being a mom

Anonymous Mom: My Brother-In-Law Is A Schizophrenic Sex Offender

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Sex Offender RelativeWhen my S.O. and I first met, he mentioned he had a schizophrenic brother (let’s call him James) that had an unfortunate history of heavy drug use and violence. On our fourth or fifth date, he revealed his brother had been arrested that day. His arrest lead him to be institutionalized for several years and according to doctors, they didn’t believe he should ever get out.

For years my S.O. would visit his brother often and I knew he felt relief knowing he was in a place where he couldn’t hurt anyone else and wreak havoc on the lives of his family members. He wished him well, but couldn’t imagine the possibility of going through the hell he went through with James in the past.

Fast forward a few years and my S.O. and I have a child together and find ourselves in need of a temporary place to stay. We move in with his mother who has plenty of room and shortly after we move in, the hospital gives James privileges to leave the hospital grounds during the day as long as he stays out of trouble and makes it back at a certain time.

My S.O.’s mother of course was elated she is able to see her son more often and no longer had to make the trip daily to visit him in the hospital. My S.O. didn’t appear to share them same sentiment and abruptly leaves when James comes over to visit. The first day James arrived at our door, he began making perverse sexual comments and requests to my S.O. that sounded, well, crazy. I expressed my concern but my S.O. assured me his brother was harmless and had never done anything to hurt anyone (he must have forgotten he told me of his history of violence when we first started dating). He said the most he might do was harass someone, but I had nothing to worry about.

James pretty much knows to leave me alone when his mother and brother are watching, but if his mother is distracted and my S.O. isn’t there, he follows me into the bathroom, hovers over me as I cook and even cracked open my room door one day and watched me as I napped. He never did anything that made me fear that he would harm me, he was just creepy. He one day told me he had gone three weeks without sex and pressed himself against me while I was washing the dishes repeatedly asking for a hug.

I try to avoid being at home on weekends when he visits but I can’t not be home as early as nine am through seven or 8 eight pm each weekend. I have groceries to buy, meals to prep for the week, a house to clean and laundry to do. I often find myself feeling guilty for avoiding him and not being more understanding but I couldn’t shake a feeling I had that I needed for my child and me to stay away from him.

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  1. Kelly

    May 27, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    I’d take my child and go to a shelter if I had no other options. You’ve had so many warning signs already. If you choose to ignore them and something happens to your child, how exactly are you going to be able to live with yourself? How is your marriage going to survive if this man assaults you?

    • AP

      May 27, 2014 at 1:10 pm

      This. This is what I was going to say. This whole situation is a dealbreaker. It may well be the wake up call your SO needs to get cracking.

      Either that, or walk around your house armed: pepper spray, taser, aluminum baseball bat. That shouldn’t have to happen, but I’d rather be safe than sorry.

    • JulesInNC

      May 27, 2014 at 1:36 pm

      Ok, I get where you’re coming from, but let’s try to tone down the criticism of this woman. I think we can all agree that she should report this and GTFO ASAP. But I don’t think shaming her in the midst of this is constructive.

    • Kelly

      May 27, 2014 at 2:14 pm

      I don’t see how I’m shaming her. It’s a parent’s responsibility to protect her child. This man is a threat. If he hurts that child it will be her fault and her husband’s fault and her mother in law’s fault because they all knew the danger and ignored it.

      This happens constantly in families where one member is mentally ill and it’s happened in my own family and people really need to stop ignoring it. What I said is 100% true. She will have a hard time living with herself if the sex offender she knowingly allows her child around hurts him or her. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. The guilt drives some people to suicide.

    • KaeTay

      May 27, 2014 at 3:21 pm

      the shelters do tend to help .. at least my sisters did.. they helped her find a home and a daycare center as well as helped her get on government assistance. There are also some states that help with training to get you a good job like office work.

  2. SA

    May 27, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Yikes! I would try to find somewhere else to stay immediately. Also, if he is a registered sex offender it might not even be legal for him to be in the house with a young child. If he did it during a psychotic moment or not, it doesn’t matter because it seems like he is very capable of doing it again. I would also be concerned that there wouldn’t be support for you if something did happen. Sounds like his family is refusing to accept any part of this situation.

    • CMJ

      May 27, 2014 at 1:13 pm

      His family’s reaction is terrifying.

    • JenH1986

      May 27, 2014 at 1:15 pm

      Schizophrenia doesn’t just develop. It sounds like his family ignored a lot of signs for a long time.

    • Larkin

      May 27, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      I was going to say the same thing. Are his doctors/the authorities aware that there is a child in the house? Sex offenders are often issued “no contact orders,” meaning they aren’t allowed to have any intentional contact with minor children. He might not legally be allowed in the house if there’s a child present; but no one’s going to know to stop it if they’re not informed of the situation.

      I second the earlier posters’ suggestion to call the hospital and report what’s going on. Tell them that you don’t want the family to know that you reported him, and they should honor that… but they will look into it further and likely put more restrictions on him or revoke his permission to go on day visits.

