out of your hands.

Youths in this situation are regarded as embarking on a pattern of sexual offending and they all start somewhere, so if he can be, he will be diverted from becoming a registered sex offender by complying with therapeutic intervention as dictated by social services and the yourh offending service. If he subsequently shows a 'treated profile' i.e. he is low risk of re-offending and has a clear strategy to self-regulate and behave responsibly, he will hear no more. Otherwise, the authorities will have their eye on him, and there will be logged information on police records. Any counselling that is arranged privately will count for nothing unless social services or youth offending service specialists assess him and pronounce reduced risk levels that will be kept on record.

This youth should NOT be allowed unsupervised near children. Your actions are just about the most responsible thing you could have done and you should be applauded for it, not criticised. You have done that family a favour if he can learn to behave responsibly, and him a huge favour by diverting him from a life of misery, because if he does any more of this he will end up in prison.

I hope your child has not been unduly harmed and has recovered from this incident. You should have been given advice by social services about what to watch out for, such as bed-wetting, clinginess, sexualised behaviour that doesn't accord with her age, watchfulness, disturbed sleep. If you need more advice, ask NSPCC - they are excellent.

If you want explicit explanations about anything, please pm me, and we can discuss privately.

JessM Sat 16-Jun-12 18:10:45

There we are. That was the gran you needed to hear from.

whenim64 Sat 16-Jun-12 18:16:09

Jess smile

jeni Sat 16-Jun-12 18:36:48

Well put when or should it be now?confused

starrycole Sat 16-Jun-12 18:48:17

Bags - to answer your questions:

Incident 1) & 2) happened only last summer.

Correction - in my haste of writing this,

Police incident 1) it was my *son that BIL exposed himself to*. Alan led my son to his bedroom upstairs for the briefest of time, and put sat him on his bed. We were all downstairs.

I also have a young daughter but she was not a victim (AFAIK).

Incredibly, my son out of the blue made the disclosure some weeks after the incident. To my horror, he revealed so calm and innocently! Alan came clean and admitted to his parents and upon my instigation the police were involved.

*Police incident 2) This is connected to me, because my BIL NAMED my son in an online chat which the police were monitoring. The police were monitoring him for MONTHs and they did a raid as my inlaw's house and confiscated computer equipment. That's how the discovery happened!!

I should add I have not been a complete angel in that I FORCED the disclosure to my expectant BIL/husband's brother, I threatened to out this 'secret' to EVERYONE. I was breaking under weeks and weeks of emotional blackmail and attacks and I was beginning to suffer from anxiety.

MIL finally disclosed what she ought to have done in the first place to my expectant BIL but now everyone is not speaking to me and my BIL/SIL have remained strangely silent over the matter.

Husband is unsympathetic (as I just wouldn't shut up and let him handle it......well it took him a long time to come round!!) and expects me to just snap back/build bridges and be jovial with his family again (!).

My inlaws have gone out their way to vilify me and FIL have left it that I was disowned whilst I wait to destroy his family, planning my next move

Sorry, I have mad hour now with my two children putting them to bed etc...I will be back to read your posts and respond later. Thank you for posts.

starrycole Sat 16-Jun-12 18:49:55

correction again on prev. post.Arhh! sorry not doing very well here:

*Police incident 2) This is connected to me, because Alan my son in an online chat which the police were monitoring. The police were monitoring him for MONTHs and they did a raid at my inlaw's house, where Alan lives and all computer equipment in the house. That's how the discovery happened!!

Bags Sat 16-Jun-12 19:10:14

Well, it sounds as if you've done the right thing, starry, but that your husband is engaging in a bit of that cognitive dissonance that jess mentioned. He doesn't want to admit that "such a thing" could happen in his family or that, when it did, it matters. Hearty sympathy from me. That must be very hard for you. sad

JessM Sat 16-Jun-12 19:16:58

I think you and your husband may need a bit of help to sort this our between the two of you starry.

whenim64 Sat 16-Jun-12 19:55:26

If the police have been watching the online stuff, that puts a more serious complexion on things. It apeears he may have been drawn into a paedophile ring, and is culpable because of his own behaviour. The Copine assessment of abusive images online (degrees of seriousness from 1 to 6) will determine just how serious it is for this youth, and it may be the police have watched him for months in order to round up bigger fish. However, they have slipped up if they didn't intervene in time to stop him exposing himself to a child.

Husband, in-law and any other adults who did not act as soon as they became aware, and indeed tried to stop you to the extent you were becoming so stressed, must start to think about how they can protect all the children in the family, otherwise social services will. They should require that no children visit when he is at home, if he has not completed treatment.

The best thing they could do is be as open and accommodating with social services and treatment providers as they possibly can, if they care enough to want him to stop this troubling behaviour now.

You have done the right thing, be assured of that. By dealing with this now, other children have been protected.

