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Daughter in violent relationship-am i making it worse?

(95 Posts)
innermuddle Thu 02-Jan-14 12:22:57

To give a bit of background. My 20 year old daughter has an abusive boyfriend. He is older, has children, was in prison and is on methadone (every alarm bell is ringing of course!). They have been living together since they met, about 6 months ago. He has hit her several times now, always after drinking to excess. She doesn't want to leave him (yet?) but has left for short periods (less than 24hrs) after each time he hits her. She loves him, and minimises his behaviour each time (he didn't mean it, it was the drink, i made him do it and so on).
I want to to help her, but am not sure how, other than being here every time she needs us.
My question, for anyone with experience, is whether we have done the right thing.
We had not yet met him the first time we had a call to say she was at the police station after he beat her up in the street. After that, I said that I could not condone the relationship, and he was not welcome in our house until he could prove he had changed. But I loved her and wanted to be here for her. Since then, he has hit her at least once a fortnight, so obviously we have not let him come to the house or met him at all. WE stay in touch by phone and i pick her up to go out for lunch or she comes here
I havr not heard from her for 4 days now, because her phone is off. He keeps smashing her phone, which we replace so she has a way to be in touch. I think he is doing it to keep her away from us. My worry is that I am making this worse by not welcoming him to the family.
Should i welcome him to the family for her sake, or is it morally wrong to welcome an abusive bastard to the family in any circumstance? Would that be then condoning his abuse?
To give the full picture, i have younger children that i am trying to protect from this too. Any advice welcome!

innermuddle Thu 02-Jan-14 12:24:02

Sorry that was so long, i tried to be brief!

DurhamDurham Thu 02-Jan-14 12:27:28

I have a 20 yr old dd and I'm not sure what the correct way to deal with it is but I know that if I hadn't heard from her in four days I would be going to see if she's ok. She is very young, she can't possibly know how to handle such an awful situation. I could not sit back and do nothing. My dh would probable want to kill her boyfriend but I know that's not helpful.

I hope she's ok op I really do.

MarianneEnjolras Thu 02-Jan-14 12:28:40

You should definitely not accept him into the family. But if you haven't heard from your daughter in 4 days and that is unusual then I'd probably go round to hers to see if she is ok.

innermuddle Thu 02-Jan-14 12:30:40

We are dropping a new phone in later today. Im not sure what we can actually do. I cannot make her leave him. I think that we both want to kill the bf, but that is not really an option is it?
what are you suggesting we do?

innermuddle Thu 02-Jan-14 12:31:56

We are dropping a new phone in later today. Im not sure what we can actually do. I cannot make her leave him. I think that we both want to kill the bf, but that is not really an option is it?
what are you suggesting we do?

meiisme Thu 02-Jan-14 12:52:02

It's great she still tells you what he's like so keep doing what you're doing: don't let him into your family, keep letting her know that what he's doing is not okay, that she deserves a loving and equal relationship, and most importantly keep providing a safe space for her at your home where she knows she is loved, not judged and can come anytime she wants to get away.

Depending on your relationship and how mature she is, there might be a point where I would just refuse to let her go back to him. But you seem to be well aware this might backfire, so it wouldn't be my first point of action, just something to keep in the back of your mind when she seems ready to leave but not entirely capable to do it herself yet.

cantthinkofagoodone Thu 02-Jan-14 12:55:12

Can the police help in this situation? I'm sure that someone more knowledgeable will be along shortly.

I hope that your daughter sees what's going on sooner rather than later.

CustardoPaidforIDSsYFronts Thu 02-Jan-14 12:58:28

I think not letting him hear your house is a good idea - then she has somewhere to go

offer to pay for taxi - day and night to get to yours
just be there

don't be over critical of him - or she wont tell you because shes embarrased

meiisme Thu 02-Jan-14 12:58:36

Could you keep a copy of Why does he do that? by Lundy Bankcroft at your house for her to read? It's a book that has opened the eyes of many women in abusive relationships to what is really going on.