  3. amyp

    May 27, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    I would get out NOW. Are his doctors aware of this behaviour? he obv isn’t ready for day visits.

  4. CMJ

    May 27, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    “It’s not like he raped her.”

    This is chilling and terrifying. You have every right to feel uncomfortable in this situation. You aren’t doing anything wrong. It’s one thing to care for someone who has a mental illness….but it’s a completely different thing to ignore the issues and enable them. Get out of there.

    I would also suggest calling the hospital/his doctor/parole officers and tell them what he is doing. He needs to be under constant supervision and his medication needs to be adjusted… It’s only a matter of time before it happens again.

    • JenH1986

      May 27, 2014 at 1:14 pm

      I was going to say this. CALL HIS DOCTORS. I can guarantee you he is saying everything is fine and if they check in with his mom/brother they will agree. If you tell your doctors you don’t want his family to know it was you, they will likely be creative in revoking his privileges!

    • CMJ

      May 27, 2014 at 1:16 pm

      I wonder if the’s even taking his medication. If he thinks he’s “okay” he might think he doesn’t need it – and that’s when the breaks happen.

      I honestly put less blame on the brother and more blame on his family. They are enablers and it’s terrifying.

    • JenH1986

      May 27, 2014 at 1:20 pm

      Families can mess shit up so fast. It’s possible he is both a sex offender and schizophrenic and that the medication may take care of his psychosis and not the sexual urges or the need to dominate and cause fear. Or it could totally be symptomatic. I would HOPE if he were still hospitalized and only out on day passes they wouldn’t let him leave without medication. But…as we have learned that doesn’t guarantee anything.

    • Lisa

      May 27, 2014 at 1:26 pm

      Most hospitals-or at least all the psychiatric hospitals I’ve done clinicals at-will not let individuals leave without medication. If it’s something that’s not time dependent, they may even have the person take it right before leaving or upon return.

      His behavior needs to be reported though asap. Just because he may be behaving appropriately at the hospital doesn’t mean that he’s able to in public, and it sounds like he might be the kind of person who looks more capable than he actually is. The social worker on his team should be notified, and then the team can take it from there.

      I am so sorry this is happening to you and that you are not getting the necessary support from your family. But you are absolutely correct: this situation is not safe for you, and definitely not safe for your child.

    • JenH1986

      May 27, 2014 at 1:43 pm

      I haven’t worked much in hospitals but I can’t imagine a hospital letting him out without medications.

    • Spongeworthy

      May 27, 2014 at 1:59 pm

      That line was horrifying. The fact that he showed so little regard for the person his brother victimized goes to show his much the family has been enabling this behavior. I could never look at my husband the same way if he said something like that to me.

    • whiteroses

      May 27, 2014 at 2:23 pm

      I agree with this. If you won’t get out for YOU (though you absolutely should) get our for your child.

    • Zettai

      May 27, 2014 at 3:17 pm

      Jesus yes. That line shook me up, too. Your advice is spot-on.

  5. JenH1986

    May 27, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Do NOT feel sorry for him, you should not swallow your discomfort. If he is doing this to you he is and will do this to others. Contact his doctors. Get yourself out. Your s/o reaction is also disconcerting because it suggests he wouldn’t be a vigilant about your child in his brother’s presence. Find a friend or another family member to stay with to keep yourself and your child safe. Since you are trying to move out on your own I would also contact a family law attorney, and start gathering retainer money. You will want very very specific requirements for your s/o if he is so blasé about his brother and his past.

  6. Ann

    May 27, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Please leave, please take your child and run as fast as you can. I’m sorry but your in-laws and husband are just as much to blame for enabling your brother-in-law. I agree with Kelly, get to a shelter if you have no other options. Even if you think you can handle this PLEASE don’t subject your child to this behavior!

  7. Jem

    May 27, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    Gone. I would be completely, and entirely gone. Reading this gave me chills. Not just the fact of what he had done in the past, but that your SO dismisses your fears and has explicitly told you that his mother would completely side with the brother and say you did something to cause it. That is a total of zero support for your very rational fears. To me, this sounds like a matter of not if something will happen, but when, unless you get out of there.

  8. Ursi

    May 27, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Schizophrenia is serious business.

    Some people do fine on their meds and are safe to be around. Some people are not. Stop worrying about your SO and his family. Start worrying about you and your child.

    No, it’s not fair that your SO is punished for his brother’s actions but he is not doing anything to keep you safe and what he said about keeping this from his mother? HUGE RED FLAG. Move out, don’t look back. It’s only a matter of time before something bad happens.

  9. Kendra

    May 27, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    I don’t blame you. I had a BIL that was challenging. He did stay with us for awhile but I truly never felt comfortable. I don’t think he would’ve hurt me unless he was on drugs at the time, but I just felt uneasy. I feel badly about that now because he’s no longer with us. On the flip side of this, I have another relative who is a sex offender who doesn’t make me uncomfortable at all. Obviously, I wouldn’t put my daughter in a position to be alone with him ever, but I guess my point is…if you feel like you aren’t safe, then you need to move on. Your home should be a safe place for you, not a place you have to avoid and feel uncomfortable in. Best of luck to you, and I hope your SO will come to understand your feelings on this matter.

