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Assault on my son that happened three years ago

  • 17-04-2022 7:36pm
    Registered Users Posts: 278 ✭✭The Darkroom

    My son is just turned 9 years old. Three years ago in the summer of 2018 his grandparents with their sons came over from America. One of the sons is a professional sports wrestler and Harvard student. I always put him down as an aggressive person only meeting him once and he's in his mid to late 20s. He doesn't even know my son and this was the second time since he was a baby that he'd ever seen him.

    They all went to dinner and I didn't go because we don't get along and so politely declined. I always aim to smile and somewhat try to hide my disgust for them..

    My son told me today that While he was playing with the cutlery at the table had been told to stop by my wife. When he didn't stop the uncle angrily grabbed his arm so tightly that he went underneath the table afterwards and cried for a while. He was only 5 at the time.

    My wife confirmed what happened and said "Uncle X just isn't used to kids".

    I'm really troubled about it. I'm poor and unlike them I wouldn't have an understanding of the law especially with them being American. What can I do in this situation or is it too late to do anything?

    Any advice you have I would appreciate it.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,453 ✭✭✭sam t smith

    Report it to the Gardaí and see what they say.

  • Registered Users Posts: 81,820 ✭✭✭✭JP Liz V1

    If they have returned home to America nothing

    Did your wife do or say anything at the time?

    Keep your son away from uncle violent

  • Registered Users Posts: 278 ✭✭The Darkroom

    You wouldn't consider something like that an assault on a 5 year old? Am I being over the top? I don't mind being challenged about it. I think any stranger behaving like that to your son that made him wince and cry in pain would make any father uneasy.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,691 ✭✭✭Xterminator

    OP what do you hope to achieve? if we know this then perhaps advice would be forthcoming.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 278 ✭✭The Darkroom

    I'm looking to know what can be achieved but maybe court, jail time?. I've been looking to get a restraining order against these grandparents for a while and stop them visiting my sons but nothing like that exists here. So I'm all confused as to how to proceed with anything legal? My wife thinks it is no big deal and wants to take my sons to America for a few weeks or wouldn't mind allowing them visit here again. Having something legal to veto her decision would be great. These are all the things I would like to achieve. Thank you for your comments.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,796 ✭✭✭✭Donald Trump

    You could take a civil case for personal injury. The normal time limit for 2 years wouldn't start ticking until the child was 18.

    Would I do it? - no. I'm just telling you that you could try it. Would you win anything - probably not. But it seems that you may have other motiviations so maybe causing trouble would be the reward for you

  • Registered Users Posts: 845 ✭✭✭goldenhoarde

    Likely little that can be done or enforced given that they live in the states. Extradition is not something on the cards so would be a warrant to arrest if they came over here but that's not likely.

    What page is your wife on given that you want to bring proceedings of some sort on her family.

    She would have to choose sides and if you push it could end in divorce and you having limited access to your kids!! This is based on what you said she answered when asked.

    Also you were not there and in the unlikely chance of anything happening legally it's your wife and sons word against however many others were there.

    What happened is wrong and as advised you should be there next time they visit so you can keep an eye etc. You don't have to like the in-laws but they are your wife's family and maybe she actually liked them.

    My opinion is that any further action by you will result in issues for you unless your wife is 100% with you.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,796 ✭✭✭DoctorEdgeWild

    I think the advice you got in your last thread is still applicable here. If you don't want your child seeing these people, that's your right. Talking to your partner seems to be the absolute obvious choice here, trying to find a legal route, where none exists, will likely end in a lot of wasted time and energy, that you could spend more enjoyably with your family.

  • Hosted Moderators Posts: 22,881 ✭✭✭✭beertons

    Dude, it was years ago. Forget it and move on.

  • You and your wife are both joint legal guardians of your son. As such, you cannot "veto" her decisions (or she yours). You have to find a way to make a compromise.

    Technically, you could refuse to give consent for your son to travel to the US. But it would be a token protest only as your wife can then go to court to seek a waiver of your consent (which I believe she would win).

    Court action against your brother-in-law for something that you allege he did to your son three years ago, which you didn't personally witness, and in the presence of the child's mother who says it wasn't a big deal, is a non-starter.

    But like others have said, I feel if you continue down this road of looking for ways to try and take legal action against members of your wife's family (first you wanted the grandparents barred access, now you want her brother imprisoned?) you are pushing her into a very difficult position, and that doesn't bode well for your marriage.

  • Posts: 18,749 ✭✭✭✭[Deleted User]

    I think OP, you have some personal issues between you and your wife that you need to try to work out. All the best.

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,239 ✭✭✭✭Mrs OBumble

    All the above - and teach your kid to do what he's told.

