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My friend is in a very abusive relationship, how do I handle it?

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Question - (15 December 2007) 5 Answers - (Newest, 29 April 2008)
A female United Kingdom age 30-35, anonymous writes:

My friend is in a relationship which is emotionally and physically abusive. Her boyfriend takes drugs. I've known her boyfriend longer than she has, he's a nice guy on the cover, but deep down very paranoid and insecure. He's had a strange upbringing, very rich and always had whatever he wanted, but lost a parent very early on.

My friend has a son who her boyfriend is very emotionally abusive to. He calls him all kinds of names, tells him he hates him, hits his Mom in front of him. Her son's only 4.

They break up constantly. When I go round there after a break up she has black eytes or a split lip. She says she's had enough of him every time, but always goes back to him.

It's her life and if she wants to be with someone like that, I won't try to stop her. She knows I;m onyl a phonecall away as support. But I really object to her son seeing this. I feel guilty but I think she is a terrible mother. We have been best friends for 6 years. I stuck by her when she was in an abusive relationship with her son's dad,who after a couple of years she summoned up the courage to leave him. She had some really lovely boyfriends, who took her out, and her son, bought her flowers etc. But she's been with this guy for 2 years now, and it just seems she's hit rock bottom.

I don't really know how to act about it anymore. I used to try to do stuff with the 2 of them and my boyfriend but every time it would get ruined by him not getting his way and sulking, then an arguement would break out right in front of me and my boyfriend and it would be awkward. Why do girls put themselves through it?

View related questions: a break, best friend, drugs, emotionally abusive, flowers, insecure

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (29 April 2008):

Firstly, there is never an excuse for "Physical violence". Period! I agree with what you are saying about violence or abuse being shown in front of a minor. Your friend must see sense on this front and put her childs well being first and act. Regarding your friend I cant help wondering if the age old saying, "We don't know what goes on behind closed doors" may apply here. I mean, did she not learn from her marriage? I am in a relationship with someone I love very much, but she was sexually abused as a child which I think has given her low self esteem and constantly accuses me of being abusive towards her and tells her friends I am, the truth is, the only abuse has been her threatening to sleep with her ex boyfriends, and I have been punched, kicked, scratched, you name it. She has even bruised herself and told her friends it was me!! She takes laxatives, (Form of bulimia), so she does bruise very easily. So you see, to outsiders, (Her best friend included), I'm a nasty abuser, so maybe, just maybe your friends situation needs to be looked at in greater depth. Just a suggestion, no accussations on my part.

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A male reader, TRUTHFULLYOURS United States +, writes (20 December 2007):

This problem is universal. The spoiled bad tempered boyfriend in control of a misguided and somewhat weak minded girlfriend. After so many years of this there is only one thing you can do. Its time to be a true friend, meaning, it is time to focus on the child. What the child is seeing is exactly what he is going to become.You, as her friend must get the authorities envolved for the sake of the child. If it happens to her then it will happen to him. Black eyes and other signs of abuse are unecceptable and must be reported. She is not strong enough to protect herself from her boyfriend which puts the child in harms way. Do what you gotta do. She will thank you in the long run.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (15 December 2007):

I'm very sorry you have to see your friend go through this.

I've been through most my life being abused, so I know what kind of damage even the smallest thing can cause.

Sadly, there's not much you can do if she makes the choice to go back to this man.

You said you were worried about the child. The very best thing you can do, and this may be very, very difficult and upset your friend, is to report that this child is being abused/in an abusive household.

ChildLine is the free helpline for children and young people in the UK. Children and young people can call us on 0800 1111 to talk about any problem – our counsellors are always here to help you sort it out.



Please seriously consider making a report. This child deserves protection. I was never helped while I lived through more than a decade of abuse. Please don't let this child live through the same.

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A male reader, agonyunclechris United Kingdom +, writes (15 December 2007):

agonyunclechris agony auntheya hun x

girls put themselfs throught it for a strange reason

when in love you are almost Blind , you cannot make sense of things and get into an awkward situation. a vicious circle it is very hard to break the emotional bond that forms but she must do it , she needs a reason to leave , something that will make her and her son leave this person for good.

perhaps she will leave for the benefit of her own son ?

have you tried to tell her , does she want her son to grow up knowing this being a way to live and therefore do this to women and be like this man ?

also , if he is mentally/pysically abusing her or her son this is a matter for social services and the police , this man needs to be stopped before he sends them to insanity

she needs help asap

love and light hun



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A female reader, elliebellie United Kingdom +, writes (15 December 2007):


im so sorry for your friend.

a lot of people ask each other why abused women go back to their partners when they get hit so often. the answer is that the partner is very controlling.

your friend needs to get some help. counselling. there are so many websites, and helplines she can call. its worse that she has a son. she needs to talk to someone profeesional. its good that you're there. make sure she knows that you're always there. you sound like a great friend. you need to persaude her to go and talk to someone.

ope this helps.

please feel free to mail me about anything you want to talk about.




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