What should I do when there is abuse in my family?

Sep 5, 2022



Dear Robina Courtin


I need some personal advice.


I feel sure that my brother’s kid is being sexually abused by the grandfather – he’s done it to others.


He is retired now and still with my mother and she is in total denial. I cut contact with him as much as I can. But I feel like I should do something. My relationship with my brother is difficult too. 


I don’t know how to deal with all this. I wish I would not have to witness any of these things and maybe cut entirely contact with most of my family. And yet I also feel like I should do something.


If you would have any advice, please, I’m listening. 


Kind regards,




Dearest A,


It’s a very difficult situation, I can only imagine. And the tragedy is it is so so common!


Yes, it makes total sense that one solution for you is to cut contact. You need to protect yourself, your own mind. 


But you say you should do something. That’s the problem, knowing what would work.


So often, bringing it to public knowledge, at least within the family and especially when your mother is in denial, it can only cause more problems and solve nothing.


So be very clear about it.


What do you think you can do? And what result would you like from it? 


Is your brother open to discussion do you think? Because he is the one, if you do decide to do something, you should talk to.


Love to you,




Hello Robina,


Thank you for your reply.


Yes it is a very sad situation. How common it is, it’s true. 


All I’ve done is write to my brother to not leave his kid alone with him, and he replied defensively. 


I often wish to not have had this family at all as it brings me more sadness and trouble than anything else.


So no, I don’t have the answers.


I also have the feeling that involving the judicial system might not be the answer, and yet, if I knew how to stop the sexual abuse, I would. So I pray most of the time.


Thank you for listening.





Good to hear your thoughts, dearest A.


You are doing your very best to deal with this very difficult situation. That’s all you can do. You have warned your brother; now it’s up to him.


We know that life is full of suffering such as this, everywhere we turn. All we can do is live our lives as well as possible, protect ourselves and our loved ones, and, I think, remain optimistic and try to help others as much as we can — and, as you say, pray.


We can’t do more, can we?


Much love and much courage to you!



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