My sister froze me out because I asked my nephew if his stepdad was inappropriate

DEAR DEIDRE: MY sister has frozen me out because I raised concerns about my brother-in-law’s behaviour towards his stepson – my nephew.

My sister, who is 48, met her second husband, who is 53, when her son was ten. He moved in soon after. 


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I am 52 and I found his behaviour creepy – and my parents agreed. He was too hands on, too complimentary to my nephew, who is 12 now. 

So one day I quietly asked my nephew if everything was OK. I asked him if my brother-in-law ever did anything that made him feel uncomfortable.

My nephew insisted everything was fine and told his mum what I had asked. That was a year ago and apart from phoning me to yell obscenities, I haven’t heard from her since. 

I’m devastated but wouldn’t change a thing. I would never forgive myself if something had been happening to my nephew.

DEIDRE SAYS: You were right to voice your worries even if you got it wrong.

Child abuse survivors, can often take many years before they are ready to talk – but if your nephew was being abused, he now knows you will support him.

Write to your sister and explain your good intentions and apologise for any offence caused. Send birthday and Christmas cards to keep possible dialogue open. 

Please call the NSPCC helpline if you are still concerned (nspcc.org.uk, 0808 800 5000).

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