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Can't see nephew because of abusive mother - May 15th 2011, 05:19 AM

This has been bothering me for a year and a half, and it will continue to bother me for awhile. My sister has 3 children and a horrendous life. She has an abusive husband, mostly emotional but he has been physical. Her job pays her next to nothing, maybe $8,000 a year if she's lucky. So what has she done to take out her frustrations? She has abused her oldest son. She has done it as far back as 2002. Most of the time she would put him down; she would also slap him, but never really hard enough to leave marks (I don't approve of any hitting, but it was not hitting that could be "actionable"). In December of 2009, my nephew and my sister had a fight where my nephew fell and hit his head on the tile floor. He scrambled downstairs and cried in the corner in a fetal position. I was heartbroken to see this, and ten days later my sister claims to have beat him so badly that her hands were sore and my nephew was again in a fetal position. Child services was alerted after these incidents, and I have not seen him since. I tried texting and calling him shortly after I had a fight with my sister over the phone, but I could not get through. I have no idea if my nephew will hate me when he turns 18 in 4 years, but it pains me everyday. I could try reaching out to my sister, but that would be difficult given her husband as well as herself. I cannot see anything but a lose lose situation right now. Could I try doing anything at all now? Do I wait 4 years? Do I not wait at all? Can anyone help me?
   
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Re: Can't see nephew because of abusive mother - May 15th 2011, 09:51 AM

If they don't live too far away, could you plan an arranged visit, just for a nice family get-together? You would tell them in advance you don't want to cause any arguments or fights. It could be anything from going to their house to inviting them out to a restaurant. Ideally, if you stayed for a few days, hopefully you could act as a friendly uncle or simply a friend. It's not an easy thing to ask for but it allows you time to interact with him and depending how things go, he may be willing to call or e-mail you later.

I emphasize the nephew because he seems to be of great concern to you and probably the most willing to talk with you. However, the other 2 children, depending on their ages, if they witness what happens to him, then they may also be incredibly fearful of their parents. So if you engage with the nephew in the presence of the other 2 children, they may also be benefited because a family member is making everything peaceful while they are visiting.

I don't know much of child services but I'd have expected they would have talked with you about the incidents and may even let you see your nephew.

If you don't live far away, you could try and ask your sister if you could spend the day with your nephew. Although you may not directly interact with the other 2 children, they may come to know how you are from their eldest brother.


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Re: Can't see nephew because of abusive mother - May 17th 2011, 04:49 AM

My sister and I are not on speaking terms; I could call her, but her husband is a bit of a curveball. Child Services unfortunately was of little help to me, and I have no way of knowing if they did their job with my sister and brother-in-law. I have thought of meeting at a restaurant, a place public so there's little concern for either of us, but I really don't know.
   
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