CustardoPaidforIDSsYFronts Thu 02-Jan-14 12:59:37

tbh, in a very unhelpful way, if someone beat up my daughter, I would pay to get their head kicked - in

(not helpful sorry)

Another one here saying don't invite him into the family home. It's good that you're still communicating. Keep that up. Give her the details of Women's And and I'm sure there's other dv websites that mnetters will know. I'd actually point her in the direction of mumsnet. There's a vey clear message on here that it's not the victim's fault. My heart goes out to you. Been there with dd. She got out because she finally realised she was worth more. Keep telling your dd that she's wonderful. Hope she's okay x

PiratePanda Thu 02-Jan-14 13:03:21

Well I would ring the police, personally, if my daughter was with a violent partner and I hadn't heard from her in 4 days!!!

VeryTattyMum Thu 02-Jan-14 13:45:16

I had a friend in a violent relationship, her husband was also a druggie.

She did eventually leave but it was heart-breaking whist she was in it. Things which helped were having a routine whereby she checked in with me every day from work and every other evening from home; spare keys to my home stashed in a safe place; a £20 note taped to the underside of her desk, sewn into her jacket for a taxi when she needed to leave quickly.

As others have said don't welcome him it only normalises his behaviour and constantly tell her that she is worth more than this abuse and none of it is her fault. She probably also needs some professional counselling to enable her to see how wrong this is but she may not accept this until she leaves him.

VeryTattyMum Thu 02-Jan-14 13:45:53


VeryTattyMum Thu 02-Jan-14 13:47:44


KateAdiesEarrings Thu 02-Jan-14 14:06:26

It's so difficult and I feel for you and your dd. Personally I would meet him at their house. I'd maintain the rule that he wasn't allowed in my house. I'm not suggesting you should do this as only you know your dd and how she would react.

He's trying to isolate your dd and you've done so well to maintain a relationship with her. However, I'd want to meet him so he was aware that your dd wasn't isolated and that you know what he's like and what he does. You don't need to confront him but abusers flourish in isolation and silence.

I hope your dd was ok when you went to see her today.

DurhamDurham Thu 02-Jan-14 18:41:28

Sorry Op wasn't ignoring you, just been out all day. Not sure what you should do, just know what we would want to do if we were in your awful situation.

I would check on your dd on a daily basis, if only for your peace of mind and so that she knows you are there. Hopefully she will gather the strength to leave him soon.

Give her a 'safe word' to use on texts or on phone so that you will know if she needs you to come and get her asap.

RandomMess Thu 02-Jan-14 20:22:31

Can you keep a record of the violence and then report him to the police with the documentation of several incidences? I thought the police now had the ability to press charges even if the victim doesn't want to?

peggyundercrackers Thu 02-Jan-14 20:56:59

your hubby should go round and knock 7 bells of shit out of him - sorry but I couldn't watch my daughter get beat up or hit - I wouldn't tell her I was doing it either.

Offred Thu 02-Jan-14 21:03:21

Taking action against him will just force her to choose between you and he'll win.

I don't think you should keep this within the family but it is important she is the driver of any changes so I would be encouraging her firmly to report the violence to the police (and calling 101 for advice myself) and I would also be strongly encouraging her to speak to women's aid. They will not make her leave him if she's not ready but they are very good at doing the deprogramming required to get her to the place where she is ready to go and then will help her leave safely.

Did the police do a MARAC?

cjel Thu 02-Jan-14 22:24:44

I'm afraid I have been in similar situation and I kept him close as well and made my feelings towards his behaviour known to him, I stopped ex RM ds from visiting him but do know they bumped into each other out one night and my dd was hurt slightly by ds as her dp hid behind her from her 'mad' brother.
Eventually she recognised the way she wanted to live was not with him and I think you are doing the right things as far as you can. I hope she doesn't get dragged into the drug side of his life as then it will be even harder for her to leave.

BillyBanter Thu 02-Jan-14 22:29:05

When she is next round you could share some info from websites. a checklist on abuse type thing. Ask her to phone women's aid. suggest she starts a thread on here? While she is safe from his prying on your laptop.

innermuddle Fri 03-Jan-14 00:00:52

Thank you for all the advice. I have not had time to check back until now. She is safe right now, and has a phone again. I have tried to let her know we are here without putting pressure on her. She is confused enough.
I am going to try persuading her to contact womens aid. The safe word is a fantastic idea, I will try that. And I've given her an mergency escape fund if it all starts to tgwt out of hand again.
Thanks everyone. And if you could recommend a hitman please do!

