Is my brother-in-law a paedophile?

(135 Posts)
Marmitelover72 Thu 29-Nov-12 10:56:40

Hi I'm not sure if I'm in the right forum section but desperately need some advice...sorry this is long!

I have 2 boys aged 2 and 4. Sadly my elsest has special needs, severe speech, language and communication disorder so very vulnerable. We live down south and as most of my husband's famIly live up north, whenever they come over they stay for a good few days. My husband is very close to his 40 year old brother and I have always got on fine with him. The kids love him as he's just like a big kid himself and gives them so much attention, chase, rumble and tumble, pretends to be spiderman, buys them gifts etc so you could say he's the perfect uncle. However something has been bugging me the last few times we have seen him. God I don't know how to explain this....

A few weeks ago when he was here he offered to change my 2 year olds nappy. As I was busy doing something else, I happily agreed to this . They were upstairs for a while so I went up to see them and he had removed my sons nappy but hadn't put a new one on.
So he was just wearing a little vest. They were sat facing each other on the floor playing a ball game. I asked him why he hadn't got him dressed again and he just said "I thought it would do his skin good to have no nappy on for a bit." I found this quite odd seeing as he's not even a parent. It made me feel uncomfortable somehow. I tried to put any negative thought out my head.

Then last weekend we went up to my husbands parents for a few days. As soon as we arrived, the boys uncle was already there waiting as he lives local to them. He was playing with them, tickling them as usual and they were loving it. After we had tea, my eldest said he needed the toilet and straight away he offered to take him. I said "oh don't worry, he can go himself". 5 mins later he offered to give them a bath. I told him no need as they had already had one that morning. Then when I went into our guest room to unpack a few bits and get their pyjamas ready etc, my youngest was running around in the nude being a looney jumping off the bed etc and the uncle came in and started playing with him, he then made some comment like "look at you with your willy out, do you want me to flick it?" My gut feeling is that something isn't right and I haven't stopped thinking about it. I haven't told anyone as firstly he hasn't really done anything wrong and secondly just because my gut feeling tells me this is wrong i don't have any proof. I can't even tell my husband as he will think I'm being ridiculous plus the last thing I want to do is split the family up. Just so hard knowing what to do as whilst I can't tell anyone, all I want to do is protect my children more than anything just like any mum would.

Another thing that is bugging me is when my eldest was just 2 years old (so a couple of yrs ago), he took him to the park one winter, they were gone for absolutely ages to the point where me and DH were worried something had happened to them both. When they returned my son was so so upset, i had never seen him this upet before, and I could not console him. He cried for 2 hours. When I asked his uncle what had happened to upset him so much he simply told me that he was really cold. I remember going mental at the time and saying to my mum something wasn't right!!!

Please can someone tell me what I should do. Is this inappropriate behaviour? Or am I being silly? And if you were in my shoes what would you do with such little proof?

Thanks for reading

VenusRising Wed 05-Dec-12 12:13:17

I think you know the answer to your own question OP - and in my book your BIL is behaving very inappropriately indeed: he sounds like a paedophile to me.

I wouldn't go to the police about him yet, but if anything else happens over christmas, do go to the police.

In fact, I'd ask that the BIL DIDN'T come for xmas. Just tell him, sorry, and don't explain.
If your DH isn't on board, it will be difficult, but you have your boys to protect.

Don't worry about what happened in the park years ago - you can't do anything about that now, and your instincts are right, so you are a good mum.

Good luck with it - It's a difficult situation, but paedophiles invariably are someone you know and trust - not strangers.

shandybass Wed 05-Dec-12 11:46:59

Hi op I just wanted to add as I think this is such an awful situation to be in that I work in protection services and to please not wait until you have hard evidence as such. Please act now to protect your children in simple ways as everyone should. Try your best to I still in them what is private and that no one should touch them there unless its really necessary as in infection etc and try and ensure that your bil is not alone with your children if you are concerned or doing any intimate tasks. Also let him know as others have said that you are instilling boundaries, eg if he makes any inappropriate comment say, please don't say that I don't want him getting a wrong impression, or I don't think that's appropriate, please don't do/say that.
Most paedophilias start off with minor transgressions and increase them as they realise they can get away with it/ gain trust of the adults and child.
Your bil may or may not be inclined to do anything, but don't take the risk and protect your children from potential abuse from him or others. Teach them now and build an atmosphere of awareness and safety.
Your dp may well be aghast at any suggestion of impropriety by his brother and do discussing it with him may result in him opposing you and going out of his wag to show that his brother is trustworthy which may backfire on any protective measures you can put in place. You are the best one to judge your dp and his reaction. I just know that families can be totally blind to abuse even where there is strong evidence.
Good luck and I'm sure you will act appropriately.

sashh Wed 05-Dec-12 09:56:52

Hi OP, sorry I came late to this.

OK, as I see it

a) BIL is a paedophile

b) BIL doesn't know what it or isn't appropriate. At first glance I thought the 'flick' comment was odd, but it could be embarassement on BIL's behalf. My friend's sister cannot stand to see children naked. Even a toddler on a beach and will say some things that could be interpreted a number of ways.

