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Is the potential for abuse enough reason to report someone?
June 1, 2005 11:24 AM   Subscribe

This evening at a gathering of neighbors, I heard a disturbing story. The neighbor's ex-girlfriend has a brother who was sent to prison for raping her daughter when the child was 2-3 years old. The brother is now out of jail and living with his mother - the child's grandmother. When the girlfriend goes out, she takes all of her children and drops them off at the grandmother - which is where the child rapist lives.

I've looked up the brother on the Texas state sex offender list and he is there and it says he's still on probation. Probation usually precludes the offender from having any contact with his victim.

But now I've hit a wall. On one hand, every instinct in my body screams for me to do something to get those kids out of that situation, but on the other hand, it is possible that he's not touching them or punishing her for sending him to prison. Also, I don't know the history of the case, or the individual, or the situation. I do know that the brother is violent and irrational. More on that later.

I mean, if their mother thinks they're safe, do I have any right to assume that she's wrong? I also have to consider the safety of the people around me. Already when the girlfriend and the neighbor had a fight, she sent five guys over to break into the house to rough him up. He wasn't there, so they kidnapped his dog. (We still don't know where the dog is, they're denying they took her, despite there being witnesses and their vehicles captured on surveillance cameras.) These are scary, scary people. I'm not easily frightened, and these people spook me.

What would you do in this situation?

(Sorry about the length, I wanted to try and preemptively answer questions people might have.)
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (55 answers total)
 
Many local law enforcement agencies will allow you to make anonymous tips. Call the law enforcement agency that he's paroled from (it should be in the sex offender database) and ask to speak to his parole officer anonymously. Parole officers love when people make their job easier, and they really love being able to drop in on the parolee while they're violating parole.
posted by SpecialK at 11:28 AM on June 1, 2005


I would stay far far far away from any of those people.

One thing you could do, if you wanted to interfere, which I would not recommend, is to contact your local TV station / newspaper and find a reporter who would keep your confidence and who would be willing to look into the situation and possibly report on it.

Make sure they don't reveal your identity, though.
posted by bshort at 11:28 AM on June 1, 2005


(Oh, and you could always head over to www.glocktalk.com and ask the question in "Cop Talk" ... you'll get it straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak, over there.)
posted by SpecialK at 11:29 AM on June 1, 2005


Make an anonymous call to the police.

Then email Matt and ask him to delete this thread. You identified yourself as a neighbor and gave a pretty explicit description of the situation.
posted by felix betachat at 11:34 AM on June 1, 2005


Make a call to the police, and to your local child welfare agency.

Without knowing the history and all the applicable laws and conditions of the guy's probation, you are not in a position to judge if the children should be removed or not. You DO, however, have a moral & ethical obligation to do what you can to contact the proper authorities and be sure that they are aware of the situation and then can take the appropriate action if it is required.

Generally, child welfare agencies are very interested in knowing if young children are being left in the care of a convicted child rapist.

Your title for this post asks "Is the potential for abuse enough reason to report someone?" Think about it. If you knew about a possibly dangerous situation, did nothing, and later found out that your worst fears were realized, how would you feel that you knew of the risk and didn't try to help? No one can prevent every instance of sexual or physical abuse. But when you have a chance to try and prevent some, I think it's important to make the attempt.
posted by raedyn at 11:45 AM on June 1, 2005 [1 favorite]


First, welcome to the real world, this sort of melodrama is all around you.

Second, the daughter is voluntarily leaving the granddaughter in the home of the ex-con, her brother, the girl's uncle. The parole officer is probably already well aware of the situation.

Contact the parole officer if you must, DFACS (or your equivalent) may be better, but if something comes of this, be aware that confidentiality is a rather tenuous concept in these situations. Many people already know that you know the situation.
posted by mischief at 11:45 AM on June 1, 2005


Anonymous tips to child services, the police, the prison where he stayed, etc etc. Tell everyone you think who could possibly be involved with this situation. Immediately. "No contact with the victim" doesn't mean he's OK as long as he's not raping her--he's not even supposed to go near her.

And your neighbor should start court action against the bastards for breaking and entering and theft, if he hasn't already done so. Vehicles on survelliance cameras and witnesses sounds like a pretty damn good case.