  10. jane

    May 27, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    It’s time for a “come to Jesus” with your SO. Even if your BIL is sexually aggressive, it’s likely not enough to land him back in the hospital full time. So the options are likely a) things continue as they are with you both in the house or b) you get out with your daughter. I would push very very hard for option B, for your own mental and physical health, as well as the mental and physical health of your child. From the tone of your article, it sounds like you know that’s what you need to do.

    So now the question is whether your SO joins you. If he says “continuing like this is not a problem” he’s wrong. That is not an option. I think you need to plan for contingencies – if you leave without your SO, where will you go, both short term and long term? Does this mean the end of your marriage, or will he be welcome to join you when he is ready to leave his mother and brother? If your SO does want to join you, make a timeframe and goals. How will you save enough to leave? By what date will you leave even if you don’t have more money and where will you go?

    I’m very sorry that you’re going through this, and I’m sorry that your SO and your MIL don’t understand the horrible situation they have put you in.

  11. Kay_Sue

    May 27, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    I often find myself feeling guilty for avoiding him and not being more understanding but I couldn’t shake a feeling I had that I needed for my child and me to stay away from him.

    Uh, I know it’s hard–but don’t. Humans have instincts for a reason, and this guy is crossing massive boundaries.

    Should I allow him to corner me in the bathroom and the kitchen, make sexual comments and insist on hugs because I feel sorry for him? Should I put his feelings and his well-being before my own? And most importantly, can I allow my young child to have contact with a registered sex offender just because this person is his uncle and needs his family?

    Well, I…I’ve got complicated feelings on this one. Wait, no, I don’t, because the answer is NO. No, you do not have to allow him to VIOLATE YOU with words and actions. No, you are not obligated to put his well-being before your own. AND NO YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO SUBJECT YOUR CHILD TO HIM, just because he is family.

    No, no, no, my friend.

    My S.O. doesn’t seem concerned enough about my concerns.

    What the actual fuck? He isn’t concerned enough? It honestly doesn’t sound like he’s really concerned at all.

    Your body is yours. You are not obligated to allow anyone to violate your boundaries, family or no. The fact that these people–your family–don’t take your concerns seriously…it honestly breaks my heart.

    I second the folks that have said “Get out” and I wholeheartedly second those that say “Report this to his doctors”.

    Mental disorders are not a free pass, and if someone truly cannot understand the morality of these trespasses, then I do not feel uncomfortable saying that the best place for them very well may be a hospital.

    • JenH1986

      May 27, 2014 at 1:46 pm

      If I had a client who was outpatient and couldn’t see the wrongness of his/her actions, I’d be having a very serious conversation with supervisors about hospitalization because at that point they are a danger to themselves and others.

    • Kay_Sue

      May 27, 2014 at 1:49 pm

      I would hope no one would. I really…this one blew my mind. Anonymous Mom is always interesting, but this one just makes me want to shake AM’s family, honestly.

    • CMJ

      May 27, 2014 at 1:52 pm

      The family’s reaction to this whole thing is fucking ridiculous. I know it’s hard but she needs to get the fuck out…if they don’t care enough about her and her child to even remotely see her concerns then she shouldn’t give one fuck about getting out of there….

      And, I know that sounds harsh but maybe that reality is needed. I look at it less from the standpoint of the mentally ill brother and more from a standpoint of – GET THE HELL OUT OF THAT TOXIC FAMILY.

    • Spongeworthy

      May 27, 2014 at 2:09 pm

      Right? Even if the BiL never does anything else, that family has issues. Sounds like if the SO decides one day to beat the crap out of her, they’d all find a way to justify that behavior too.

    • JenH1986

      May 27, 2014 at 2:09 pm

      If it’s me? I’m rolling out regardless of what hubby wants to do because FUCK him not taking my worries and our child’s safety seriously. But…that’s me.

    • whiteroses

      May 27, 2014 at 2:28 pm

      I agree. I’m sorry, but if my husband ever- EVER- put anything above our son’s safety, I’d leave him so fast his fucking head would spin. This A.M article infuriates me. Anonymous Mom, James make not be violent, but don’t give him the damn chance. Get yourself and your kid out of there.

    • Kay_Sue

      May 27, 2014 at 3:03 pm

      I know. It’s definitely not somewhere I would want to be…

    • Miriam

      May 27, 2014 at 3:19 pm

      Amen! I am raging right now due to that family’s fuckedup-ness. And the SO? What a dbag! She needs to get out now.

    • KJ

      May 29, 2014 at 1:57 pm

      The family reaction is way, way, way over the line but it’s also pretty typical for an abusive situation and AM’s feeling that *she’s* in the wrong is also really normal for someone that deep in. We get our judge of what’s normal from those around us and when everyone else is this deep in denial it’s easy to think that maybe you’re the one who’s wrong. So glad she wrote in and really, really hoping all these posts help her set a new normal and extricate herself from this mess.

