Would You Call the Child Abuse Hotline on a Friend?

Question by Pregnant with Baby #2: Would you call the child abuse hotline on a friend?
I just got the child abuse hotline and now I’m really regreting it. My friend from highschool got drunk last night, took xanax (maybe mispelled, but it is a prescription drug that really makes you loopy) and drove for over an hour with her two year old in the car. She works over nights and sleeps all day while he wonders around the house alone. She leaves him alone in the bathtub while she goes outside and smokes and talks with her friends. I was honestly just worried about her son, but now I feel so ashamed. I tell my husband everything, and I’m too ashamed to tell him even this. The lady on the phone said that she couldn’t do anything unless the child had been injured already, which blows because I wanted to prevent an injury. She is a good friend, but she is a horrible mom. Her son has asthma and heart problems and she still smokes around him. He is two and doesn’t say even 1 word because noone ever talks to him. I am so sad for him, but now I feel terrible.
The child abuse hotline said they could investigate, but they really couldn’t do much unless the child had already been injured. My friend is also on parole, and I could call her officer, but I feel that would be wrong. I fear for this child’s life if he stays with her. I have tried giving her advise, but she is kinda slow. I really just don’t want to talk to her anymore because it bothers me so bad. I bring her son gifts and milk when she runs out. When she calls for help, I can’t say no to her child. She is doing drugs, so if I called her officer they would do a test and she would go to jail. The child would be better off with a grandparent (she comes from a good family, we were neighbors growing up), but I don’t think I could send my friend to jail.

Best answer:

Answer by grayhare
If a child were being neglected and placed in a position of danger, heck yes I’d call the hotline. The child’s safety comes FIRST.

Add your own answer in the comments!



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20 Responses to Would You Call the Child Abuse Hotline on a Friend?

  • Proud Mommy to J.J. says:

    I would have called she doesn’t seem to be doing her job as a mother!

  • Alicia S says:

    oh yea in a heartbeat. it’s not about your friendship, its about the child’s safety. besides– its anonymous.

  • Adrianne R says:

    This is serious you need be calling Social Services. She’s a unfit mother.

  • Miss. Misunderstood says:

    Yes, if you really care for your friend’s life then it would be the right thing to do.

  • dog lover says:

    birds of a feather flock together….

    this story is full of holes… in which case you should feel like crap.

  • Dominique C says:

    You’ve done the right thing- your friend makes the choices for herself and it sounds as though she needs help making healthy choices for her son- so that he can grow up to make them for himself someday. If children don’t have positive influences, it’s difficult to overcome the odds and be positive adults. Keep a close eye on the situation; it’s never nice to “betray” a friend, but it would be far more tragic to betray the child. He’s lucky to have you looking out for him.

  • rahpookathryn says:

    oh honey, you shouldn’t feel bad! I know this sucks but you did do the right thing. tell your husband and it will make you feel better. And i know this is the last thing you want to hear but maybe you shouldn’t be friends with her anymore. it has to be really hard to be friends with someone you have no respect for. maybe if she lost all of her friends due to this bad behavior some one would notice that no one is paying attention to her child. good luck and seriously thank you for trying to do the right thing!

  • whalelvr72 says:

    You did the right thing….but you might want to try the local Department of Family Services instead. They should do an in depth check instead of needing somthing to have happened already. It is a case of neglect, or the least endangering the welfare of a child. Congratulations to you for having the guts and love for children to do what you even tried to do.

  • tomgunn2007 says:

    You did they right thing. In most if not all states they still have to investigate it and they will not reveal who called. Smoking around the kids in the house or in the car with the windows rolled up is wrong, but is not abusive in the eyes of the law. As for the drinking and driving it was wrong, but will be hard to prove.

    I will say if she is not neglecting beating or otherwise abusing them it will be hard for them to take any action. Hopefully your call will be a wake up call to her.

  • sparkleplenny says:

    what a sorry situation for you to have to see.
    i think that all kids are so sweetly innocent. i feel that more
    people like you should stand up for these innocent little ones.
    sounds like your friend needs a wake up call. she likely doesn’t realize how precious and needy this little person is……..so yeah i think you should call.
    best of luck

  • iluvjohnjan2006 says:

    Even though this person may be a good friend, but you have to realize this has nothing to do with a friend, this has to do with the safety of a child. If your husband loves you, he will support you. I know it’s a scary thing and you might lose her as a friend. Don’t feel ashamed, ok. You need to get in touch with your local Department of Child Services to report neglet of a child and they will check it out. Don’t be scared to do this after all this child didn’t ask to be born. If the people check it out and it is proven that she is negleting her child, then the child will be put in foster care or the next of kin will get the child and she will be charged and most likely put in jail. Do not be ashamed. Do what’s right for the child. Ok. Take care

  • Squiddy says:

    Yes I would! If I felt the child was in danger and it seems like this child is-then I would have no problem turning her in.