It's OK to be afraid, it's OK to not want to put yourself in harm's way, but please don't let that stop you from doing the right thing. You could be saving these kids (especially the previous victim) from life-destroying trauma.
posted by schroedinger at 11:50 AM on June 1, 2005


What schroedinger said. Please call, anonymously if you must, but please call.
posted by deborah at 11:56 AM on June 1, 2005


Third-ing schroedinger. The nasty behavior (all of it) is not going to stop if everyone looks the other way.
posted by occhiblu at 12:19 PM on June 1, 2005


The probation thing is a big plus; they don't need permission or even suspicion to go around and mess with this guy. Definately do something to let the Powers That Be know they need to look into this.
posted by phearlez at 12:19 PM on June 1, 2005


(Also, when you call, you may want to mention the previous intimidation of the neighbors. I can't tell if that was reported to the police or not.)
posted by occhiblu at 12:24 PM on June 1, 2005


This evening at a gathering of neighbors, I heard a disturbing story.

I'm not clear on how this gossip became your mission to meddle in the lives of people you don't know. If you were the guy identified as "neighbor," sure. You're not. The children are not yours, and by your own admission, "I don't know the history of the case, or the individual, or the situation."

My suggestion is to reconsider whether this is any of your business.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:32 PM on June 1, 2005


Call protective services. You can do it without leaving your name. I disagree that "everyone probably knows about the situation." It's very frequent for this kind of thing to happen below the radar, which does not make it a good idea. Please call.
posted by OmieWise at 12:32 PM on June 1, 2005


yep, call the cops & child protection services. It's not okay under any circumstances for a child to be left in the home of a pervert - nor is it okay to stand by and do nothing.
posted by LadyBonita at 12:35 PM on June 1, 2005


Kirth:
Not really the same subject matter, but still applicable:

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.


Kids can't really defend themselves from this kind of thing. There's a good chance that the mom's a rotten egg... there's many really sad examples, like the mom that was arrested last weekend for allowing two men in a bar to rape her teenaged daughter and her daughter's friend while she watched. If we, as adults, neighbours, and community members do not defend children from predators, who will defend us when we are in need?
posted by SpecialK at 12:43 PM on June 1, 2005


Amending what I wrote earlier, don't bother with the cops or the parole officer. Call Family and Children Services if you must and if you are fairly sure the 'story' you heard is factual. This is not the ex-cons fault so much as it is the judgment of the sister and the grandmother. Let FACS make the call to the cops; don't worry they probably will just as part of the investigation.

Also, expect to be questioned eventually even if you do phone in anonymously. FACS investigations often include interviewing neighbors. Have fun!

So much for a felon paying his debt to society. ;-P
posted by mischief at 12:44 PM on June 1, 2005


SpecialK - No it's not applicable. Children are not being targeted by an oppressive, authoritarian government. And as much as they cannot defend themselves, neither can adults defend themselves from stuff like "There's a good chance that the mom's a rotten egg..." Do you know more than is written here? Do you even know if any of it is true? We are not "neighbours, and community members " we're people hundreds or thousands of miles away, in some cases judging others based on fourth-hand gossip.

I see all this advice telling anonymous to jump in with both feet, but I don't see why it's his business, given that he has no personal knowledge of any of the alleged wrongdoing.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:58 PM on June 1, 2005


This is really not fair to the victims, regardless of what their mother might think. I think that should take priority over whatever their mother is aiming for (or settling for).
posted by Tuwa at 12:59 PM on June 1, 2005


You know, the more I ponder this, the more this sounds like an ex-boyfriend trying to stick it to an ex-girlfriend by way of an intermediary. Consider carefully whether or not you can trust the ex-boyfriend never to tell the ex-girlfriend that he blabbed about the situation.

There's a reason why they call it 'hearsay'.
posted by mischief at 1:09 PM on June 1, 2005


Do you know more than is written here? Do you even know if any of it is true? We are not "neighbours, and community members " we're people hundreds or thousands of miles away, in some cases judging others based on fourth-hand gossip.

I see all this advice telling anonymous to jump in with both feet, but I don't see why it's his business, given that he has no personal knowledge of any of the alleged wrongdoing.


"No it's not applicable!" "Yes it is!" "No it's not!"

Apparently, anonymous has been rattled enough by the issue to make the effort to post it to the internets.
We may not be neighbours or community members, but anonymous is.