    • Lee

      May 27, 2014 at 2:22 pm

      The fact that her husband thinks his mom would blame Anonymous Mom if his brother assaulted her is horrific.

    • Kendra

      May 27, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      I think I’m just going to let you comment on my behalf from now on. Is that cool?You always write everything so eloquently and it always says exactly what I’m thinking. Whereas, my answers always come out much more jumbled than they are in my head. 🙂 But in case there are any doubts, I agree with everything you’ve said here!!

    • Kay_Sue

      May 27, 2014 at 3:04 pm

      No bueno. I like your answers. In this wide wild wonderful web we need as many voices of sanity as possible. 😛

    • Spongeworthy

      May 27, 2014 at 2:05 pm

      This so much. A person’s mental illness does not trump my right to not be violated. And if my husband showed so little concern about these behaviors I would seriously reconsider our relationship. Whole lot of enabling going on there. She can pretty much count on no one in that house to help keep her and her child safe. That is so sad and scary.

    • whiteroses

      May 27, 2014 at 2:57 pm

      Exactly. My uncle is brain damaged and sometimes has seizures. He categorically refuses to drive any of my cousin’s children or my son anywhere. He also refuses to be alone with any child in our family who can’t drive. He would die before any of them ever got hurt and would put himself in harms way to protect them, but he can’t predict his seizures, and because of that he doesn’t want to put any of the kids (especially the youngest three, who are all under the age of four) in that situation. He trusts himself but he also knows his limitations. And he would never use his condition as an excuse.

      I think the most major problem here is that her SO is sloughing this off as nbd. It’s so very disturbing. And if I were AM, I would do my damndest to get sole legal and physical custody. None of this should be happening anyway, but with a child involved who can’t defend themselves, it’s especially unacceptable.

    • JenH1986

      May 28, 2014 at 9:47 am

      That sounds awful for him. But what a great guy to not force anyone else to wonder and worry about leaving young children around him. He took charge of his own diagnosis and his issues. Kudos! He sounds pretty awesome.

    • whiteroses

      May 28, 2014 at 1:32 pm

      He is, generally. He has his moments, just like everyone else, but we wouldn’t trade him.

  12. Kelly

    May 27, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    The fact that your SO didn’t tell you that your BIL was imprisoned for a sexual offense is shocking and disturbing–child or no child. The fact that your SO thinks that forcibly groping someone is okay, or better than rape, says to me that this family has questionable views about sexual violence. I think you KNOW that you need to not be around BIL, but I think what you need to hear is that your SO is not going to protect you, or help you, or take you seriously when you tell him that your body is your own. I think if something happened to you or your child, somehow he would find a way to lessen it, and to protect his brother.

    So. Be brave, and leave. Right away. Put the ticket on a credit card, crash with a friend or family no matter how far you have to go. Because it’s not going to get better, but it could probably get worse. Deal with your relationship and your feelings and everything else later but physically remove yourself from the situation first. Be safe, and then sort it all out.

    • sandra richter

      May 27, 2014 at 3:37 pm

      Because it’s not going to get better, but is could probably get worse. Yes. Well said and worth repeating.

  13. jo

    May 27, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    This whole situation sounds like a ticking time bomb. Trust your gut and protect your child

  14. ToastDon'tCare(aka LiteBrite)

    May 27, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    Not only is your SO dismissive of your safety; he is dismissive of the safety of his own child. I can’t even comprehend this level of enabling.

    I know you’re looking for a better paying job so you can leave on your own, but please, in the name of all that is holy, find a way to get out of this situation…NOW.

    • Katherine Handcock

      May 27, 2014 at 2:31 pm

      I came to say the same thing. You started looking into his background because he made you feel unsafe; it’s not like you were randomly checking up on a family member. He’s also already shown that he doesn’t respect your boundaries. I would recommend telling your S.O. that you cannot stay there as soon as you find a place to go, and I would honestly consider a shelter as a possible alternative.

      I am so sorry for the situation, because it sounds like you have done your best to be understanding and compassionate. But, as my husband has commented before, there’s a difference between being “nice” and being “loving”, and sometimes loving requires not being nice. In this case, loving your child requires not being nice; loving yourself requires not being nice; and, in a way, loving your S.O. requires not being nice, because he needs to understand that the way he views his brother is not accurate.

    • whiteroses

      May 27, 2014 at 2:35 pm

      This. Oh so very much this. A shelter would be a better option than this.

      We’re moms. That means we have to be advocates for our kids until they can advocate for themselves. I would not have my child around a registered sex offender- I don’t care how they’re related to me. I’ve had a rule of thumb with my son ever since he was born: if I wouldn’t leave him alone with you, I won’t allow him around you even with me.

  15. momjones

    May 27, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    It sounds like BILs visitation rights should be quickly revoked. I’m assuming he is at a private pay long term facility because in the US there are no State funded mental institutions. I would call the hospital and tell someone what is happening. If they told me I had no legal rights in the matter, I would inform them I am telling the MIL what is happening, and that I called the institution as well. If the MIL and SO are going to get angry, what the hell difference does it make any way? All the more reason to make the move – quickly.

