ExSIL has filed abuse charges against my brother and is asking for sole custody. I am appalled. My problems with my brother are very much separate from his parenting. He truly treats me and my children very differently from everyone else in the world. My kids are not seen as people, but as an extension of me and he sees me as who knows what. In spite of that, he is a very good father. He really took the classes at the DV center to heart and has used them to be a really good dad. I don't always agree with the choices he makes for his daughter, but they are in NO way abuse. She has a protective order and he can only see his daughter with my parents in the room. I would NOT wish this on either of them (him or niece). It stemmed from exSIL attacking bro and he held her against a counter so she couldn't hurt him. She had already bloodied his face and torn an expensive wool shirt. She says he yanks his daughter around by her ear. NO F"ING WAY. Of ALL the things she could say, I know 1000% that THIS IS A LIE. As a kid he had major ear problems. Screaming in pain problems. In 3rd grade he had ear surgery and his first day back at school the teacher lifted him out of the chair by the ear he had just had operated on. I was down the hall in 1st grade and remember running out of the room because I knew that scream - knew it was him. I am the one who called home because the teacher wouldn't let him even go to the nurse in spite of blood dripping from his ear. There is NO way he would EVER yank a child by the ear. He DOES get down to his daughter's level and put a hand over each of her ears - gently, not in any way as a hit or slap - and hold her head so she looks into his face when he needs her to stop something or pay close attention. It actually is very gentle and effective in getting her attention, letting her know he is serious, and focusing her attention. We suspect some adhd issues and it is part of why he does this. But it is always gentle. ExSIL is the one who hits her. I have seen her just slap out at her when ExSIL is annoyed. Hand, arm, face, leg, she doesn't really care. ExSIL also yanks her around by the ear - I have seen this also. Since gfgbro and ExSIL met, he has been sober, attended meetings, gone to DV classes and meetings, and gone to a psychiatrist. She has done these things for short periods of time. The longest period of sobriety has been 7 months except for 10 mos while she was pregnant. She rarely has more than 4 mos of sobriety at a time. I have seen her with an open beer while driving my niece. Saw her dorp niece at school 2 yrs ago with a can of bud light in her hand. We are about 1 month past the 100th day of school. thank you and niece are in the same school. In that time, niece has had the equivalent of 43 half day absences from school. Gma dropped her off late once. The rest is ALL her mom. Gfgbro busts his tush at night to be organized in the am so she isn't late. He will be extra late if he isn't ready on time - leaves to take her to school then goes back to get whatever he needs for the day. School has said they know - easily - which parent she was at the night before. If she is on time she was at her dads. 2 tardies make 1/2 day absence, but you have to be mroe than a couple minutes late to have it be a tardy (even 10 is excused unless you abuse it). Yesterday niece was to spend the night at my parents because exSIL needed to do something. She sent 2 big bags of toys, books, games, videos, etc... plus a bag of clothes in spite of the fact that my parents have almost a full wardrobe for the child at their home and an entire room of toys, games, books, etc.... (they do this for each grandkid, not just niece). Niece has a serious stomach problem that she takes medication for daily. ExSIL is a nurse and couldn't manage to get her to the doctor about this, so gfgbro made sure seh saw a doctor even though exSIL said it wasn't a "real" problem. doctor rx'd medications for her because there is a real problem. with-o the medications she is in a LOT of pain. With ALL the stuff exSIL sent to my parents, she NEVER SENT THE MEDICATION!!!! It isn't brand new - she has been on this for some time now. A grocery bag of videos and crayons is more important to her than sending her kid's medicine!!! My mom was ****** to put it MILDLY. My mom didn't know the stuff I have seen exSIL do. Not a lot of it. We stopped by to drop off some stuff we picked up at Sam's for them and when we left my mom told me about all this. She did NOT push me to say/do anything with/for/regarding gfgbro, just wanted me to know why niece was there and what was going on. I am really proud of her for not pushing or asking me to help or anything. I am upset about this because exSIL is so clearly a horrible parent. Her own kids have told me awful things that she did to them. Heck, my niece sat on the witness stand and told the judge that her mommy told her to say this and that and to say her daddy was a bad parent but he isn't and he doesn't do what her mommy says. (Isn't this witness tampering? A felony?) I did tell my mom that I will make a deposition or go to court and tell the judge what I have seen. I made a report of abuse years ago, at exSIL's request, and I will go explain that if needed. I said it doesn't change MY problems and boundaries with gfgbro, but I will still go to court, etc... because I do know that my problems are separate from this issue. Maybe I shouldn't have said that. I do see my problems with him as being very much separate from the issue of if he is a good parent to his daughter. I also see my exSIL as being a very dangerous addicted person with no ability to be a good parent. She truly wants her daughter to hate her father. She watned her older sons to hate their dad when she left him. She is the one who abused them, and they chose to live with their dad when the family home was sold. They have told me horror stories about what she did to them - including leaving the older on in a parked car for an entire afternoon while she had sex with a man in his apartment. The son was to stay in the car in the parking lot in a not great area of town. When he knocked on the door to use the bathroom she hit him. This is the LEAST of the stories he told me. I do think when it looks like she will at least not get full custody then she will try to say niece is not bro's child. I have always doubted the DNA, but at this point it doesn't matter. Bro is the legal father, he took that responsibility before she was born because otherwise exsil couldn't get divorced in this state and her ex would be the legal father. Even saying this will hurt my family a lot, esp my niece. DNA results could be devastating to bro and my parents. Won't change things long run, but still. I won't let myself thing about this daily up until I have to go and speak to the lawyers or the court. I HATE that it is happening, and pray that niece is not permanently damaged by it. I know I am nuts. I am going to work hard to do what I need to for niece and still stick to my boundaries with gfgbro. It is going to take a lot longer for me to get to the point where I could just think this was a shame and something he has to deal with that doesn't matter to me. I am thankful that there was NO pressure from my parents for me to do anything. I think that is big progess.