Fri 12 Dec, 2003 08:12 pm
my friend's dad hits him whenever he is really angry... about once a month, he'll get very very mad and shake him really hard or smack him with the remote control or try to spank him (even though he is 16) which never works out cause he fights back...
about 5 months ago he pushed him down the basement steps... and then my friend called me and told me and i know those basement steps and they are concrete and they are steep... he could have died and even he says so
lately his mom has been standing up for him a bit more, but not stopping the hitting...
he cuts because of it... he hates himself and hardly eats
and told me if i tell anyone he'll kill himself... and he has 3 adopted siblings that would be taken away... he said if i say anything i'll detry his entire life...
i don't know what to do
should i tell anyone?
The family needs professional, swift intervention. Sorry, his threats are manipulation. The law needs to be involved for the saftey of your friend, and your friend's mother, and for those adopted siblings. I hope others will pipe in here too.
You are legally and morally obligated to (well not legally but some people are).
"It's like that song where he could save that guy from drowning but he didn't, then..."
But just do it right. What does your friend think about this?
Sounds like a sticky situation.
No matter what, the child will be psychologically scarred for life and may need years of therapy in order to deal with the hundreds of internal conflicts created (lack of compassion, no real role model). Not only that but if the abuse continues, he will probably try desperately to find some escape (drugs, promiscuity, suicide), and, if he survives into parenthood, is likely to be horrible at relationships, not able to commit, and abusive himself adding to the great chain of disastrous parenting.
Call child protection, this kid needs help fast and even if his siblings are taken away, both he and they will be a lot better off.
Potential loss of a friend vs. Potential loss of life
I agree with Cav. I think you should tell the authorities and give them as many details as you can. And do tell them about his suicide threats.
Are you scared of what may happen or something else?
Its normal to be scared of a great many things.
Life is full of tough decisions and the only way you can get anywhere is by making a choice. Don't just sit there and wonder what you should do, do it.
Sure - it is scary. I am obligated by law to notify such things - and it still scares the crap out of me.
You still need to do it.
C'mon - you know you do - or you would not have raised this.
I know it is really hard.
Would you feel worse if your friend dies, by his hand or by his father's?
If so then please take some action before it's too late.
The agency to report child abuse is the Department of Health and Human Services. It will be connected to a state or county organization in your state and/or your city. Look in your phone book.
everytime i bring it up, or urge him to tell someone he always says things are getting better.... and that his mom is on his side now and tihngs are better and if i do anything i'll ruin it for him....
he has 3 older brothers, and they are all really messed up and went through the same stuff he is going through....
i know i need to tell an authority... but should i go straight to a hotline or tell my parents first?
and everyone... i really really really appreciate your help, thanks so much
The hotline in the link that I gave you is confidential. No one needs to know who made the call. The important thing is that the young man will be safe.
Phoenix's link is the one.
Good luck, and be brave.
would it be bad to wait for... two days... because tomorrow is his birthday.... =/
No, just don't wait too long and don't keep making up excuses to put off doing anything.
Good luck, we're all rooting for you!
I'm glad you are coming around and at least giving it two days at this point. That's fine. I hope everything will be fine.
Here is something to just think about. You have two choices. Neither produce a good result. If you don't help your friend by calling the hotline, he could end up dead. If you do, you could lose a friend. If he hasn't told anyone else, he'll assume you did it. That could hurt; losing a friend always does. But, he'll be alive. Which would you prefer? A friend you remained loyal to, but is no longer around. Or the loss of a friend who is still alive.
If it were up to me, I would choose the option where he is still alive. Because, in the future, beyond what will happen next, when the dust settles, he'll have the chance to come around and thank you for what you did. If he is any friend, he will realize what you did was right and he will thank you for it in his own special way. The other option, the one where he dies, gives him no chance to thank you, ever. And in retrospect, I'm not so sure he would.
That's the best I can do. I hope I wasn't too harsh.
I agree with MichaelAllen, I would rather take that chance on loosing my friends relationship, than take the chance on him loosing his life.
He can always get over being angry at you. But the alternative is a done deal. There is no going back to change things, there is no "if I only"...
But the resentment and frustration that he'll feel for both his parents now and in the future is something that will never end. His suicide threats is his cry for help.
From my experiences with one friend...who was sexually abused by her step father, in which she finally confided in me about. I immediately went to my mother. Who didn't believe me. Because of who her parents were. (like that had anything to do with it) But two other friends and I..took advantage of a hotline and gained her help. Still to this day, I don't think she knew it was us that made that call. But we risked her finding out and her anger to help her.
Even through the anger he may have, it'll be nice to him that someone cares.