    • Bec Jenn

      May 27, 2014 at 4:19 pm

      Um, I do think there are state funded mental health institutions. Just not funded as well as they used to be. Here is the Arizona State Hospital as an example, I know people who work here and how it’s funded, heck, I used to work for DHS, but in a different department the lab area)

      Doesn’t matter who is paying though, where he is at should be called and that AM should also move quickly.

  16. keetakat

    May 27, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Anonymous Mom, please…leave now. It’s a risk vs. reward situation. The risks of staying there far outweigh the rewards. You don’t deserve to live in constant fear and your SO should have reported the sexual assault on you (yes, that was sexual assault). Your child’s and your safety must come first, not a misguided sense of loyalty to his family. Contact your closest friends and tell them exactly what you wrote here. If you were my friend, you would be out of that house in less than 10 minutes and you could sit and hash it out with your SO in my living room…where you’re safe.

  17. keelhaulrose

    May 27, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    AM: You gave your S.O. a choice already when you told him about your concerns and your discomforts, and he made the choice to put his brother’s freedom above you and your child. S.O. has already shown that he does not show empathy for his brother’s victims, yourself included. If he’s going to change, it’s not going to be for you. You need to get out and bring your child with you before he’s speaking about you the way he’s speaking about James’ previous victim.

  18. K.

    May 27, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    No, no, no, no.

    You have to leave. Please. Responsible family members of individuals who suffer from mental illness, love them as they might, do NOT excuse behaviors that hurt or have the potential to hurt others. In fact, most people I know who have mentally ill family members live in abject fear that their loved ones WILL hurt someone else and take active precautions to prevent it (trying to make sure the person takes medication; trying to make sure the person isn’t left alone with others, for example). They would never pretend violent acts “don’t count” because the individual is mentally disabled; if their family member did to someone what James did to you, they would be on the phone immediately with a doctor trying to get the individual seen, maybe medications adjusted, maybe even committed. The fact that your SO and his family have excused a sexual assault indicates that they have not even accepted the reality of your SO’s brother’s mental state, let alone realized the necessity of dealing with it.

    You’ll never be able to trust your SO so long as he insists upon making excuses for his brother’s actions. Knowing what you know, would you ever allow your child to be alone in the care of your SO or your SO’s mother? What if HE decides to leave your child with his brother because, according to him, his brother won’t do anything? What if she thinks it’s okay to take a nap so long as James is around to “watch” your kid? These two people are doing anything to preserve their hopeful image of James including putting their own child/grandchild and partner/daughter-in-law at risk. Until they can’t, that is.

    Don’t let yourself or your child be the reason that they can’t ignore reality anymore.

  19. K.

    May 27, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    One more thing: you/your SO speak as if “mental illness” excuses violent behavior because of the lack of control and intent, and as others have noted, it does not.

    I wanted to add that I could convincingly argue that your garden-variety rapist/child molester/serial murderer that’s in prison right now probably has a mental illness of some sort, and you wouldn’t allow you and your child to be around a convicted serial rapist, right?

    Darling, that’s what you’re doing right now. The diagnosis doesn’t mean shit.

  20. KaeTay

    May 27, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    I would find out what you needed to do to be able to apply for TANF, SNAP and housing assistance WITHOUT your S.O. I would call and talk to one of the reps for those exact assistance programs. That is a dangerous situation and even harassment IS a crime. He needs to stay at the treatment center. I would also call the hospital and report his behavior.. who cares if the mother in law blames you! You and your child will be safe.

  21. sandra richter

    May 27, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Get. Out. Now.

  22. shadow guest

    May 27, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    RUN – Seriously, GET OUT if his doctors do not act on this information. The only person looking out for your daughter’s safety is you. Her father and grandmother mean well, I’m sure, but they are also looking at James’ situation through rose-colored glasses.
    Would you rather be on the outs with S.O. and grandma because it was brought to the doctors’ attention that he is crossing boundaries so he gets less time out of the institution, or you or your daughter getting assaulted?

  23. helloshannon

    May 27, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    all of the things others have said about getting out- lets pretend i typed them out too. get.out. and-plus-also: i have some questions that are unanswered in AM’s post. Namely, AM you say that your SO does not share his mother’s excitement about the visits and makes sure he is not around when his brother is in the house. AND that the first visit’s creepy sexual comments were directed to your SO. I wonder if his brother molested him as children or something of the sort. Think about it: he does not want to be near him, down plays his brother’s crime, and yet clearly feels driven to defend him anyway, possibly by guilt and not wanting to own up to the fact that he was also a victim. And why would the comments be directed to your SO if there wasn’t a history there? Maybe I am wrong but I thought this right away when reading.

