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Should I report this??

From: HeartsickAunt
Date: 11 Dec 2002
Time: 16:20:21
Remote Name:


My sister left her 7-year-old son in the care of his father when she ran off with a crack-smoking mentally-disabled freak she met online. I don't know what she was thinking....In any case, my nephew hasn't seen his mother for nearly six months, and his father has won sole custody. I am on fairly good terms with him, and so my mother and I are able to go and visit my nephew occasionally without too much hassle, at the moment. The problem is that the boy's homelife is so crappy since his mother left, that it's very upsetting. She was homeschooling him, due to a health problem he has that causes him to have too many absences to stay caught up in public school. She kept him fairly clean and clothed and fed, kept a tidy house, and the kid was certain of her love for him. He was a real mama's boy.

Now suddenly she's gone, and that alone must be emotionally devastating to him. He had to start second grade in public school this past August, and he's having a hard time adjusting to THAT as well. On top of it, he doesn't get much to eat at home; he's lost a lot of weight the past couple of months. His home looks like a halfway house for transients. It's dirty, the walls are bare, the kid sleeps on a bare mattress. It's heated with a kerosene heater in the middle of the floor. The father has guns and bullets out in plain view most of the time. My nephew is frequently left alone in the care of a thirteen-year-old girl, whom he shared his bed with until a month or so ago (she's the father's new live-in girlfriend's daughter.)

My mother used to babysit him after school while the father worked, but he put a stop to that because he said we were spoiling him. He has to bathe and dress himself for school, and he's often dirty, going to school in dirty clothes, wearing the same underwear for days. He says he can't reach the shampoo in the bathroom, and nobody will get it down for him. My daughter went over to play with him a few days ago and she told me that he said he always has to stay in his room unless we're there visiting. She said everytime he tried to leave his room by himself, to get a drink or something, his father said "What are you doing? You know better!" and sent him back to his room, but he didn't say anything if SHE went to the kitchen with him. He acts like he's always scared his daddy will get mad at him, whispers to my daughter to please don't leave, because his daddy will yell at him after she's gone. Jesus.

It seems like the more my mother and I say to the father about all this, the less we're allowed to see him. My nephew used to come visit me, and when I asked him how things were going at home, or what he'd had to eat that day, he would say he wasn't supposed to talk about anything that went on at home. when I told his father that was nonsense, suddenly my nephew can't visit me anymore. When we try to buy my nephew some new school clothes, or a toy, or anything, the father gets mad him, and especially at us, because he says we have to do the same for his girlfriend's three kids, or do nothing at all. I don't feel like my nephew is in danger of being KILLED, unless he gets his hands on one of those guns, or that kerosene heater burns the house down, but things just aren't right over there. I have felt several times that I should perhaps call CPS about it, but I'm so afraid of making things WORSE for my nephew. If CPS investigates and doesn't remove him, the father will certainly forbid US from ever seeing him again. And if they DO remove him and put him in foster care or something, I just don't know if he could stand another traumatic blow like that. All we seem to be able to do is to tiptoe around the father and try to make "suggestions" in a non-confrontational way. I've mentioned to him that I would be happy to have my nephew stay with me for a while, while he gets things straightened out at home, but he just shakes his head at me. What can we do??

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