In both cases you want the same thing. For your children to be safe and for his behaviour to change.

You need to talk to your dh and BIL.

If you want to think the best, then explain that due to ds1's special needs you are having to train him about acceptable contact earlier than you would like, and that you are doing this with both children. In fact you can tell the wntire family this.

Both boys are going to be told about 'the bathing suit', and that no adult, unless they are mum / dad or a Dr /nurse should ever touch them in the area that their bathing suit (trunks / shorts) covers when they go swimming. Even if it is a Dr or nurse mum or dad will have to give permissiom or be there.

If anyone does touch them there and they can't get straight to mum or dad then they should scream and shout and kick and bite.

The same applies to anyone suggesting touching them there, or wanting to see that area.

I know that is quite adult language, but I'm sure you can scale it to your own children.

lunar1 Wed 05-Dec-12 06:59:01

Hope you managed to talk to your dh.

madwomanintheattic Wed 05-Dec-12 03:45:41

Pitmountainpony, that is an outdated and deeply crap attitude, to be frank. With idiotic comments like that rife amongst women, it is no wonder that men can't be arsed or are too afraid to do their share.

What a lot of horse.

Is the former mayor the op's bil, forty plus? That would be the only reason I can spot for it being relevant.

fortyplus Wed 05-Dec-12 02:17:52

Former Mayor of my home town - pillar of society, school governor, County Councillor who at one time had responsibility for Children's services - has just been sent to prison after being foiund guilty of ammassing FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND indecent images of children on his pc over two decades. It only came to light as a result of a fraud investigation.

Men who do this kind of thing are adept at covering their tracks

Pitmountainpony Wed 05-Dec-12 02:04:18

My bil is a police officer. He said he has been shocked in how many people have this kind of disorder....the appetite for child porn...as in the numbers of people viewing it. Be cautious. Not many men are keen to change nappies and give baths even of their own children so that is a red flag.

madwomanintheattic Tue 04-Dec-12 00:23:52

Completely agree. grin

VicarInaTutuDrankSantasSherry Tue 04-Dec-12 00:21:35

no - calling police would be a bit premature i reckon! im not saying he is some raging child molester either.
really far from it.

but i am saying its not wrong to trust your instincts and be guarded around people who make you feel odd or uncomfortable.

every day i go to work we get shown a new photo....they are all someones uncle/brother/dad/partner. its ridiculous to get hysterical about it. its not ridiculous to teach your kids about whats ok and whats not ok and to watch out for them if something makes you feel a bit odd.

thats all im saying. nothing more.

madwomanintheattic Tue 04-Dec-12 00:15:00

(Lol, I meant they had every right to stop inappropriate willy flicking threats grin. I suppose I do know a good few parents who would think willy flicking threats are indeed appropriate, but it all depends on context and parental views)

madwomanintheattic Tue 04-Dec-12 00:13:04

It was a more of a ' I heard he looked at teen porn, and the relationship finished some months later/ the next year, I wonder if it was connected' type thing, I think.

Given that this has been known about for some time and wasn't deemed to be a problem originally by the op, I presumed it had been 18/ 19 yos, rather than 13 yos. It was largely presumption and hearsay, in any case, I think. Certainly the information hadn't been much of a red flag to her at the time, and she didn't see him as a threat to her dcs at that point etc.

Sure, the op should have made clear it wasn't appropriate. But surely in your line of work you wouldn't be following the advice of a poster up thread to call the police?

Parents have an absolute right to raise their kids how they want, and innaproprriate willy flicking threats are included. grin I wouldn't want him branded a paedophile on that basis alone, though. One wrong word and he's going to get a good kicking from some vigilante.

seeker Tue 04-Dec-12 00:11:51

Z" im not sure id have felt ok if my brother in law had told DD he would flick her vagina "

No, neither would I. But for all the reason I and other have sqid, that's different.

chipmonkey Mon 03-Dec-12 23:59:32

But the trouble is, until someone actually offends, then you don't have a case. And by then, the damage is done.
You have to go by those feelings that something isn't quite right and of course you have a right as a parent to tell someone that you're not comfortable with their behaviour.
And there isn't a paedophile on every corner, by any means but far better to put a stop to slightly suspect behaviour rather than regret it later.

ThatVikRinA22 Mon 03-Dec-12 23:05:58

well, im just thinking about my own personal experience there seeker really, i used to jump every time my SF went anywhere near my son.

when i realised i could stop the behaviour that was causing me anxiety it was a relief.

but he was a bastard and i knew all about it. i wasnt guessing.

i just think that without getting hyserical, if the mum is jumpy about something, she has a right to feel that way and put a stop to it if it makes her, or potentially her child, feel uncomfortable. im not sure id have felt ok if my brother in law had told DD he would flick her vagina

i cant begin to speculate about the man or his motives one way or the other.

older children you can talk to. it may all be absolutely innocent. but usually, for me, i go by one rule - if it looks wrong, if it feels wrong, its wrong.

seeker Mon 03-Dec-12 22:46:52

"i think OP, it matters not what he is or isnt - the fact is that you have witnessed behaviour that you dont like and makes you feel uncomfortable is enough for you to say you dont like it and you dont want him to to do it. End of. You are the boys mother - you get to say who does what with who."

