A common tactic from the “Estranged Parent Playbook” is the threat to maliciously call to the police requesting a welfare check, saying they are worried about their estranged adult child. If you find yourself in this situation please realise you aren’t the only person this has happened to and there are steps you can take.
Often it is a threat because every other attempt at getting their estranged adult child break boundaries and contact them hasn’t worked. Occasionally when the threat doesn’t work they actually do contact the police in the hope that will force contact. Others go straight to reporting without issuing a threat.
We often have Breakaway members say that their parents message them – or send in a flying monkey – saying they will contact the police for reasons such as:
"I can't get in touch with you and I'm worried" - translates as your boundaries are working and I'm annoyed
"I'm worried you are going to hurt yourself" - translates as "I've caused you lots of trauma and I'm going to use it against you to force you to contact me"
"I'm concerned your partner is going to hurt you" - translates as "I don't like you new partner so I'm going to try to break you up so you come back to me"
"I fear your new partner is controlling you" - translates as "I don't like you new partner so I'm going to try to break you up so you come back to me"
Other times they will stalk you and you believe escalation may include false police reports.
Firstly, don’t panic!
If you have reason to believe you estranged parents are likely or are threatening to make a malicious concern for welfare report to the police calmly follow these steps:
1. Gather as much dated evidence as possible, including screenshots, emails and texts and voicemails, as well as a diary of stalking or harassment.
2. Get your local non-emergency line, call and tell them that you have escaped a family abuse situation from [place x] and you are concerned they will call with an emergency report when there isn’t one.
3. Tell the police there is no need for a welfare check from anyone, and to log it into their system as you called to prevent wasting their time and resources
4. Remind the police not to release any information to your parents regarding your welfare (or location, if applicable).
This won’t be the first time the police will have dealt with such a call, so don’t worry about explaining your situation or feeling any shame – there is none. You also won’t be wasting their time by calling so don’t worry about that.
Firstly – I’m sorry this has happened. You may be feeling angry, worried and/or confused. The most important thing is to deal with it quickly and calmly.
The worst thing to do would be to dodge police attempts to contact you. Calmly inform them that you have escaped a family abuse situation and there is no concern about your [mental health / partner / etc.]. Ask them to record on their system that you are fine incase there are any further malicious welfare checks made by them.
Such threats are an attempt to control you. The purpose of such threats and power-play are to make you break no contact.
Don’t feel obligated to respond, even if it’s ‘just’ to say you’re fine: threats and malicious police reports are serious so deal with them through official channels.
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