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Aunt accused of 'kidnapping' when they take in niece looking for privacy. AITA?

Aunt accused of 'kidnapping' when they take in niece looking for privacy. AITA?


"AITA for 'kidnapping' my niece"


My (32f) sister Sue (39f) and her husband Dan (44m) have two kids, Lily (11f) and Amy (16f). Recently Dan’s mom broke a leg. She lived alone so Dan and Sue took her in. She got Amy’s bedroom, Amy moved in with Lily.

Late on the 25th Amy showed up at my apartment begging me to let her stay. She said it’s too much, she has zero privacy. Lily’s constantly going through her things, takes clothes without asking, breaks stuff, is so loud that Amy can’t do anything and when Amy complains, her parents just tell her to be patient.

The final straw was when Lily found a present with a note for Amy from a guy from her class. Lily loudly announced Amy was in love and started reading the note to their parents.

No one knew about him yet and the note was obviously personal (nothing inappropriate) so Amy tried to take it from her. The result was her sister startling and Dan yelling at Amy to let go of her. Amy grabbed the note and ran out of the house straight to me (I live close by).

I was at a loss. I said I’d talk to her parents for her and called Sue to let her know Amy was safe and to get her side. Sue asked to come over but Amy didn’t wanna see anyone so Sue said to tell her sorry and that she could stay the night.

The day after we agreed Sue would come alone to talk to Amy. 20 minutes later she shows up with Dan and Lily. Lily apologized to Amy through tears, asking her not to hate her. Amy accepted but looked uncomfortable.

Dan then told Amy to apologize for grabbing Lily but she refused. Dan said she had to for them to get along but Amy said she still didn’t wanna go home. After that the screaming started.

Dan called Amy a spoiled brat, he never had his own room, Amy said if she can’t stay here she’ll go to friends and stop talking to all of us. Lily kept crying and Sue just ignored everything until Dan declared they needed to get back home to his mom and tried to push Amy out the door.

Sue broke them apart and said Dan should take Lily home, she’d handle it. She told Amy she’d make Lily act nicer and asked if that changed anything. Amy said no so Sue said okay, she can stay.

No clue what she told Dan but it didn’t work cause he keeps calling and texting. He says I’m basically kidnapping Amy and enabling her "emotional blackmail", that I’m teaching her if she runs she’ll get whatever she wants.

That it’s not a big deal to share and Lily apologized and is feeling terrible. That Amy is disrespecting his injured mom by not letting her have her room. That I’m interfering in a private matter by giving Amy an out, undermining his authority just because Sue is my sister. Sue says she’s trying but I doubt it.

Dan even showed up at my apartment demanding to talk to Amy. He refused to leave so I let him in but Amy locked herself in the bathroom until he left, threatening to call the cops next time. I’m keeping a kid from her dad which is messed up but I worry where Amy will go if I kick her out. Reconciliation seems far away with all that screaming.

Here were the top rated comments from readers:


NTA and thank you for keeping Amy safe. I witnessed my father abusing my siblings when I was a young child. I don’t remember any of it but my body does. Just reading the way Amy’s ‘father’ behaves is enough to get my heart racing and make me have to hold back tears.

There is no reason he should EVER be allowed to act that way around others, especially minors. I hope your sister starts to see his abusive behavior and starts protecting herself and her girls.


NTA, my ex was a screamer, and my kids are messed up adults because of that. The oldest is angry at the world and is now in an abusive relationship himself. My youngest hid in closets all his life til I got the courage to leave his AH father.

He's now afraid of confrontation because if someone screams at him, he's afraid he'll seriously hurt them physically, and he can. He's a big guy. Growing up with a father who thinks he's justified to do whatever he feels is right, with no thought for the children's feelings, is a horrible way to live. You're giving your niece protection from a bully. Good for you.


NTA. To me the most telling two sentences are "The day after we agreed Sue would come alone to talk to Amy. 20 minutes later she shows up with Dan and Lily." with "Sue just ignored everything until Dan declared they needed to get back home to his mom and tried to push Amy out the door" being a close second.

Dan is an absolute AH here. He's using physical force on her in public and cares more about his authority than doing right by his daughter. And your sister can not be trusted. She said she'd come alone and didn't. Just be ready for a second niece doing the same thing in a couple of years unless Dan gets therapy.


I wonder if Lily’s tears were real. She might have just been crying crocodile tears to try and get her way, or her delightful father might have threatened her into it. While Lily is the GC, I bet he’s awfully embarrassed that Amy won’t come home. But not enough to ask her what’s wrong and try and find a solution or even a compromise.


NTA! It’s hard for kids to share rooms, especially when they’re unaccustomed to doing so. Additionally, the older child needs privacy that she’s not getting because her younger sister is…younger and acting her age. Your BIL is making this harder on everyone than it needs to be. I’m sure it’s not been great for anyone to have an extra person in the house who also needs care.

So, do you think the OP did anything wrong here? How could they have helped their niece without hurting the family?

Sources: Reddit
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