  • Registered Users Posts: 278 ✭✭The Darkroom

    Thanks everyone for the replies. I've since spoken to my wife and asked why she thought it wasn't a big deal. Her reply to me was that I did think it was a big deal and I confronted him about it. I said, X you can't do violence to children like that he's only 5 years old. He's under the table crying." She said she didn't tell me for this very reason that I'd get upset and escalate the situation.

    You're right, I already have an existing issue with her family who are full of drug addicts (just the men) tolerated by the mother and father. My wife is with me 100% concerning the incident but like yourselves wants me to drop it for now. They've often been around my children high on drugs. I don't like it.

    Let's be honest, if a stranger on the street grabbed your son and squeezed his arm making him wince and cry in pain because he misbehaved would you be happy about that? All I did once was give out to a kid on the street for misbehaving and I got an earful at the door afterwards. Imagine if I had done something like that?

    Thanks for being objective about it and it's not easy responding to me when you don't know my situation nor is it easy for me to discuss with you at any great length. You've given me food for thought so thank you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,519 ✭✭✭Jequ0n

    It took your son three years to tell you, so it clearly wasn’t that big a deal for him.

    Massive overreaction OP.

  • Registered Users Posts: 278 ✭✭The Darkroom

    He's a BABY. Stop treating children under the age of reason as if they're adults. Many children don't talk about the sexual abuse they suffered because they don't understand the nature of the abuse. It isn't until they're older do they sometimes speak out with many sadly bottling it up for life. It's the same with any form of abuse such as that physical assault. My son is too young to reason as an adult would so your comment is ridiculous on all levels.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,193 ✭✭✭✭Dav010

    There is a considerable distance between sexual abuse and grabbing the arm of a kid banging their cutlery on a table in a restaurant. While I would be angry if someone did this to my child, I’d trust my wife to deal with the situation at the time it happened. It reads like you are spoiling for a fight with in-laws you don’t like, if you report to Gardai, your wife’s first hand account may differ from yours. Next time, man up and go to dinner along with your kids, that way you can stop your kid from doing a very annoying thing, and prevent the need for anyone else to say/do anything.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 278 ✭✭The Darkroom

    I'm not likening what took place to sexual abuse but highlighting children's inability to comprehend what is right or wrong when they're 5 years of age.

  • Registered Users Posts: 278 ✭✭The Darkroom

    He was 5 years old at the time and the fact he told me when much older proves my point how kids don't usually speak out until they're older and sense that such actions were wrong.

  • Registered Users Posts: 278 ✭✭The Darkroom

    I'm also not required to be with my children every single moment in their lives so that's a ridiculous comment to make. Who here spends every living and breathing moment being in the presence of their children?

  • Posts: 18,749 ✭✭✭✭[Deleted User]

    If you and your wife are in agreement about not having her family near your children, then you have no issue. It's up to both of you who is in their lives.

    If it was me, I particularly wouldn't like people high on drugs to be around them.

  • Posts: 61 ✭✭[Deleted User]

    I know it's a legal discussion so should stick to that side of things but if you told anyone you were actually considering this I imagine most people would make sure to keep their distance from you in future. You clearly have no clue how crazy this sounds and I won't convince you on boards but I'd be more worried about the issues this would cause in your marriage and am unsure how you have managed to remain married to this woman for a number of years.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,193 ✭✭✭✭Dav010

    I think if my kids were going to be in the company of aggressive drug addicts, I’d want to be there, wouldn’t you?

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,519 ✭✭✭Jequ0n

    What a ridiculous response. A five year old knows and understands when they are old not to do something, but it sounds like you endorse bad behaviour by likening him to a “baby” even now. Not surprising to hear that it is annoying for other people to see this sort of behaviour being tolerated by the parents.

    This happened three years ago - seriously, let it go.

  • OP, you now want to argue with people who are just trying to advise you, so I'll leave it at this.

    Your story is beginning to lack credibility, which is what happens when you start to drip feed more information to support your pov because you don't like how the thread is going. This is your second thread seeking legal avenues on how to prevent your wife's family from contact with your child, but the first mention of any substance abuse issues.

    Frankly, I'm now of the opinion that you are simply looking for excuses to keep your son away from your wife's family because you personally dislike them. I feel some sympathy for your wife because she felt she couldn't discuss something that did happen with you, for fear of how you would react. They are still her family, after all.

    You never did tell us how your son came to tell you this story after three years, and I'm surprised your son remembers it all so vividly given he was only 5 at time. I also wonder how you know how tightly his uncle gripped his arm and that he "winced an cried in pain" when you weren't there yourself to witness what happened.

    Post edited by [Deleted User] on

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  • Registered Users Posts: 53,755 ✭✭✭✭walshb

    You’re not being OTT. Uncle sounds like a nasty person to do that to a young small child.