Teenage Daughter's friend confided in me that her boyfriend is hitting her.

Wendy - posted on 04/17/2013 ( 2 moms have responded )

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My daughter's friend (18) confided in me, that her boyfriend is hitting her and has choked her. I talked with her and told her she does not deserve that and that he won't stop, no matter what he tells her and it will only get worse. She agreed, but is still seeing him and going to his house. He kicked her window in her car and cracked it. She is lying to her parents about all the bruises and about the window in her car. She lost her virginity to this boy and feels like she should stay with him because of that. I don't know what to do! Should I tell her Parents? or should I just keep talking to her about it? I feel like if it was my daughter, I would want to know. But, I don't want to get her Parents involved, if it will make things worse...like her moving out with him if they keep her from him.

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 04/17/2013

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Ok, first, even if they wanted to, she's 18 and they cannot force her to do anything.

And as much as it is breaking your heart as well, if she won't report the abuse, and won't leave the guy, there isn't much you CAN do except let her know that when she's ready to get out, you will help her. Get her the numbers for the women's shelter in your area, and other resources that she can use in her own time. Anyone pushing her to leave will get nowhere, but silent support will let her know that you're there, and you care. HOPEFULLY she'll pull her head out and realize that she deserves better...

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Stacy - posted on 04/20/2013

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Tell them before he kills her. As the mother of two girls, I would want to have the opportunity to teach this boy what happens to anyone who hurts my babies. What if he kills her and you have to acknowledge that you knew, but chose to stay silent? Give her parents the responsibility and the opportunity to deal with the situation. As one who has been in an abusive relationship when I was much younger, I know that I desperately hoped that someone would come save me...let her parents do that for her. As for going back to him or moving out to be with him, if I were her parent, that wouldn't be a problem, as no one would be able to find him. That I can guarantee.

Kristi - posted on 04/20/2013

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This website has a butt-ton of info about everything domestic violence...signs, different types, resources for help, all sorts of stuff. I just copied the basics for "outsiders."
I hope this helps a little and I will keep you all in my prayers. xo

http://www.womenslaw.org/index.php


Family, Friends and Co-workers


As a friend, family member or co-worker of an abused woman, there are many things you can do to prepare yourself to offer supportive and empowering assistance.

•Learn about domestic violence - Read our website, talk to a domestic violence advocate, read books, or visit other websites to learn more about domestic violence.

Know what services are available.

•Initiate a conversation in private and when you have enough time to talk at length, if she wants to.
•Let go of any expectations you have that there is a "quick fix" to domestic violence or to the obstacles an abused woman faces. Understand that not doing anything may very well be the safest thing she can do at any given time.
•Challenge and change any false attitudes and beliefs that you may have about women who are abused. Women who are abused aren't abused because there is something wrong with them. Rather, they are women who get trapped in relationships by their partners' use of violence and control. The better able you are to recognize and build on the courage, resourcefulness and decision-making abilities of women who are abused, the better able you will be to help them.

What You Can Do

•Believe her - and let her know that you do. If you know her partner, remember that abusers most often act different in public than they do in private.
•Listen to what she tells you. Really listen to her and ask questions to make sure you understand what she is saying. Avoid making judgments and giving advice. You will most likely learn directly from her what it is she needs.
•Build on her strengths. Based on what she tells you and on what you have seen, point out the ways in which she has developed ways to cope, solved problems, and showed courage and determination. Even if the things she has tried have not been completely successful, help her to build on these strengths.
•Validate her feelings. It is common for women to have conflicting feelings - love and fear, guilt and anger, hope and sadness. Let her know that her feelings are normal.
•Avoid victim-blaming. Tell her that the abuse is not her fault. Tell her that the abuse is her partner's problem and his responsibility, but don't "bad-mouth" him.
•Take it seriously. If you are concerned about her safety, tell her you are concerned without judgment by simply saying, "Your situation sounds dangerous and I'm concerned about your safety."
•Offer help. Offer specific forms of help and information. If she asks you to do something you're willing and able to do, do it. If you can't or don't want to, say so and help her find other ways to have that need met. Then look for other ways that you can help.
•Be a partner in her safety planning efforts. The key to safety planning is taking a problem, looking at all of the available options, evaluating the risks and benefits of different options, and figuring out ways to reduce the risks. Offer ideas, resources and information. You can read about Safety Planning on our site.
•Support and respect her decisions. Remember that there are risks with every decision an abused woman makes. If you really want to be helpful, be patient and respect a woman's decisions, even if you don't agree with them.

Special Thanks to New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (NYS OPDV).

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