innermuddle Fri 03-Jan-14 00:01:42

Offred what is a Marac?

innermuddle Fri 03-Jan-14 00:02:40

Random I think she or another witness has to give ev. She wont. I cant

bragmatic Fri 03-Jan-14 00:04:36

You could also suggest she posts here? There are women who have been through this. Good luck. X

forevermore Fri 03-Jan-14 00:43:39

Sorry this may be unhelpful and seem judgemental but honestly it's not meant to be . No man could do that to my daughter and I sit by and wait for what could end up with her death. I certainly wouldn't be replacing phones knowing it's because she has been beaten up with it or worse. He will continue as as far as I can tell you seem to be a soft touch as a family and he is not feeling threatened by you. People tend to do what they can get away everything you can possibly do (your daughters consent is neither here nor there as far as I'm concerned. She is your child first and foremost) Or you could lose your daughter forever.

nameequality Fri 03-Jan-14 01:03:34

Do you/does she know about Clare's Law?.

The problem with that as an approach is that it can lead to victim blaming if people can't/won't leave after disclosure of a previous DV event.

You can report to police and see if they will prioritise her address in the event she has to call the police. sad

Fennec Fri 03-Jan-14 01:12:10

My family knew what was happening, they even witnessed some incidents. They sat by and let it continue for nearly 7 years. I had a child and he'd even slammed her into the swinging chair once. I kept telling my family I'd leave soon but Inever did because I thought I loved him. He'd nearly killed me a couple of times. If my Mum hadn't finally bolshied her way in and removed me lock stock and barrel with my then newborn baby, I'd be dead by now I have no doubt.

Two women a week die by their violent partner. I re-iterate that murder isn't overdramatic, it's quite ordinary, and one simple slip of the vegetable knife in the kitchen during a row is all it could take to lose your daughter.

I apologise for the imagery. But this is the way of it.

I will know exactly what to do if this cycle is ever repeated with my own daughter. Mobile phones won't save her.

arsenaltilidie Fri 03-Jan-14 02:02:09

The softy approach doesnt work with his kind.
Do absolutely anything you can to physically remove her from the situation.
If it means refusing to leave his house without your daughter and putting yourself in danger then so be it.
At 20 she's still a child she needs your protection.

Don't you have male family members you can go with for safety, I find his kind are often scared of other men not intimidated by them.

neunundneunzigluftballons Fri 03-Jan-14 02:07:37

My family had this eventually his friends broke into my parents house under bf direction and stole a lot if items. My parents did not give a damn about the items but said scum of the earth was no longer to enter our lives and told sis the same. This went in for a few more years until sis saw her way out and moved on. It was awful but necessary.

ThingsThatGoBumpInTheNight Fri 03-Jan-14 02:30:24

As you've already had most of the advice I have to offer I'd just like to give you an un mumsnetty hug and hope that you have brought your dd up to trust you and know that you're there no matter what, which it appears you have done.
Fwiw my own dd's bf isn't violent but there are certain things that just don't feel right iykwim and I've not judged but told her I will pick her up any time day or night or pay for a taxi if needs be.
We have a code word for voice calls, and one for texts, so if she calls and says 'just wanted to say goodnight mum' instead of 'night mum love you' I know something is wrong and drop everything to go get her.
Best thing about the code words is that they can be said calmly as if nothing is wrong.
She talks to me sometimes as I'm sure yours does and I have to bite my tongue as don't want to put her in the position of defending him to me and feeling like she can't discuss him with me. That's really hard as sometimes I want to shake her and tell her to LTB (such as when he had a whinge about her not texting him back but her phone battery had died, he then accused her of cheating on him angry )
Dd stands her ground though god help him if he even raises a hand to her. I'll snap it off and cram it up his bony ass.
Not helpful I know smile

Thinking of you thanks hope this gets sorted soon x

Dirtybadger Fri 03-Jan-14 02:42:28

As other people have already said; report this to the Police. You don't have to be the victim to report the crime.

It is not always in the best interest of a victim to wait until they are 'ready' to report DV. As Fennec has already said, women are frequently killed. Don't be a passive audience.

I hope your daughter finds the strength to leave! Support her all you can.

ThingsThatGoBumpInTheNight Fri 03-Jan-14 02:49:56

Crap. Why do I read these things tired and on the frigging phone so half of it is unreadable?