  24. IzzieS

    May 27, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    I agree with other posters. Call the hospital, ask for the social worker, etc. and report his behavior. They will not be able to confirm that he is a patient because of HIPPA but they will listen to you. Also I would get in marital counseling pronto. Sounds like you can’t afford it but even a free religious counselor would be okay. In the counseling you need to make it clear that you are not feeling heard and that you are considering leaving because he is not making you feel safe (even if he doesn’t agree with you, he can still respect you and try to make you feel safe). If that fails, and I mean fails within 2 weeks, get out. Separate temporarily. You have to protect that kid. Your husband will probably come around if you leave….good luck

  25. IzzieS

    May 27, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    Oh! Others had a really good idea, report him to the the sex offender registry. You have to look up your state and what the rules are (for instance, is proximity to children a violation for him?) If it’s not, there may be other violations (owning a computer, drinking or using drugs). Try to find a way to report him.

    “To report a non-compliant or unregistered sex offender, contact the United States Marshals Service (USMS) National Sex Offender Targeting Center (NSOTC) at [email protected].”

    ..or look up your state:
    …or just call your local police station.

    *Also a cavaet to my previous comment, you are married so I would try to work it out with your husband for at least a week. BUT in week, your child can’t leave your sight for their safety. Call in sick at work. Talk to your husband, see if he’ll bend. Arrange for somewhere else to go, travel arrangements, etc. I don’t know why, but I think that if you force your husband to choose between you and the brother, he’d chose you. I am giving him the benefit of the doubt in thinking that he wants to be married more than he wants to be a good brother. The mother may never forgive you but that’s a problem for another day. Good luck…

    • brebay

      May 27, 2014 at 9:36 pm

      She already told her SO everything he needs to know. If it takes your guy a week to come around to removing his child and SO from the home of a man who sexually assaulted her, he’d a fucking douche. GET OUT NOW!

  26. CMP414

    May 27, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    This is a very concerning situation and I really feel for Anonymous Mom. What troubles me more is her SO’s attitude towards his brother’s behaviors.He has withheld important information that could impact the safety of her and her child and he minimized his behavior. “It’s not like he raped her”- what kind of horse shit is that? Leave and leave now. You know this man is a violent sex offender. Put your safety and your child’s safety first and don’t look back.

  27. NotTakenNotAvailable

    May 27, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    A.M., I’m guessing you wrote and submitted this on some level to confirm what you knew all along: this is a bad situation, and you need to leave, regardless of what this will mean for your SO’s relationship with your child (but you probably also know that it doesn’t matter nearly as much as her, and your, safety). Consider these comments all the confirmation you need: get out. Now.

  28. stelajohnson1984

    May 27, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    If you choose to ignore them and something happens to your child, how exactly are you going to be able to live with yourself?

  29. koolchicken

    May 27, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    I have some mentally ill family members, so I get the families need to “protect” them. But this is wrong. Have you considered simply leaving now and going to a shelter? He didn’t rape anyone the last time, but most sex offenders tend to escalate. Last time he pinned a woman down while he groped her, that’s not minor. The next time he could rape. So leave, leave now, go to a shelter. If your significant other really wants you back he’ll get off his butt and start looking for better paying work. If not then you’ve cut your losses and kept you and your child safe. And if your SO does what you asks don’t just go running back to him. Because you’ll need to know, is his brother going to be welcome in your new place? It is his brothers house.

    Even if you don’t leave you and your SO should really consider a group therapy session with you’re BIL’s counselors. They think he’s safe to be out, they need to know he may not be. If nothing else CALL THEM and tell them what he’s been saying and doing to you. That way if you don’t leave and something happens there will be a record of his behavior somewhere. Cause based on his “well it’s not like he raped her” comments I’m guessing your SO will “forget” everything you’ve told him.

  30. erinjeanne11

    May 27, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    If he is still on probation I can almost guarantee that he is not allowed to be near minors, especially knowingly put himself in the same environment as one. Your S.O. has put you in a terrible position and is enabling his behavior – even condoning it. In my opinion, you should leave immediately – stay with a friend if you don’t have family nearby. If I was you, I wouldn’t even be comfortable with my little one being in that house without me present. Good luck to you and I hope you find a way to exit this awful situation.

  31. Jodina Joseph

    May 27, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    I can’t believe on it because of

  32. Wehaf

    May 27, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    I agree with everyone else that you need to get out of this situation. Your BIL is immediately dangerous, as you know and feel. Beyond that, your SO and his mother are creating an unhealthy, toxic dynamic; this is less of an immediate threat, but it is no less risky in the long-term.

    Because your BIL visits only on weekends, I would urge you to first find an option for getting out of the house, with your child, completely during the times he is there. Stay with a friend, get a hotel room, check into a shelter, look into a local crisis nursery or family crisis center – whatever you need to do. This will let you look into other resources and get a plan together for leaving entirely, while still keeping your child and yourself safe in the meantime.

    Please do not feel guilted into letting your guard down, or relaxing your boundaries, or doing anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. Sexual predators rely on social pressure to “be nice” to make their victims more vulnerable. Your BIL has already assaulted you; he will not hesitate to take advantage of you if you allow him any leeway.

