I found out tonight that the two children of one of my best friends are currently being abused by their caregiver. The mother (my friend) is desperate to find a way for them to go to a real daycare but she says she cannot pay for it. The caregiver (her abusive ex-husband's new girlfriend) is not taking good care of them.

My friend is entrenched in religion, and a cult of Amway, (also teaching religion and charging her money for it.) I am sick to my stomach and I feel like I can't eat anything after hearing this news. I cannot stop crying. I've cried more tonight than I have in years. I want so desperately for her to see that there IS a way out!!! She needs to file a report and get them the hell out!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She has to stand up for herself and stand up for her kids! I must remember my own journey.

It took me a long time to realize that I have the power to stop everyone from abusing me. It took a long time to get to the place where I realized that being submissive and passive is bullshit! I am FINALLY able to tell anyone who thinks they have a right to hurt me or my child to go fuck off. I can see the answers.....and yet she is not there. She is already living with another man (who is also showing warning signs of abuse).......

I love these children like they were my own. I cannot just stand back and watch her continue down the wrong path......but I don't know what (if anything) I can do. I am going to be sick.

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I wish I knew what to say to encourage or help you. I feel anything I would say would be horribly inadequate. I'm so sorry to hear about those kids.

You are a very strong person, and you've been through a lot. It's made you smart. Maybe you will be in a position to help them out. I don't know if her seeing your example might possibly help her out, or what...

Good luck Belle.

What kind of abuse? 

Is there anything you can do, Belle?  Call Child Protective Services?  I don't know how these things work. 

If you believe a child is being abused, you should call the police. This ought to apply whether you know and love the child or children involved or if they are complete strangers. Just call the police. What's the worst thing that can happen to you if you do? Is it worse than what seems to be happening to the children?
Thanks everyone for the replies. Strega since she told this in our DV support group they are mandated reporters. It has been reported to CPS. I'm glad for that, but it could (unfortunately) work against the mother (my friend). She is living in a deep state of denial. I'm trying to help her the best I can, but her religion is her "cure all" (just pray it away)......so I haven't yet figured out how to best help/support her.

It is such a relief that it's been reported. It may work against your friend, but if she's not capable of caring for them and protecting them right now, it's better for the children that CPS steps in. CPS may be able to provide her education and resources that will solve the problem without moving them from their home.  There can still be a "happy ending" for your friend. But it's really up to her to show CPS that she is not going to let this happen again.  

As her friend, I think your role is to break her denial apart until she can see the reality of what is happening to her kids, how prayer is not giving her the answers her children need, and that she needs to be proactive. It will be painful for her to hear this from a trusted friend and it may be very hard on you...but the best thing you can do for her is open her eyes. Look what is on the line...you can't be 'friendly' when her life is falling apart. She needs a friend that calls her on her bullshit (the denial, the avoidant wishful thinking/prayer). That's the first thing. 

The second thing is to show her how you've taken charge of your life and to convince her she can do that too.

Piece of cake, right? Belle, you've been through hell and come out of it so strong. If you're able to help her, please do. If it's too much to deal with on top of what's going on in your own life, that's understandable. It's not your responsibility, but if you can, she needs someone in her life to give her a little shove in the right direction.

Completely agree. It's a hard fact to deal with, but the life and well being of a child supersedes any adult relationship.  If it destroyed a friendship, its your duty as a moral person to pass on what you know. I would suggest going to child social services with whatever information you have, or whatever the equivalent is wherever you are from.

Yes, call the police in situations like that. Much as you love your friend, BR, you can't throw children under the bus to preserve a friendship with an adult. And, like Simon said, what kind of abuse are we talking about, physical, mental, sexual? 

My own daughter was abused by two different female babysitters. One abused her sexually, we think. Our daughter told us she didn't like that babysitter because "She always wants to play the pee pee game." The other one was mild physical abuse and neglect, Those were different times (35+ years ago) and we simply didn't use those providers again. Nowadays, I'd call CPS or the police.

...She needs a daycare, but she can't afford it? And she also believes Jesus is the answer to her problems? So she goes to church, but she can't find an affordable daycare? Is there anyone at this church who might watch her kids? Is there anyone at this church who might "give to those who ask without expecting anything back" as Jesus commanded to help her afford a place to watch her kids? Is there anyone at this church who might be able to recommend to her a cheaper place to have her kids watched? A place that isn't abusive?

If not that's really disgusting. This is what religion is supposed to be good at. Religion claims that it cares about the poor, and the poor in spirit, and the downtrodden, and the week. There are plenty of good churches out there where she would find that kind of help. But if she's stuck in some kind of shithole church that wants to blame everything on her and just take her money....wow, I don't even know what to say. It makes me so mad to see how people call themselves Christians when they don't follow Jesus.

You are going to just have to have a one to one talk with your friend, and explain that she needs to have this woman reported for child abuse. Explain to her your experiences and the negative outcomes of it, she needs to understand exactly what she is doing to herself and her children.

Is it not possible that a more trusted friend or relative take care of her children while she is working? I'm so sorry to hear all of this, try to stay strong. I hope things turn around for you all 

You can make a complaint in most states without mentioning your name. Finding the right department might be interesting. A start at the local police or children's services might be enough.

REPORT THEM AGAIN! An extra call to the police from a second or thind person makes a difference.

DO IT!!! Regardless of how it might hurt your friend, or work against her (whatever that means) or make life stressful for any of these incapable adults. None of them can offer a safe environment (if what your friend is saying is true and if she is hooking up with another controlling asshole).

Sorry you have to experience this. It's heavy and emotionally draining isn't it? I did it once at great cost to my relations with everyone in my appartment building...but it had to be done. Kids come first.

Stand with her, and at every step of the way encourage her to stand up and say enough is enough.  Be there for her, and coach her through the battle if you can and (by her accord) are afforded to do so.  In the end, however, the choice is hers since by law she is the one legally bound to her children.  If she does nothing there is no telling what might happen and the weight of those consequences will haunt her the rest of her life.  In the meantime, if there is anything you can do to be a shelter against the storm for the children, and can do it, then do it even if it means risking your relationship with the mother.  After all, the children are what ultimately matter since our lives our passing quite readily to the end, while the children's lives have not quite begun.

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