  • ~Biz~ says:

    You were not wrong. If the child support line did/does not help this child, contact CPS and advise them of the situation you’ve described.

    Your friendship with this woman means nothing if you knowingly allow this child to be put in harm’s way by not saying anything. Really.

    It’s wonderful that you want to be a good friend, but don’t forget that sometimes being a friend requires doing or saying hard things – it’s not all trips to the mall and girl-talk. 🙂 I think you did the right thing.

  • ccf22p says:

    Ummm, Send your friend to jail or watch the baby die?

    That is an easy choice for me. Jail time it is.

    That child is innocent and does not deserve what the mother is doing. If the Grandparents will help then how could you not send her to jail.

    Her having a child did not change her, do you really think a small talk with her will?

    When you bring the child toys and food, how happy is the child? Now tell yourself if you could stand to see the child die? Call the parole officer ASAP!!!

  • helly says:

    Sounds like a few calls to other agencies may be in order if the child abuse hotline was no help. There must be someone who can investigate this. Don’t feel guilty.

    It may not be a case of your friend going to jail, or even the child being taken away. Most organisations (at least in the UK) that deal with cases like this (social services in the UK, not sure in the US), use the actual removal of a child as a LAST resort. Usually, they will work with the family to help the parent/s to learn how to take care of themselves and their children better. Taking the child away, or putting the mother in jail would be an unhelpful resolution.

    In most cases it is better that the child stays with the mother and that she is taught how to better look after her child and herself. At least in this way someone is then monitoring the situation, and if it doesn’t improve, then further action would have to be taken.

    Nobody needs to know it was you who called them. You are doing this with everyone’s best interest at heart. Just don’t tell anyone it was you, probably not even your husband at this stage. Wait and see what comes of this, because although you are doing the right thing, it won’t look that way to your friend at the moment.

    Stick with your gut feeling on this. You know this child is not being properly looked after. Someone has to step in and help. The child is only 2 – he can’t call anyone himself.

  • rena k says:

    Have you tried talking to the Grandparents about your concerns?
    I hate to say this, but you should call anyone you can to get this kid taken away. I’m sure you would feel horrible if someting happened to the boy and you knew you could have done something to prevent it!

  • Pantherswin says:

    I agree with alot of the answers here. You did the right thing for sure! Friend or stranger or even sister at that point.. If you went in there and took the kid you would be a kidnapper, but if you went over there to bring some milk and found the child dead, you would wonder if there had been more you could have done. If she is truly your friend, then this is what you HAVE to do. Think back to 10 years ago (before she was into drugs or in trouble with the law) She would probably be telling you to call CPS to save her child’s life. She will thank you for it when she is clean and her child is alive. Do not be ashamed to tell your husband, he is your confidant and you should be able to tell him this. PLEASE, if she is doing drugs and dangerous things, call her PO- maybe he can get her into a drug treatment program and save both her and the child..

    Good luck, stay strong and protest the child!

  • sarah says:

    It would be a good idea if this happened to her, its not right what she does to her child. She acts as if she does not care about him at all. Something needs to happen so that child has a GOOD chance at life, maybe if she goes to jail she will see all her wrong doings and change her life. She won’t know that it was you. I can understand that you feel bad for doing this to a friend but to save a child’s life is more important. Do whats right, call her parole officer and get her help, which is what she is in desperate need off. You’d be a bad friend if you turned the other cheek and let her do the things she is doing.

  • Andrew says:

    I think your concern for the child is well placed however I am honestly surprised at all of the people who agreed with you about calling CPS. Perhaps it is a symptom of our society where so many people expect the government to solve all of our problems.

    Have you spoken with your friend about your concerns? Have you offered to help her with the child?

    You say she comes from a good home. Have you called her parents – and the child’s grandparents from the father’s side?

    All of these things should be done. YOU, her friend, and the child’s relatives are the people who are best in position to help. NOT some government agency made up of strangers to your friend and her child.

  • cathlene b says:

    sounds to me like you have talked yourself right into doing the RIGHT thing and looking after the one that can’t look after himself and turn her in for gods sake you even said you don’t want to talk to her anymore because it makes you feel bad…DO THE RIGHT THING AND SAVE THAT KIDS LIFE BEFORE IT IS TO LATE! Apparently only you know so……do it.

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