My Little Cousin is Abused

by Kristen
(Ohio, USA)

I am 16 years old and my two-year-old cousin is my life. I babysit him all the time and honestly feel like he is my own child. I would do anything for this boy. I get goosebumps just thinking about him. My cousin (his mom) is with a man (21 years old) and he is easily made mad and gets very angry. He always tries to leave her and is mean to her and she cries and cries and continues to do it.

One night he threatened to leave her because her two-year-old son was "out of control". For some reason he feels it is his responsibility to punish my cousin when he does something wrong. He yells at him a lot and is always the one to put him in the corner or time out or he screams at him. I went over there the other day and my cousin's boyfriend showed me my little cousin's face with a bruise covering the whole side of his face. He told me that my little cousin had bit him and he "back-handed" him and didn't realize how hard he hit him. It is a big bruise and it made me so angry and upset at the same time.

I don't know what to do. My cousin and I who have been very best of friends until this man came into the picture are now in a fight and she threatened me and told me if I told on them she would never talk to me and I would never see my baby cousin again. I could not handle this, but I know it could possibly happen again. I stayed the night there the other night before we got into a fight and my baby cousin woke up in the middle of the night crying and I got up with him like I always do, and when I got to his crib he was crying, holding his face saying "ow". I had to put ice on it and he was up until 5 in the morning. He also keeps hitting the dog, the ferret, and the cat and saying o when he hits them. I don't know what to do.

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