    I would suggest reading Gavin de Becker’s “The Gift of Fear”, which will help you listen to and trust your instincts. There are also a lot of resources that may be helpful to you: and (this absolutely qualifies as domestic abuse!).

    As others have said, you can contact the BIL’s care facility to report any concerns. You can report him for violations of the sex offender registry rules (assuming he is on it), or at least bring his behavior to their attention. You can speak to your local police – you may be able to get a restraining order. If you can’t, there may be other steps you can take, and at the very least you will have created a record of his behavior in case his behavior escalates.

    I hope you are okay- please be safe, take care of yourself and your child, and trust yourself – you know this is an unhealthy, unsafe situation.

    If you are in Central Illinois, I may be able to help more directly. Feel free to contact me at urchiken at gmail dot com

  33. Guest

    May 27, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    I wonder, if it was his own daughter that came home sobbing saying she was pinned down and fondled if then he’d say ‘it’s not like he raped her’. Eh?

    Seems to me, if this woman doesn’t leave ASAP then we won’t have to pose this question theoretically.

    Please leave mom.

    • AP

      May 28, 2014 at 2:47 am

      There was a Dear Prudence on Slate a few years back with a similar story: Dad’s friend got drunk and groped the toddler daughter, Dad said “no harm was done, let bygones be bygones”

      I can’t believe this letter is 7 years old, I remember reading it as if it was yesterday- that’s how stunned I was.

  34. Kelly

    May 27, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    You do realize that you’ve already been sexually assaulted, don’t you? When he pressed himself against you and told you he hadn’t had sex in weeks, that was an assault. He was demanding that you hug him while he was assaulting you.

    Imagine if someone walked up to you in the grocery store and did that to you. Would that be ok? Would it be ok for someone to do that to your child.

    If your husband won’t stick up for you, you have to stick up for yourself. Please don’t let this man continue to sexually assault you or, god forbid, your child.

  35. brebay

    May 27, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    Get the hell out of there. Find a domestic violence shelter and take the baby and run. S.O. has lied and is putting you and baby at risk. This is a deal-breaker. They can help you find child care. If it means you have to move or quit your job and find another, than that’s what you do. Any job where you cant afford to pay rent isn’t that great anyway.

  36. tk88

    May 28, 2014 at 12:46 am

    Mental illness or not, sexual predatory behaviors are NEVER to be tolerated. I don’t think you’re wrong to move out, with or without your SO. You have to do what you have to do to protect yourself and your child. You don’t want your child to hear one day in the future that Uncle James “didn’t mean to do that to you, he’s just sick.” Yes, someone who is sick needs some sympathy, but not a free pass to harm others.

  37. footnotegirl

    May 28, 2014 at 12:55 am

    Get out get out get out get out get out. If you need to get to a shelter, get out. Report report report. I am fairly sure that he would not have been released on his own recognizance if the staff of his facility knew that he would have access to vulnerable people and ESPECIALLY if they knew he was having ideation and inappropriate activity. Even worse is that your SO and his mom care more about their brothers freedom than your safety AND THAT OF YOUR CHILD. This is not a supportive situation for you or your child, and ignoring the problem and pretending the brother’s history doesn’t exist and his current activities aren’t signs of a recurring issue is not good for the brother either.

  38. Karen

    May 28, 2014 at 5:55 am

    Move out ASAP. Trust your instincts. Most women who are attacked, get attacked by someone they know.
    One bit of advice: Research shows that women who are passive and don’t set clear boundary’s make a male attacker more likely to escalate an attack. So stand up for yourself. Don’t let him hug you if it makes you feel uncomfortable.
    A good book to read that has good advice is ‘Her Wits About Her’. It’s sort of a self defence book but has a lot of strategy’s that don’t involve violence.

  39. Gangle

    May 28, 2014 at 7:34 am

    If you can, get out. As soon as possible. Go crash with your relatives, or friends, or a shelter. Report this behaviour to the police ASAP. I understand that you are empathetic to your brother-in-laws mental condition, but that in no way makes his behaviour right. In no universe does this mean that you have to tolerate abusive behaviour, or to suffer in silence. Your husband first and foremost should be protecting you. While you still have to live under that roof, your husband should not be leaving you alone with him under ANY circumstances. ‘Protecting his mother’ from the reality that her son is a sex offender in no way excuses him for telling you to shut your mouth and keep your fears and abuse to yourself. He has to understand his priorities are with you and his child. The safety of you and the little one are more important than his mother saving face or his brothers visitation rights – rights which probably would not be allowed to him if his current sexual attacks (and that is what they are – do not minimise what he is doing) was known to his doctors. Your first and foremost priority and duty is to protect yourself and your child. If this family wants to continue to have their heads firmly buried in the sand, so be it. This doesn’t mean that you or your child should have to endure a dangerous, unhealthy environment. Shame on your S.O.

