Q: My niece is in a psych unit for the past 2 years because her guardian isn’t healthy to care for her (guardian has had a stroke, and other disabilities) and because my niece tried to commit suicide. Her guardian is willing to give me joint custody. So during my day pass with my niece she confesses to me the reason why she committed suicide was because her guardian has abuse her since little. She has called the police several times on her but the police always sided with the guardian. After the guardian was fed up with her calling the police she sent her to the psych. Her guardian has put fear in her heart to not tell no one. One of the abuse was my niece was 11 years old and one of my nieces guardians tenant had raped her. She told her guardian and they bashed her and told her she was lying. The tenant still lives in the same household 3 years later. When I have joint custody I have to let her stay at her guardians house because the guardian will have visitation. Her therapist at the place where she is at doesn’t know anything about the abuse nor the rape. How can I go about this and still be able to get custody of my niece without risking that she be hurt on visits.
A: David’s Answer: Your plan of reporting same to her therapist is a good plan. Ultimately her therapist is a mandated reporter & if s/he feels there is substance to the allegation, s/he may feel obligated to report it to the authorities. You may then be in an even stronger position vis a vis getting custody of her. Schedule a consult with a Bronx Child Custody attorney for a full assessment.