Oh, lord, I can't begging to express how much I disagree with this sentence!

ThatVikRinA22 Mon 03-Dec-12 22:38:19

i think OP, it matters not what he is or isnt - the fact is that you have witnessed behaviour that you dont like and makes you feel uncomfortable is enough for you to say you dont like it and you dont want him to to do it. End of. You are the boys mother - you get to say who does what with who.

i actually do think that instincts are there for a reason.

Did i see a post earlier up thread about him having a relationship end due to him looking at underage porn?

madwomanintheattic Mon 03-Dec-12 22:25:50

I always tell ds to leave it alone or it'll turn blue and fall off.

Bil would see the 'put it away or I'll flick it' remark in exactly the same light.

madwomanintheattic Mon 03-Dec-12 22:24:41

No one is dismissing any concerns.

Merely trying to provide an alternative and perfectly rational other explanation to counter the rising tide of paedo fear against a single bloke, who <hang him> helps with his nephews.

Every single 'it could be an entirely innocent' explanation was accompanied by a necessity for vigilance, rather than knee jerkery.

To pretend that anyone who can see an alternative to this bloke definitely being a paedophile is somehow missing the point, is, er, missing the point.

It could all be perfectly innocent, just a bit misguided in the flicking department.

And quite, as I said earlier, bil has three sons. I can see him making the willy flicking comment without a moment's pause for thought. He's an idiot, and I dislike him immensely, but he ain't a paedophile.

IWillOnlyEatBeans Mon 03-Dec-12 21:46:23

I don't think the nappy thing is odd...when I used to change my nephews' nappies I'd often let them run/crawl around bare-bummed for a while afterwards. My sisters/ILs/parents used to do the same with DS when he was in nappies.

The willy flicking comment was odd, but I'd have pulled him up on it at the time. When my FIL made a random comment about chopping DS's willy off I laughed and said 'what a strange thing to say, there's no willy chopping going on in this house' (more to reassure highly sensitive and literal DS rather than because I suspect FIL is a paedophile).

You have been given some good advice about how to deal with this, but please do tread carefully, there is a lot at stake here for everyone involved. Good luck OP.

seeker Mon 03-Dec-12 21:23:56

I am not dismissing her concerns. I am saying that she needs to be vigilant. But that as far as I can see the only thing this man did which was not the perfectly normal action of an involved uncle is the willy flicking remark, and the are many families where that would be perfectly normal too.

Iggly Mon 03-Dec-12 21:11:00

Is it possible that the most horrified on this thread do not have older sons, or did not grow up with brothers?

Er I have two brothers.

I was horrified because of the combination of things in the OP. to dismiss a mother's concerns - her instinct is telling her something is wrong - is foolish.

perceptionreality Mon 03-Dec-12 21:04:56

OP, the main thing here is that you feel something is not right. I have a boyfriend who tickles my little girl who is 3 and I have never got the feeling there is anything odd about it. It is not what is being done but how it is being done and how it makes you feel - you are not being ridiculous here. The flicking willy comment is very very odd.

The most important thing is not to let this man be alone with your children at any time imo.

valiumredhead Mon 03-Dec-12 20:55:37

Is it possible that the most horrified on this thread do not have older sons, or did not grow up with brothers?

Not in my case, no.

seeker Mon 03-Dec-12 20:53:01

Is it possible that the most horrified on this thread do not have older sons, or did not grow up with brothers?

Because while it is a bit of a daft thing to say, and if a no family member said something like that, or if I overheard anyone saying it in a covert way to a small child, then I would be alarmed. But with a loved and involved uncle I would probably just put it down to boysie banter. Particularly as it was said openly in front of the OP. And it is completely different to saying "how would you like me to touch your penis?" or anything similar to a girl. Simply because girls are not entertained by their own and others genitals the way boys are- and the way some men still are.

Yes, he could be a paedophile. And the op should be vigilant. But nothing she has said suggests to me that drastic, damaging action needs to be taken at this stage.

madwomanintheattic Mon 03-Dec-12 17:43:11

Pause for thought, yep. It made me pause for thought too. And I'm encouraging pausing for thought.

I'm not encouraging 'he is a single man and is happy to be around naked nephews = he must be a paedo'.

He could just be a caring and helpful uncle who needs a wee bit of guidance as lots of people have bigger hang ups about genitalia and little kids than he does.

He could still be a danger.

But he might not.

I's the thought that's important, not the knee jerk stuff. Instinct has to play a part (and at no point have I said 'oh, ignore it, he's not a paedophile'. I have merely attempted to dissuade the hysteria lest an innocent man get burned and a family broken up as a result.

And yy <waits for wave of hysteria about lest the innocence of babies get tarnished) I get that too.

But don't overreact without due cause.

Thought is jolly important.

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