I didn't read that he had actually hit her, sorry blush

Get her the hell out of there

If you're near me I have some rather large 'friends' who will help us carry your dd's belongings wink

ThatVikRinA22 Fri 03-Jan-14 03:28:47

have you encouraged her to speak to an agency such as womens aid? im a police officer and see so many domestics where the injured party wont leave or press charges.
without a victim willing to give evidence the majority of cases are dropped by the crown prosecution service.

you need to be there for her, you need to get her to speak to other agencies if she wont speak to police.

even if she doesnt want to press charges she can always still call police to stop what is happening there and then. Police can also remove him, or taxi her to your house.
i find it so frustrating dealing with domestic incidents where violence is common place but the victim wont help police - but its the nature of the beast sometimes and it takes a while for the scales to drop from their eyes....
sometimes it never happens.
you need to encourage her to speak to someone about what is going on - and no - i wouldnt let him cross the threshold. dont normalise his behaviour for her sake - she needs to realise that this isnt normal in a healthy relationship - you can send that message even if she doesnt act on it.
if you havent heard from her for 4 days i would go to hers and insist on seeing her.
if you cant get hold of her call police on 101. log it as a concern. a police officer will then go around to see her but they will have to say there has been a concern raised and they need to check on her. better that though than the thought of her not being able to reach you if she is in trouble.

MsAspreyDiamonds Fri 03-Jan-14 04:05:21
chubbycheeks01 Fri 03-Jan-14 04:28:39

Don't allow him in your house it lets him know that his behavior is not acceptable. He will do whatever it takes to try and keep you out of your daughters life because the more alone she feels the more likely she is to continue with the relationship. My parents found it difficult to watch the abuse and stopped seeing me...... They did not understand why I would stay....... And looking back now neither do I. These men have a way of making you feel like no one else would ever want you, like you are unable to do anything right, like it is your fault. I wish I could say there was some magic word that would make her snap out of it but there isn't. Being there for her will help and eventually she will reach her rock bottom and leave ...... Try and talk to her friends make sure she has people in her life who confirm that his behavior is NOT normal!!!!

Logg1e Fri 03-Jan-14 07:47:02

Posters who are advising that the OP not allow this situation, what do you advise that she actually do?

BelaLugosisShed Fri 03-Jan-14 07:53:50

If it was my daughter, lets just say his body would never be found, you have to help her before she becomes pregnant to this scum

Offred Fri 03-Jan-14 07:54:35


It's an assessment the police do with victims of domestic violence to determine the level of risk their partner poses towards them. It can then be followed up if it is a high risk with multi agency support.

Logg1e Fri 03-Jan-14 08:47:43

Bela what do you suggest that the OP does? You can specify what you would do if you've got time to go in to more detail, but really what you advise people do if they don't have the capacity or desire to murder or maim?

I think we all fully understand the desire to wave a magic wand or go in with force, frighten the bully and rescue our child. But I don't think that's realistic. What if your child, a grown woman, refuses to leave or stay away from him and goes back to him?

Men in this situation gain more strength when families make the woman choose between them. Facilitating communication and escape routes (via mobile phones, escape funds, regular visits and code words) seem to me the most empowering best choice of a bad lot.

Damnautocorrect Fri 03-Jan-14 09:11:21

Keep the door open, don't 'go on'. She knows what she needs to do but is just waiting for her lightbulb moment and the fog to lift.
It sounds like you are doing brilliantly, I personally don't believe the heavy handed approach works but that's personal experience. It gives the abuser more ammunition to divide and conquer.

Yes to putting her in touch with agencies and the fund sounds brilliant. She'll get there xxxx

CrispyHedgeHogmanay Fri 03-Jan-14 09:21:47

Had this all through the summer with my 23yo dd.. she would come running here barefoot, covered in dog food and lord knows what else.. but she'd keep going back.

Eventually it all came to a head when he held her hostage for two weeks, barricaded the flat and beat her with a dog chain, stabbed her with screwdriver and stanley knife, beat the crap out of her etc. We went there with the police umpteen times - stood outside the house for 6-7 hours at a time pleading with him to let her out and her to come out, nothing. The police said there was nothing they could do unless she indicated that she wanted them to but she couldn't because he had a knife at her back when she spoke to them.