So you're saying, don't even tell the authorities? The reason we have authorities is so that they can investigate issues like this and see if the rumors are true or false. If Anonymous calls DPS and/or the parole officer, and nothing happens, OK, they were probably unfounded, and Anonymous can get on with things without a worry. But keep in mind that DPS has about 30 bajillion cases and parole officers have hundreds of 'clients' to keep track of. Both services depend on concerned community members to call in problems so that the authorities can do their jobs -- which is to investigate and see if there IS a problem. If there isn't, everyone can get on with things. If there is, the problem can get dealt with. It's no skin off of anyone's teeth to make the call.

Don't worry, we'll remember this when you're in a nursing home someday and we think one of the caregivers might be abusing patients... :-P Which was the point of the poem -- it's our job, as a global community, to defend those members of our society that are defenseless.
posted by SpecialK at 1:11 PM on June 1, 2005


Kirth Gerson, I can't disagree strongly enough with you. If the facts are correct, there is a young girl spending her days with a man that raped her. If the facts aren't correct, that will get sorted out by the authorities. Which has the potential for greater harm?

Minding your own business is admirable; ignoring potential abuse is not.
posted by letitrain at 1:17 PM on June 1, 2005


You are legally obligated to report child abuse. Indeed, in many jurisdictions it is illegal to not report it.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:20 PM on June 1, 2005


"Anonymous can get on with things without a worry"

I wouldn't be so sure of that. That family has redneck written all over it, as does the neighbor, and I wouldn't trust any of them.

fff: He does not know that there is child abuse. This is all hearsay, and third-hand hearsay at that.
posted by mischief at 1:22 PM on June 1, 2005


I'm hard pressed to figure out how a child forced to spend time with the person who was convicted of raping them is not in an abusive situation.

Call the parole officer and child protective services. And I'm the last person who approves of government agencies interfering with families. But I can't see any harm in having this very sketchy situation investigated.
posted by Space Kitty at 1:33 PM on June 1, 2005


And I'm the last person who approves of government agencies interfering with families. But I can't see any harm in having this very sketchy situation investigated.

x2
posted by letitrain at 1:36 PM on June 1, 2005


anonymous tip is the thing to do ... the girlfriend is NOT doing the right thing by leaving them off there

another thing that may or may not be appropriate, depending on where you live and how you feel about it ... i used to work for a couple that had a country grocery in a poor section of the county, with many redneck low life types

every couple of weeks, they'd set up some targets in the back yard and have a little target practice ... everyone in the township knew they were armed ... and the couple wasn't shy about casually showing their hardware in the store

people didn't screw with them

but that may not be appropriate for everyone
posted by pyramid termite at 1:57 PM on June 1, 2005


It is possible to make what are called Hypothetical Calls to agencies like Child Protective Services. What you do is call the number and ask using this kind of language. "What if I were to call you and tell you X, Y, and Z? What would be your advice to me?" The people who take these calls are trained to answer your questions, and they can give you advice about what to do. If they give you a scenario you are comfortable with, then you can go ahead and make the report. They are supposed to keep you anonymous. I work with children and have had to make such calls, and they have never shared my identity with anyone involved. This is supposed to be standard practice.
posted by abbyladybug at 2:21 PM on June 1, 2005


I mean, if their mother thinks they're safe, do I have any right to assume that she's wrong?

You have the right to raise questions. And please, please do. "Mind your own business?" Good grief. This is a child, someone who cannot protect herself. When adults are going about their private life in an informed, consenting manner that harms no one, THEN butt out. But this is so not a MYOB moment. This is a vulnerable person needing someone to give a damn.

Reporting legitimate suspicions does not put you in judgment of that person, or override their own judgment. The authorities exist for a reason. They will investigate. They will determine whether the facts as you understand them are correct and then whether the evidence justifies taking any action. Reporting legitimate suspicions of criminal activity is not only appropriate, it's morally courageous. Contrary to popular mythology, the police are not omniscient--much of their work depends on getting tips and leads from the community. In all likelihood, they have no idea what's going on. If they do know the situation already and somehow find it acceptable, then your (ANONYMOUS, please for your own safety) call will just get stuck in the back of a file somewhere and you get to take a sigh of relief. But your fact-checking shows that there's good reason to suspect something's seriously wrong here. Please don't be yet another person who stands by and waits until it' too late.

Keep in mind that this guy's presence in his victim's life can be damaging in itself. It may be causing her to mentally re-live the trauma. Whether or not he's actively doing anything to the girl or her siblings, social services may well consider it unacceptable to keep subjecting a victim to ongoing contact with her rapist.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 2:22 PM on June 1, 2005


My suggestion is to reconsider whether this is any of your business.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:32 PM PST on June 1 [!]


