First, I would like to update you on the domestic violence situation. I want to thank you all for your advice. Unfortunately, the laws about domestic violence are incredibly stupid (in my opinion) and only the woman being abused can actually press charges against the abuser. So basically, I can’t do anything for her except call the police every time I hear him abusing her.
But I was talking to Robby last night, and he pointed out that the sounds we have heard that we have attributed to the neighbor boy throwing a tantrum and the dad yelling at him, might, in fact, be abuse.
I never even thought of that.
I can’t believe I never thought of that.
I think I was just so stuck in my head about the neighbor lady that I didn’t make that connection. And I had wondered before if the dad was abusing the son, not too seriously, but in passing. I didn’t have anything other than a paranoid feeling, and I didn’t feel right calling social services about a hunch. But now we have solid evidence that he abuses his wife, so there is a strong chance that he abuses his son, too.
I thought and thought about it, and decided that what made the most sense was talking to my director at T***. I could explain the situation to her and see if (and who) I should call. So that’s what I did. And, like I thought, she said that I should report my suspicions. So she gave me the number, and told me to tell whoever I spoke to exactly what I told her. About how I know he abuses his wife, and I have heard sounds that could have been child abuse. She said that it’s possible they already have a file on him, and even if they don’t, at least they will start one.
And then she said something weird.
She said that every time she called to report she always felt guilty, as if she was tattling.
And I was so confused. How in the world could you feel guilty for reporting suspected child abuse? I can remember a few times in Junior High when I was being brutally picked on and I decided to tell a teacher, and I did feel guilty. But I was 14 and trying to stand up to a bully. At that age, you don’t have the conviction to stand and say ‘what I’m doing is right’. You feel guilty because the popular kids picking on the ‘fat kid’ is ‘normal’ and who are you to try and change that? To say it’s wrong? But when you are an adult, and you are trying to protect a child, how on earth could you think of that as tattling? It’s not as though you are lying to get the parent in trouble; you are trying to protect the child. And reporting based on a feeling verses actual evidence are two very different things, but still, how could you feel it is tattling? It is never tattling.
Maybe it’s because I was abused, maybe I just have a different point of view, but the main thing I feel now that I am preparing to call and report him to child services is determination., I am determined to stop him. I am determined to protect that little boy. I am determined not to let him get away with this. And I am determined to do everything I can to make those things happen.