She finally got out - but she had to realise herself that it couldn't go on like it was. We now have an injunction against him and the police are prosecuting him.

I'm sorry for what you're going through op.. it's the worst feeling in the world flowers

mammadiggingdeep Fri 03-Jan-14 09:30:02

No experience of this but my heart goes out to you.

If it were my daughter I'd call the police... By hook or by crook if get her out of there.

mammadiggingdeep Fri 03-Jan-14 09:31:26

Crispy... The police didnt get her out??? Didn't they ask to speak to her on her own? Didn't they see any bruising/ wounds???

CrispyHedgeHogmanay Fri 03-Jan-14 09:39:15

No mamma, they said she had to ask them to.. and of course she wouldn't or couldn't. He would only let her talk to them through a tiny gap in the door which was barricaded with furniture.

I was there with his sister and my ds, even his sister was pleading with them to get her out because she was afraid he'd kill my dd.. even us telling them there were significant quantities of class a drugs had no effect.. they said we were just saying that to make them do something and they can't act on hearsay.. it was complete and utter madness sad

ExcuseTypos Fri 03-Jan-14 09:56:33

Crispy that is disgraceful.angry. Can you make a complaint, your poor dd should have been helped by the police.

OP I have a 20 year old dd, I'm afraid I would be round their with DH and a few friends and she would be brought home, whether she liked it or not.

ExcuseTypos Fri 03-Jan-14 09:56:56


mammadiggingdeep Fri 03-Jan-14 09:59:23

Crispy- that must have been a living nightmare. He could have bloody murdered her as you were stood outside. That's unbelievable. They're lucky you didn't take the law into your own hands. I think a lot of people would've done!
So glad she's away from him now xx

CrispyHedgeHog Fri 03-Jan-14 10:11:13

It was awful.. trouble is she 'loved him' and it was 'her fault' he was like it hmm

I thought the same as a lot of you, just go and get her out of there. I was very tempted to get some of my burlier friends involved but then what would have been the point if she'd just go running back to him, which at the time there was a fair chance she would have. It was a fine line between making her see that this stuff isn't acceptable and pushing her further to him - you know, starcrossed lovers and all that. We just had to wait until she got to the realisation herself.

Fairy1303 Fri 03-Jan-14 10:40:06

I have just left a violent relationship and I'm 24.

My mum always welcomed DH with open arms and tried her best with him - she didn't know all that was going on, just that he was 'difficult'.

Because she was so on board I found it harder to leave and tell her when it was abusive because I didn't want to upset her or her opinion of DH.

Also - you HAVE to validate how awful this is for her. So even if she stays she has a clear message that it is wrong to be treated like this.
She will believe it is all her fault so if she has you telling her that she is a victim in all this and not responsible it might help her when she is ready to leave.

You won't be able to get her out until she is ready. so you just need to make sure she knows you are there.

you need to keep in contact with her. regularly.
Don't let him phase you out.

it's a very fine line.

I think you have been doing it right so far, definitely.

Logg1e Fri 03-Jan-14 10:51:06

OP I have a 20 year old dd, I'm afraid I would be round there with DH and a few friends and she would be brought home, whether she liked it or not

And then she goes back, this time less likely to confide in your or ask you for your support.

Fairy1303 Fri 03-Jan-14 11:05:24

and would have had a smack/massive row because her parents have 'behaved badly'.

Been there.

CrispyHedgeHog Fri 03-Jan-14 11:18:53

Fairy, I saw your other thread, so glad you're out and safe now flowers xx

ExcuseTypos Fri 03-Jan-14 12:35:12

But we're talking about a 20 year old here. My 20 year old had just started uni, and still relies on us for money etc, (as did dd1 until she left uni) so I suppose that's a different situation to a more independent 20 year old.

mammadiggingdeep Fri 03-Jan-14 12:36:55

Glad you're safe fairy xxx

Logg1e Fri 03-Jan-14 14:22:20

ExcuseTypos so you don't accept your daughter's choices and you don't have to in your case because there's a belief that she is financially dependent upon you?

ExcuseTypos Fri 03-Jan-14 14:43:33

She is financially dependent on me and DH, that's not a belief, it's fact.