I am not going to make this personal, but you may not have experienced sexual abuse. That is great, and I am glad if you have not. My condolences if you have. My sister experienced repeated sexual abuse and my mom knew. She was afraid to do anything about it, and now my sister lives with that.

Long story short, choosing not to report something, even if it is hearsay in a situation like this is possibly harmful towards the victim. Possible abuse that could have not needed to happen. You will probably be taking more shrapnel for saying that, but please at least consider why.
posted by Dean Keaton at 2:23 PM on June 1, 2005


The only thing anonymous knows is that the guy is on a sex offender list and his current address. Nothing else.

Anonymous does not know that the sister is actually leaving her kids with grandma nor does anon know that the excon is present when the kids are.

What we know is that the neighbor has already had a fight with the ex-girlfriend, that friends of the ex-girlfriend probably dognapped the neighbor's pet, and that now said neighbor is telling this tale.

Why am I suddenly hungry for Burger King?!
posted by mischief at 2:33 PM on June 1, 2005


If you really, really feel that you MUST get involved here-- and I'm not convinced that you have enough evidence to do so, you could make an anonymous report to the appropriate authority, but make sure that you qualify everything you say with "I have heard that..." or "I have been told that...," and be upfront that you have absolutely no first-hand evidence of anything.

This way, you're being honest and not making judgments that you have no grounds to defend.
posted by yellowcandy at 2:37 PM on June 1, 2005


If you are really suspect that what you heard might be true, call FACS anonymously. Be clear that it might just be hearsay.

And yes: have Matt delete this thread.
posted by Count Ziggurat at 2:41 PM on June 1, 2005


Look, it's all right to hope this is the best-case scenario and this is just rumor-spreading--though if they have videotapes of the break-in we know at least that much is true--but think of the worst-case scenario. What if it is true? Are you OK just leaving it there? Are you OK just dismissing this out of your mind, and not calling the authorities because you didn't see the brother touching the little kid yourself?

I'm betting you're not because you asked this question in the first place. Make the call. They'll investigate and if nothing comes of it, no harm no foul to any parties involved. But if something is found, well, you just saved a little kid's life.
posted by schroedinger at 2:56 PM on June 1, 2005


Good Lord, people.

not making judgments that you have no grounds to defend

People call the authorities because they hear strange noises in the night - they don't wait for proof that a burgular or rapist is in their house. Surely strange noises are even less of a basis for making a phonecall than the situation described here.

Once, some neighbors, a father and son, were having a domestic dispute. They were a couple of hoodlums and fought constantly, but when the son yelled "somebody call the cops!", I didn't wait to see if he was really in trouble. I called 911, anonymously, and left it to the police to sort it out. That's their job. Yours, as a citizen, is to err on the side of caution if you think someone helpless may be in harm's way.
posted by nyterrant at 2:58 PM on June 1, 2005


One more voice saying call Child Protective Services. Give them as many facts as you can provide. A known sex offender should absolutely not have contact with any children and certainly not with the victims. CPS will check it out. They don't swoop in like avenging angels. They verify the facts, and act accordingly. If anything, they may be so backlogged that it will take too much time for them to respond.

Call the Police, too. They'll know how to contact Probation.

The more you are concerned about them being scary people, the more important it is for you to act on behalf of the children who are at risk. They are far more vulnerable than you are. I hope every person who heard the story calls Child Protective Services. But, just in case, make sujre you do. Thanks.
posted by theora55 at 2:58 PM on June 1, 2005


Um, excuse me, but maybe you missed this sentence Kirth Gerson:
The neighbor's ex-girlfriend has a brother who was sent to prison for raping her daughter when the child was 2-3 years old.
Even an inkling of suspicion that this child (who has already been traumatized) is in danger warrants a call to the authorities!
posted by crapulent at 3:07 PM on June 1, 2005


crapulent: He does not know that the uncle raped the kid; he only knows the uncle is on a sex offender list. See following.

"A known sex offender should absolutely not have contact with any children and certainly not with the victims."

Um, no. I personally know a guy on a sex offender list for slapping his ex-wife on the butt. He still has custody of the kids though.
posted by mischief at 3:34 PM on June 1, 2005


Call Child Protective Services. Call the police. Call the Department of Children and Families. Make as many calls as you need to get someone to take a look at this. Do it anonymously - the people who deal with situations like this are accustomed to nobody wanting to get involved. They'll understand.

