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#62235 - 06/16/06 06:15 AM advice needed
Melinda Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/30/06
Posts: 2
Loc: California
I am not sure what to do about a certain situation and could use some advice. My boyfriend was sexually abused by his father as a child. My boyfriend's older brother (who still lives in the same city as their father) has children, the oldest of which is close to the same age that my boyfriend was when the abuse started. I asked my boyfriend once if he knew if any of his siblings had been abused also, and he said that he does not know and does not want to know. My concern is that the older brother is not aware that the father is an abuser, and could potentially put his children at risk by letting them be alone with their grandfather, and I don't know if I should mention this concern to my boyfriend or not.

My boyfriend told me about the abuse not too long ago, and does not really seem to be ready to talk about it very much. He has never mentioned the abuse to anyone in his family, and I doubt that he wants to talk to his brother (or even anyone else in his family) about what happened. Is this something though that he really should mention to his brother? And if so, should I talk to him about this? (I don't want him to feel like I'm pressuring him into doing something that he doesn't want to or isn't ready to do though).

Thanks in advance for any advice,

#62236 - 06/16/06 06:10 PM Re: advice needed
totally lost Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/15/06
Posts: 15
I know it took my husband awile to be totally open about what he went through as a child. He has brothers and sisters, some I know were also abused, but they never talk about it to each other.

It is a hard thing for a man to admit to,because so many people can not understand. So I am sure taking that first step in telling you took a lot of courage.

I would have the same worries as you do, maybe you could bring up your concerns in a gentle way and I suppose it depends a lot on how close he is with his brother. He may be afraid his brother if not abused would feel different about him or not believe him.
But I personally think someone who can abuse a child is always a risk around children,it would be horrible if it happen to the grand children. But your Boy friend would have to take a huge step to tell anyone, it may be very hard for him to do{{hugs}}

#62237 - 06/16/06 06:17 PM Re: advice needed
Nobbynobs Offline

Registered: 06/26/05
Posts: 1286
Loc: Toronto

You are about to step in a minefield. It is a sign of how good a person you are that you want to protect those kids, but you also need to be very careful that you do not disrupt the family.

It could very well be that the grandfather is abusing those kids. Or he might not be. However, these things can get very ugly very fast so it is best to let the family (i.e. your boyfriend) deal with it at this point.

My suggestion would be that you should let your boyfriend know your concerns about those children. After that, it is really up to him to do something about it; and any additional actions you take will make it look like you are interfering. If this happens, then nobody in the family will listen to anything that you or your boyfriend says about abuse, because if it is one thing families do well, it is uniting against outsiders who appear to be interfering in "family" matters.

Of course, if you become aware of any actual abuse going on, then it becomes a matter for children's protective services. Whether you choose to report it to them is up to you, but in some jurisdictions (like most of Canada) you do have have a legal requirement to report child abuse.

When you go up to the bell, ring it! Or don't go up to the bell.

- Mel Brooks

#62238 - 06/16/06 10:16 PM Re: advice needed
Dan88 Offline

Registered: 08/07/02
Posts: 247
Loc: DC
I would suggest your boyfriend ask for advice here or from other survivors about the best way to raise this with his brother. You're right in identifying it as an issue, and I suspect he can draw a lot of strength from hearing from others about how they approached this problem, since it's not unique.

#62239 - 06/16/06 10:50 PM Re: advice needed
phoster Offline

Registered: 11/21/03
Posts: 758
Loc: ohio
mates should be able to talk to one another about anything. you should be able to aproach your husband with your concerns. he may not want to talk to his brother. he may get a little bent out of shape or whatever, but he is the one that should make this choice. it is his family. tell him what you are thinking.

compassion is a light even to the darkest soul

#62240 - 06/16/06 10:52 PM Re: advice needed
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey

I so don't envy the position you find yourself in. You want to protect your b/f's feelings and needs, but your instant concern is for a child. If I were you, I would have a very open, honest conversation with your b/f and express your concerns. He may get upset, maybe even angry, but I think the safety of a child far outweighs anything else. At the very least, he'll think about what you say and maybe do something about it. As Nobby says, it's up to him, not you, unless you have actual knowledge that the grandfather is up to no good.

I know that the same fear you have now is what prompted my b/f to disclose, through his therapist, to a sister many years ago. The ramifications of that disclosure haunt him to this day, but he believes, rightly so, that he did the right thing.

ROCK ON.........Trish

If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.


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