  40. JenH1986

    May 28, 2014 at 9:54 am

    I will add. I’m ALL for compassion and de-stigmatizing mental illness. Some of my clients…man life is so unfair. That being said, there is a difference between compassion and empathy and putting yourself or someone else in danger. Would I love for my schizophrenic clients not to immediately be assumed to be a serial killer? Absolutely. But, most of them are NOT high functioning enough to be alone, driving, going on day trips solo and we talk ALL. THE. TIME about appropriate behaviors etc. Sometimes we as women let compassion, or the desire to not look “bitchy” or “mean” overrule our gut instinct to stay safe. If you are “squicked out”…get out. I would never tell someone who felt unsafe around one of my schizophrenic clients to just suck it up, especially if the client had a history of inappropriate behaviors.

    • KatDuck

      May 29, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      Yes, yes, yes. His mother and brother are doing their best to be “compassionate” and “nice” to him and see how that worked? There’s times you need to put down limits and say, “No, this is not appropriate.” Not in a mean way, but in a calm and firm way. That applies to the family as well as the person themselves. It sounds like your SO and his mother don’t want to admit their brother/son is capable of such things and want to see him in the best light. That’s normal. Unfortunately it’s also really, really unhealthy. A good friend had to retire from her work as a social worker when she had one too many families fight her attempts to help a sexually abused child because the adult involved in the abuse “didn’t mean it” or “it’s not really as bad as it seems.” They’d rather blame the child than the adult because it’s easier to believe a kid is making up stories than that uncle joe is a child molester, no matter what the evidence.

  41. NewHereDontCare

    May 28, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    Seriously? Get out of that house. Leave your husband if it comes to that. But “financial issues” is not an acceptable reason to have your kids essentially sharing a home with a violent sex offender. Get your shit together and get a second job or whatever you need to do.

  42. Alicia715

    May 28, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    You absolutely need are justified in every way. Contact his doctors and hospital, let them know what is happening.

    For your own safety and the safety of your child, get out. It’s awful that your S.O. is not listening to your concerns for safety. I think this says something about him and the way he views you and your child (I’m not sure if this is your child with someone else, a child you adopt by yourself, or your child with your SO) but please get out of the situation. Maybe you have a friend or family member you could stay with? I think even couch surfing would be better than the situation you are in.

  43. KJ

    May 29, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    From a victim’s perspective: My father was abusive. Verbally and sometimes physically, nothing more, but that was enough. That was rough, but what really messed me up was the gas lighting surrounding it. The whole family still thinks it was nothing much. He was frustrated, I was a difficult child, it wasn’t *really* abuse, just a few strong words and it’s not like he ever broke a bone or anything, right? No one wants to believe someone they love can do anything so bad so they reinterpret it to fit their narratives. Of course that just winds up hurting everyone. It hurt me, obviously, but it also hurt my father and the rest of the family. They built up a wall of secrets around the home because they knew, on some deep level, that if anyone found out what was going on then all their pretenses for being this perfect family would fall apart. That’s SO unhealthy.

    The greatest gift my DH gave me was perspective. He saw some of the ways I acted around my family – ways that seemed totally normal and healthy to me – and called them out, hard. I fought it because you never want to think of yourself as a victim and your family as messed up, but, after some hard realizations, it was amazing. I didn’t have to pretend, I didn’t have to blame myself for what happened to me, I didn’t have to put up with further abuse. I was free.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if your SO was one of your BIL’s first victims, nor if the same thoughts that went through my head are going through his. He’s going to fight the truth, if my guess is right, and not want to admit it. Unfortunately you can’t afford to enable that. He needs some tough love right now and that tough love starts with the truth: what your BIL is doing is NOT OK.

    It’s also very typical and very, very screwed up how families are so willing to twist themselves inside out to “protect” the one causing the abuse while leaving those who are victims to fend for themselves. They’re worried about hurting his feelings; what about yours? They think he needs to feel safe and accepted, but what about you? Don’t you deserve that?

    Unfortunately no one’s going to change without some drastic (what they’ll probably think of as “overly dramatic”) action. You’ve tried soft, you’ve tried being nice, you’ve tried to change the dynamic from the inside, now for some hard lines.

    I see two basic (not easy, nor mutually exclusive) options: first, you can set down basic rules. You will not be left alone with BIL and you will be documenting any sexual remarks he makes, any pressing of attention, any stalking (the bathroom thing is seriously creepy.) And you will be reporting those to his hospital. No arguments allowed. You deserve to feel safe in your own home and, if they think you’re overreacting then that’s where the professionals come in. You’ll leave it to the doctors to judge whether you’re over-reacting. You’d even be happy to speak with them and get their opinion on what’s acceptable.
    Second option, you and your child simply won’t be there when he is. You’re so glad he’s getting treatment and he can spend time with his mother but you don’t feel safe *due to specific actions on his part* and you’ll be elsewhere. A friend’s house (yes, this will mean breaking the cone of silence that surrounds these situations. Too bad), a cheap hotel, a shelter even, but you won’t be there. And, no, you won’t negotiate. That starts today.

    Stay safe. 🙁 So sorry you’re dealing with this!

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