If the gossip is not true, the investigation will show that the situation is okay. Life will continue as mostly-normal.

However, if this is true... kids can't defend themselves. It sounds that nobody - except for anonymous, apparently - is willing to step up and do anything.

If for no other reason, do it because you wouldn't be able to live with the idea of letting abuse continue, when you could've done something.
posted by cmyk at 3:54 PM on June 1, 2005


anon, let me join the report claque. My mother is a social worker and handles these sorts of cases all the time. It is not your job to determine whether or not a child is being harmed; it is not your job to determine whether a crime has been committed. That is the responsibility of the professional probation and family case workers assigned to the perpetrator and victim. They, however, are hobbled in what they can do, because all too often families -- especially with intrafamilial abuse -- conspire to withhold information and even actively conceal the location of offenders or victims. Just call, for the sake of knowing you did the right thing, and allowed the responsible parties to start anything that they need to. Keep in mind that nothing may come of your call; there are plenty of instances where an investigation fails and a child is, according to a citizen, in danger, even when the responsible agency did everything in its power to find or stop an abusive situation.

I find it abhorrent that a child rapist is given any time anywhere near a child that he, personally, raped. I don't think we need to have arguments about personal experiences, either. This is pretty clear-cut. The only question is that neither you nor we have proof that the situation is as was described.

If the boyfriend is the father of any of the children, for instance (and I know we're talking about a brother here, too), he retains his parental rights including visitation. It may not be possible to keep the kids away from him without a court TPR (termination of parental rights) order. The girlfriend may have no choice in this matter. The visits may well be legal and supervised. Still, that's not for you to sort out.

If you want a more authoritative answer, the HHS has a publication about Reporting Child Abuse, and Texas has a Child Abuse Prevention Kit. The Texas Family Code makes that state one of 18 where any person is obligated to report, so in a legal sense, everyone at that party is theoretically negligent if they fail to make a call (assuming, of course, that the allegation is not hearsay). For your comfort, Texas also specifies that the identity of the reporter is confidential and may only be released by order of court or to law enforcement agency conducting a criminal investigation, and ensure that a reporter acting under good faith who reports or assists in the investigation of a report of alleged child abuse or neglect or who testifies or otherwise participates in a judicial proceeding arising from a report, petition, or investigation of alleged child abuse or neglect is immune from civil or criminal liability that might otherwise be incurred or imposed. IANAL but I believe you would be acting in good faith (the ex-boyfriend, however, might be in hot water if his motivations are malicious; there are penalties for knowingly false reporting).

Finally, if you just want peace of mind, almost anywhere there will be a "McGruff" number where you can anonymously report a crime.
posted by dhartung at 4:00 PM on June 1, 2005


mischief: He does not know that the uncle raped the kid; he only knows the uncle is on a sex offender list.

Well, anon did mention that the offender was on the Texas list. The Texas list has the crime the offender was imprisoned or sentenced for listed in the record. Thus, if anon did check the list, he/she would be able to tell if that part of the story was correct.

The database is here. As an example, I plugged in the Enron zip code (77002) in Houston. I randomly picked someone on that list, and the information provided includes the offenders name, offense, and age of victim, among other data.

The third-hand info from a disgruntled ex is problematic, but I think the potential risk to the children involved justifies an anonymous phone call to Child Protective Services. The whole story could be phooey, in which case the only harm done is the time spent by the CPS investigator. The story could be true, even in part, in which case, Anon has done the ethical thing by protecting someone incapable of protecting herself.
posted by dejah420 at 4:04 PM on June 1, 2005


Also, I don't know the history of the case, or the individual, or the situation.

You don't need to! Investigation is not your job. If he is with the kids, he is violating parole. To what degree action needs to be taken is the job of the police and the courts to sort out. That's why you need to call them and make an anonymous tip. Please call somebody.
posted by samh23 at 4:36 PM on June 1, 2005


I personally know a guy on a sex offender list for slapping his ex-wife on the butt.

That is astonishing.
posted by Dean Keaton at 5:15 PM on June 1, 2005


Not really astonishing in this day and age. Just ask Christian Slater, recently charged with 3rd degree sexual abuse for grabbing a woman's butt.
posted by mischief at 5:27 PM on June 1, 2005


You are legally obligated to report child abuse. Indeed, in many jurisdictions it is illegal to not report it.

This isn't true of suspected child abuse, at least not in all states.

