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Question
Posted by: Concerned Mother. | 2004/03/08

I am worried about my baby is she being abused by my brother.

Hi doc I would like to know how do you know if someone is abusing your child.
My daughter is 2yrs old. My brother is 16 yrs old. My daughter loves her uncle very much but i am worried.When i use to ask him to bath her he always complained,but now he voluntees to bath her. We never close the door completely when we bath her ,but he closes it fully.

Now the other night she complained that her nufy is sore.
When i asked her who did hurt her nufy she said my brothers name.

Could i be wrong or what.She is always around him and he always plays with him.I don't know what to think Please help me.Her vagina was red when i dressed her that night.

Please help me because if he is busy abusing my child i will kill him.

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Our expert says:
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Dear CM,
It does sound as if some form of abuse is a distinct possibility ( try calling Childine -- their number is giving in another thread today and discussing this ). And I can't help agreeing with Lucia --- why on earth have you been having a boy of 16 or younger ( you mention how he used to respond ) bathing a young girl, and insisting on it ?
Stop the bathing ritual immediately, and take care of this yourself. And no closed doors. There are many other ways in which he can help around the house.
And Lucia was NOT being rude but highly sensible. I know you are upset and angry that there is even a possibility of abuse, and hate the idea that you may have unwittingly encouraged it, but this was never a good idea, and may have led to things becoming far more complicated than is desirable.
Why not talk to the lad about her complaint, and ask him for his version of events. Young girls can get infections that cause discomfort, in innocent ways, too. Spooky makes some very excellent points there, too. Best to have her see a Gp for a checkup, to be sure.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Concerned Mum | 2004/03/09

Thank you spooky for your word of advise.

I will do as you said.

Reply to Concerned Mum
Posted by: Spooky | 2004/03/08

When something cannot be proved or disproved, the wisest, fairest and most logical thing to do is surely to afford the suspect the benefit of the doubt. Jumping to conclusions will only serve to do more harm and injustice to everyone concerned.
A 2 year old’s ‘nufy’ is as vulnerable to bacterial and fungal infections as is an adult’s, if not more (young, still developing immune system). One cannot wash this area without touching it. If it is inflamed and painful when washed, then that could explain why she thinks that the one who washes her nufy, hurts her nufy. Even soap can cause irritation and inflammation.
It’s normal for a 2 year old to be attached to her 16 year old uncle and visa versa.

Admittedly, it would be naïve not to be apprehensive and wary about why the bathroom door is preferred to be closed by the 16 year old.
You trusted your younger Boet and understandably so.
I believe you have taken adequately appropriate steps to avoid any future misgivings.

Well done for changing the bathing procedure – prevention, after all said & done, is far better than cure.

Reply to Spooky
Posted by: Concerned mum | 2004/03/08

Lucia you have a big mouth. I did not ask for you to be rude. I just asked for your help.

If that's the why you want to help someone i suggest you keep your comments to yourself.
I did not force my brother to bath my baby i only asked him to help me out.

I appreciate Cella & Lily's feedback i will do that girls. Thanks alot.I have stopped the bathing the minute i saw my babies vagina was red.

Thanks alot.

Reply to Concerned mum
Posted by: Cella | 2004/03/08

We never suspect someone close to us to hurt us. I think you just wanted a bit of help from your brother. My younger brother used to bath and help dress my eldest daughter when he was about sixteen, he did the same with my second daughter four years after that. I guess we were lucky. In this day and age you read and hear of so many things going on - I'm not going to blame anything/ anyone, but the world out there is ugly.
Please stop letting him bath her, even if you have a lot to do, rather let him do other chores, and you bath your daughter.

Reply to Cella
Posted by: Lucia | 2004/03/08

Dear CM

Why are you forcing a 16 year old boy to bath a 2 year old baby girl ???? I have a 16 year old son and a 2 yr old daughter - the last thing on my son's mind would be to bath the baby. Believe me - normal teenagers regard this as not a very "cool" thing to do and that is quite acceptable. You have created a not so healthy situation here - 16 year old boys' heads are being ruled by hormones - he may and he may not be molesting her - why are you taking the chances ? Stop this bathing thing immediately and let him be the 16 yr old boy he needs to be and since you brought that little girl into this world, it is her mother and her fathers responsibility to bath, feed and love her. In today's sick world, I will trust no one with the intimate responsibilities of changing nappies and bathing my baby girl unless I am in the bathroom with them.

Look at Lily's posting - the person you least expect it from turns out to be the bad guy - I do not think your brother is a "bad guy" - you placed him in a position where first of all he DID NOT WANT TO BATH THE BABY - YET YOU INSISTED, he then does it to please you and one thing may have led to another - you should kick you own butt for being so irresponsible !!!

Reply to Lucia
Posted by: Lily | 2004/03/08

Look at my posting : 7473, I never believe that a family member can sexually abuse another family member. My friend was abused by her brother from a younger age .( They had the same mom and dad , blood brother and sister) The abuser ( her brother) is a decent person , dignified and you'd never even see him as being capable of doing sucha dispecable thing. Take charge of the situation , monitor it closely, but make sure that your child does not get harmed in the process. Make sure of the facts before confronting him , just in case.

Reply to Lily

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