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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5824
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I have a sister in Wooster Ohio who has always had reacted

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I have a sister in Wooster Ohio who has always had reacted strongly in stressful times,but is getting much worse. I saw her verbally threaten to give her recently graduated son a black eye while standing over him..yelling in his face with his chin gripped in one hand and the other at her side,cleanching and unclenching her fist. I intervened by telling her she went too far and told another sister who lives nearby(I live over 2 hours away and was visiting) both of us told her she needs to seek help and evenn got her ex involved as her son refused to go back home but is worried about his 9 year old brother. she says she has every right to even give him a black eye to teach him to respect her and no longer wants us to speak to her or the 9 yr old. the ex is trying to talk her into counseling which I offered to pay for.I have been helping her with bills and told him I would no longer pay them if she did notnget help.he thinks I should pay them anyway.
what is our next step if she refuses to make the call....and is there someone near wooster ohio that I could pay for counseling myself.thank you Sharon
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

It sounds like your sister either has something serious going on medically or she is unable to handle stress very well and becomes physically and emotionally abusive to her children as a result.

It is important that you consider contacting child services. It's hard to think about turning your sister in, but it is necessary in order to protect your nephews. You can petition to care for them if it becomes necessary. But getting those children protected and out of that environment is a priority. You can also contact child services anonymously if you do not want anyone to know you called. They are obligated to investigate any claims of abuse.

The other option is to ask your sister if she needs a break and offer to take the children in for a while. That way, you get a chance to stop the abuse, assess the situation and decide how to handle it, and your sister can take time to find out what is going on with her.

Here is a link to therapists in your area:

Gina Lynn Patterson, PsyD
I am a licensed psychologist who is also the Clinical Director of Every Woman's House, a private non-profit agency that specializes in family violence and sexual abuse/assault. I specialize in trauma and family issues. I also conduct psychological assessments in these areas. At my agency there is also shelter and advocacy available if needed.

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Here is another link for information about child abuse and how you can help your sister and nephews:

Let me know if there is any other way I can help,


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thank you...I was actually supposed to take her 9 year old for a week or so this summer..but now that she is mad at me,,she has told her ex that I or my other sister is never allowed to see him again. she will not answer our calls or emails. she also now has her ex thinking that maybe her son pushed her into it and deserved the threat and we are overreacting as we have not spoke up before.

he has the younger one this weekend and will give his brother a chance to tell him that his mother says we can never see him again.will break his heart,I am sure she plans on just saying we are too busy to see him.

plan on contacting child services after wekend if she has not made the call to help herself. thank you

Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

You are welcome. I am glad to be of help.

If your sister is cutting everyone out of the children's lives, then it does sound like you need to contact child services. Shutting everyone out is a dangerous sign that she may do something to the children she does not want anyone to see.

At this point, focusing on the children and their safety is the best thing you could do.


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