Children & Family Service agencies (with whom I've worked in the past) are grossly overworked and underfunded. Though their missions and intentions are honorable, they often won't investigate allegations that are based on suspicions of possible or potential for abuse.

Cops -- if you report it to them and make it sound like an emergent issue, they might make a call to the house. But unless they witness a crime, they have no recourse to do anything about it.

The parole/probation office is your best bet. It's their responsibility to ensure that they guy keeps his nose clean. They may not be aware that he has contact with the victim. If they don't, you're doing the right thing by telling them.

Then again, there's a possibility that they've condoned the arrangement for some reason. It sucks, but it happens.
posted by mudpuppie at 5:35 PM on June 1, 2005


You have to report this. If you are involved in health care or education, depending on your state, the law might obligate you to do so. If those circumstances do not apply to you then you are none the less morally obligated to do it. There is absolutely no question here of you violating someone's privacy or misunderstanding the intent of an innocent person. The welfare of the children is all that matters, and you must respond.
posted by puddinghead at 6:39 PM on June 1, 2005


Anonymous,

I retract my above statement.

Turns out that Texas is, remarkably, one of the states where all citizens are mandated reporters.

From the TX DFPS website:
What is Abuse?

Abuse is mental, emotional, physical, or sexual injury to a child or failure to prevent such injury to a child.

What is Neglect?

Neglect includes (1) failure to provide a child with food, clothing, shelter and/or medical care; and/or (2) leaving a child in a situation where the child is at risk of harm.

To report child abuse or neglect, call 1-800-252-5400 or use our secure website: https://www.txabusehotline.org
Ya gotta call.
posted by mudpuppie at 7:04 PM on June 1, 2005


Great job, mudpuppie.
posted by puddinghead at 7:51 PM on June 1, 2005


In that case, when you call, make sure you report your neighbor as well for allowing the problem to persist.
posted by mischief at 8:39 PM on June 1, 2005


I hope that was said in jest, right mischief?
posted by incessant at 12:52 AM on June 2, 2005


call the cops
posted by a thousand writers drunk at the keyboard at 4:32 AM on June 2, 2005


No, not at all. If Texas law is that strict, then anon would also commit a crime if he held back the identity of whom he describes as a material witness. This is part and parcel of the public hysteria that pervades child abuse, much like the frothing and gnashing exhibited in this thread.

Further, if Matt lived in Texas, possibly he also would be breaking the law by posting this question anonymously rather than reporting the asker. Any of you living in Texas should be reporting the existence of this thread itself.
posted by mischief at 6:12 AM on June 2, 2005


What everyone else said--call the number provided by Mudpuppie. If nothing happens, call again, call the police, call the parole officer, call every damn authority you can find until that kid is out of danger.

This is a testing moment for you that you will remember for the rest of your life, either as the time you took a personal risk for what is right, or the time you turned your back on a child. You didn't ask for it, but here it is.
posted by LarryC at 8:54 AM on June 2, 2005


I really don't understand your hostility, Mischief. Could you explain why this thread, the existence of Texas laws and the subject of child abuse has made you so aggressive?

For instance; this statement: Further, if Matt lived in Texas, possibly he also would be breaking the law by posting this question anonymously rather than reporting the asker. Any of you living in Texas should be reporting the existence of this thread itself. makes no damn sense.

I live in Texas. What about this thread could I report, exactly? Have you ever looked at the information required to file a report with CPS? It requires an insane amount of information. First and last names of everyone involved, addresses, counties, identifying marks, dates, times, witnesses, it's not like I could call CPS and say hey, there's some random people in Texas who might be doing something wrong, quick, round everyone up.

I'm totally baffled by your repeated aggro comments in this thread.
posted by dejah420 at 11:49 AM on June 2, 2005


Look, here's the deal on reporting any sort of wrongdoing.

1) Call whoever has jurisdiction.
2) Tell them the deal.
3) Get on with the rest of your life.

If you think it's a real deal, then you have an obligation to report. You don't have an obligation to investigate, get confirming information, or anything like that. But if you have a reasonable belief that something is amiss, call.

I can't believe this has been kicked around for two days. What is this, an amusement?
posted by warbaby at 1:53 PM on June 2, 2005


Anonymous emailed me (anonymously) and asked me to convey that a report has been filed with Child Protective Services.

I think that means "call off the dogs."
posted by mudpuppie at 3:18 PM on June 2, 2005


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