And I do accept her choices, she lives away from home and we tend to not interfer. That wouldn't be the case if she chose to live with someone who emotionally or physically abused her.

ExcuseTypos Fri 03-Jan-14 14:48:27

Logg *I suppose my reaction is based on my personal experience.

I was living with a boyfriend at 19. It was in no way an abusive relationship. But at the time I lived with him because it was convenient for uni. I didn't actually want to but I felt I had no choice. Years later my mum and dad told me they could tell I wasn't happy and they were waiting for me to beak it off. They said they didn't want to interfere.

I've never forgotten that and I suppose that's why my reaction would be the exact opposite to my parents. Because if they had said to me at 19, we can tell you aren't happy, we are taking you hime, I know I would have jumped at the chance.

Fairylea Fri 03-Jan-14 14:59:41

I think you are right not to allow him in the house. But also (I speak from experience) when she does leave him or he leaves her - and it will happen- try your hardest not to say how daft she was to stay with him so long or something along the lines of "told you so" however thinly hidden. One of the things I found hardest was that my self esteem was already at rock bottom (due to him) and then just when I was feeling stronger my mum made me feel really stupid for putting up with it so long (5 years). I know I shouldn't have stayed. I wasn't daft. I needed her to listen to me, not judge my choices if that makes any sense.

I think also directing her to sites like the women's aid one and discussing it with her would be good. And coming here too. There are so many aspects of my relationship with my ex that I literally didn't even realise were abusive and just took it for granted. I didn't know what a good relationship looked like! Make sure she does. Let her know how good relationships work. TThis might help to fuel her desire for more.

Also please do ring the police if you are witness to an incident or dd is ringing you in tears etc. The dp doesn't like you anyway so you have nothing to lose.

But whatever happens be there for her. He will try to remove you from the situation because it makes her more dependent on him. Don't let her feel alone. I'm sure you won't smile

Logg1e Fri 03-Jan-14 15:06:43

I'm sure you and your daughter have a loving, mutually respectful relationship and I'm sure you accept her decisions, even the ones you disagree with! But with respect Excuse if you're in the UK at least, she is financially independent of you. Thank god that this is true, even if she's a young, unmarried female. You and she may not believe she is, but technically she is.

ExcuseTypos Fri 03-Jan-14 15:14:03

Well she could be financially independent, but as we pay her rent, books, holidays etc she isn't technically independent yet, is she? confused

Tiredemma Fri 03-Jan-14 15:17:58

I think my DP would literally remove his heart and lungs through his throat.

Logg1e Fri 03-Jan-14 15:23:05

Excuse I'm also posting from a personal, emotional, experience-based point of view. Financial independence is incredibly important to me. I don't accept financial help from others (mortgage the only exception!) and I will only give money when I can afford it with no strings attached.

Logg1e Fri 03-Jan-14 15:25:12

Tired I repeat myself smile. Let's assume the OP doesn't have a partner willing or capable to literally remove someone's heart and lungs through their throat. What do you advise she does???

Fairylea Fri 03-Jan-14 15:27:26

I'm failing to see what the relevance is of the financial independence emphasis?

I left my ex when I was completely financially independent of him and had dd aged 6 months. I was still with him for 5 long years. It wasn't anything to do with money.

Lots of women leave when they are financially dependent on their partners. It might make things harder to lleave but having worked with women who are in abusive relationships it generally isn't the reason that's keeping them there.

It is about more than the money..It is about erosion of self esteem, isolation and a gradual wearing down of the normal boundaries.

Tiredemma Fri 03-Jan-14 15:29:27

Logg1e- I truly do not know and hope to God im never in the position to ever have to find out.

OP- I wish I had some valuable advice (you have had great advice on here though as I can see). My heart would break to see my DD in this predicament. I hope she finds the courage to get rid of him. You sound like wonderful parents. smile

Logg1e Fri 03-Jan-14 16:07:20

I'm failing to see what the relevance is of the financial independence emphasis?

It's not about the woman being financially dependent on the abuser or not. I picked up on it because another poster's solution was to bring the daughter home (whether she wanted to be brought home or not) and that this could be done because the daughter is financially dependent on them, the parents, at 20 years old. I think that this was worth questioning.

I agree Tired the OP has had some good advice (which I summarised above) for such a difficult and dangerous situation (I am another whose relative was murdered by a violent partner). I do hope OP continues posting.