Annobel Sat 16-Jun-12 20:01:07

Am I right in thinking that this young man is or is likely to be on the Sex Offenders Register? I do not see why your in-laws are picking on you when the police were watching him in any case.

whenim64 Sat 16-Jun-12 20:06:34

No Annobel. He might just avoid it by being diverted into treatment, and if he complies and shows progress he could avoid prosecution. That wouldn't happen with an adult, but youths can be referred to the diversion panel and an assessment of willingness to comply can influence the outcome. This is because it may be emerging deviant behaviour than can be stopped in its tracks.

If anything else emerges meanwhile, the whole thing will go up in the air and he will face prosecution, and may even face registration if he is charged and admits the behaviour, but is cautioned.

glassortwo Sun 17-Jun-12 19:45:43

starry You have done the right thing, if he had not been stopped now some poor child would have suffered.

Greatnan Sun 17-Jun-12 20:34:12

One of my biggest regrets is not having pursued a suspicion of sexual abuse in a pupil because the Head master would not believe it. With older children it is unfortunate that some teenagers make false accusations but when the children concerned are young it is vital that you 'interfere', as your in-laws seem to consider it.

glammanana Mon 18-Jun-12 11:38:22

starry do not let these people get the better of you,you have done the right thing for your child any possibly any future victims,a friend of mine when I was at school reported abuse and her mother disbelieved her the member of the family then went on to abuse other children and he was jailed,the pain the abused children went through could have been stopped if she had been listerned to in the first place.Stay strong.

Grandmanorm Mon 18-Jun-12 13:36:23

I think you have done the right thing and admire your courage to persevere. Well done to you, don't let the others get you down, easy for me to say I know, but you are right as the folk here say.

dorsetpennt Mon 18-Jun-12 22:18:04

Starry these ladies have been very supportive of you and have given you such good sound advice. I hope that advice helps you to stick to your guns and carry on with being courageous. As for the parents of the boy involved, I should think that they simply cannot believe that the son they love and brought up could behave in this manner. By being so horrible to you it is easier then cutting him off from them. Also they are concerned maybe about 'what the neighbours, friends and other family members will think'.So they blame you. I daresay sometime in the future they will fully realise what their son has done.
You know you are doing the right thing and I really admire you for what you are doing. You know us Gransnetters will always at least listen to you and carry on with their excellent advice. Good luck and I hope your little chap is ok.

petallus Tue 19-Jun-12 10:01:54

Trying to be as positive as possible, Alan is little more than a child himself (maybe 14 when he exposed himself to Starry's child last year). I sincerely hope that he gets counselling to find out why he is behaving in this way (has he been abused himself for instance?) and everything eventually calms down in the family and cordial relationships can be restored. On the plus side, Alan admitted everything to his parents when challenged and from what Starry says her son was (seemingly) fairly matter-of-fact about the incident.

I wonder if the family could do with a bit of help in sorting things out. For instance, why is the brother who is expecting a child saying nothing? What about the conflict between Starry and her husband? The situation sounds hugely stressful for everyone concerned.

I suppose I'm thinking damage limitation (obviously whilst making sure the children are protected). So When I don't really agree that no child should visit when Alan is at home, just that he is not left alone with them.

whenim64 Tue 19-Jun-12 10:16:28

Petallus I didn't actually say no child should visit, I said he should not be allowed unsupervised near children (although I do think in some cases this should be the rule). It would be social services who would require that no children should visit whilst he remains untreated, for precautionary purposes because some offenders have been known to use the proximity of children to fuel their deviant fantasies., which can seriously undermine attempts at successful treatment

petallus Tue 19-Jun-12 11:22:49

When do you think the age of the abuser makes any difference? The thought of middle-aged men in organised paedophile rings sickens me and I'm fairly illiberal in my views when discussing with friends what should happen to them. But we are talking about a boy here.

I was thinking about the situation just now and came up with the question:

Could I in all honesty say that if my 14 year old son was found to be exposing himself to a young child, I would be happy to report the matter to the police.

soop Tue 19-Jun-12 11:40:20

Starry How awful for you. You have received some very good advice from many very well informed GNs. I support you. It certainly takes a huge amount of courage to address issues that ultimately leave you vulnerable to backlash from furious family members. Keep strong. You have nothing to feel sorry for. Quite the opposite, in my opinion.

nanaej Tue 19-Jun-12 11:44:33

petallus I would be worrying that my 14 year old may have encountered some inappropriate sexual experiences.. virtual or real.

whenim64 Tue 19-Jun-12 11:53:53

Petallus it's both age and degree of deviant interest, as some older offenders may be naive and too scared to go further, whilst some youths may have been systematically abused and become corrupt themselves. A boy of 14 could be just becoming curious or be well along the path of planning and targeting children for himself and/or for others. It needs assessing.

I, personally, would not want the victim that we know of to be left to worry that this youth may do the same again if a little cousin was taken to visit and the adults were not vigilant.