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Advice needed - please no flaming - what if you suspect child abuse?

  1. #1
    dimsum mum is offline Registered User
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    Advice needed - please no flaming - what if you suspect child abuse?

    my friend is dating a fellow who lives in TST. Next door, there is a local family consisting of three adults, and one, five year old child.

    For months now, my friend has heard and seen the family locking out the child, screaming at child, and spanking the child you can hear the hits through the walls. When the child screams, they are not cries of Im sorry, but cries of "help me".

    The child gets beaten because she makes child's mistakes. She isn't bad, she is just a child. Yesterday she was spanked because her alphabet letters were not tidy enough.

    My friend is wondering the procedures of getting help for the child. Would social services listen to her? She has gone to Against Child Abuse but didn't think she could call the hotline, and only got recordings at the other numbers. She is afraid that if she reports the situation, the parents will take it out on the daughter.

    Any ideas, links or advice? She wonders if the parents are tired and if she should offer to take the daughter to the park, but doesn't want to make the situation worse.

    Many thanks.

  2. #2
    howardcoombs is offline Registered User
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    http://www.police.gov.hk/ppp_en/04_c...ild/index.html

    http://www.swd.gov.hk/en/index/site_...id_familyandc/

    Child protection services is the place to report this. Yes, a social worker will listen to her.
    Not reporting it will not solve anything. Get on the phone and get professionals involved.

  3. #3
    Sage is offline Registered User
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    Report it to the police - child protection services as howardcoombs pointed out. The first thing they would do, if they found that there is indeed signs of abuse, is to remove the child from the situation (home, etc.) and put her in a public hospital such as Queen Mary Hospital. There, a host of professionals and highly trained people will attend to her, from play therapy to medical support, if needed. They have psychologists, paediatricians, counsellors, social workers, etc. to treat/work with her. In the process, they will get evidence and anything they can out from a child (this happens to all minors, even those who can't talk yet). I know a case where they remove a child from a home because even though the parents reported the abuse, the police has to make sure that it is not the parents themselves but another person. The onus is on the police to find the abuser and this means everyone in contact with the child gets interviewed - caregivers, teachers, security guard of apartment complex, adults who attend playdates, everyone. It is a big deal and as parents, they would have to take time off to attend meetings with the police, counsellors, child's advocate, social worker, etc. Even if they parents are not the guilty party. If they are and proven to be so, they will automatically be charged.

    HK has a tried and tested set up for this. I am writing this on the run but that is pretty much the gist of it. The priority is on the child and they will remove her from any risky situation until they can be sure that her welfare is taken care of.

  4. #4
    charade is offline Registered User
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    Just wanted to add that although you keep hearing reports in the news of how HK has a shortage of social workers, they do respond quite quickly. The local MCH referred me to one (for counselling on other matter) completely on their own and the social worker called me in a couple of days. I'm guessing in this case the response time would be sooner.

  5. #5
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    There are quite a few families "in crisis" in Hong Kong. This type of situation happens a lot. In the school I work with there are lots of children who get taken from their homes to live with a foster family for short or long-term. Sometimes it's because, as you said, the parents are stressed and are taking it out on their child. There can be all sorts of stressors going on--financial problems (a big one in HK), family falling apart, parents working too much etc. No matter what this child needs to be taken out of the home--at least temporarily to assess the situation and get the parents the help they need and the child the protection he/she needs.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  6. #6
    dimsum mum is offline Registered User
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    Many thanks

    Many thanks for your swift responses, common sense, insights and links.
    I will pass them on to my friend.
    Thank you again.
    thanka2 likes this.

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