Athrodiaeth Fri 03-Jan-14 18:28:20

20 is still so young. Can't you just keep her at home, tell her she's moving back in, and that man isn't coming near the house? Call the police. Save her, from herself if necessary. She can't climb out of the window. And if she can, glue it.

If she's financially dependent on you, cut off the cash. Bring her home! You can't keep financing her to live that life. She could be killed. Just bring her home.

Damnautocorrect Fri 03-Jan-14 18:50:36

I was her age in a manipulative abusive relationship. If my mum had dragged me back, had him beaten up. It would push me further to him, as I'd have felt they were taking my choice (all be it an awful one) away.
And yes it was a choice I was being manipulated into and a bad choice but its one I made and one I was prepared to stick to whatever. I was an adult making that decision
Now my mum did push me towards him with her attitude. Which did make the swallowing of pride to go home even harder. If my mum had played softer kept communication open I'd have gone sooner, but I had no support as I'd been so pushed away. Yes they came through in the end.

cjel Fri 03-Jan-14 19:21:51

DAMNAUTOCORRECT That is exactly the way we played it, I loved her home!! Sent loving texts, and cards and just supported her every way we could so that she felt she could come home. She did say that she had wanted to come back before but that everything we did had helped her.

Logg1e Fri 03-Jan-14 19:54:38

Athrodiaeth even presuming the OP's daughter is financially supported by her parents, do you not think that there's a danger of making the daughter even more dependent on the abuser if you remove financial support? Isn't it wiser, more supportive and more conducive to ending the relationship for parents to provide the phones and an escape fund?

innermuddle Sat 04-Jan-14 20:40:25

Thank you for all advice. Some really helpful advice here. I spent the day with her yesterday, and we agreed a safe word, and that she could get a taxi here any time that I would pay for. I've told her about mumsnet so hope she reads some of the threads.
She is not wanting to leave him, she think she loves him . I just hope she comes to her senses before he really hurts her. Some of the stories on here are terrifying.
For all those suggesting I do something or stop her going back there, do you really think that would work? I don't! She loves him and wants to be there. She has npt yet reached the point of knowing that he will not change and for her, right now, she believes that the good outweighs the bad. How would it help her to pressure her to leave him? She would just hate me and go back there anyway. My fear is if I make her angry and defensive she will be even more trapped by him, because she will stop talking to me about it. I'm just repeatedly telling her this is not normal, not ok, not her fault and she deserves better. And that I am here for her.
If I were to try ro lock her in her room, surely that is as bad as him abusing her. I ant to empower her to have the strength to leave. I think tbat can onky happen when she believes she deserves better. And realises that he will not change. Me forcing her to stay is not only illegalbut also reireinforcing the message that she is too immature or stupid to make hr own decisions. Everything he tells her, that I am trying to counteract.
Finally, although most of what has been said here has been helpful in firming my decision to keep him away from the house and to keep contact despite any obstacles he throws up, and verh helpful suggestions for practical help. The messages suggesting I am not protecting her or should just hit or hurt or kill him or whatever are really not helpful and quite upsetting. I am trying really hard to protect her but sont know how. I was looking for help from wiser souls with experience, not a message that I have in some way failed her by not acting violently to save her. I found that really difficult to read and so stopped reading to think about it. I think it was probably meant well, as an expression of empathetic horror at the situation. However it just made me feel really shit when I was already worried and upset.
Please consider this when offering advice in future, because I'm really glad I did come bavk to see the practical and helpful suggestions, I nearly didn't.

innermuddle Sat 04-Jan-14 20:46:05

Fairy thanks for sharing your story. Well done for having the strength to leave.
Can I ask, was it just you deciding enough was enough, that made you leave or was it an outside influence? Kust wondering if you have a suggestion for where to send her for information or was there something I could say to her that migt help?

Fairy1303 Sat 04-Jan-14 20:59:18

To be honest, I was chipping away for a while - I had tried to leave before.

Then I had DS, and for the first time I thought, it isn't just me anymore, I could put up with anything but he shouldn't have to.

I had planned a bit but thought I loved him and didn't want to leave my home etc, so always put it off.
Then he tried to strangle me. It wasn't the worst incident but it was the final straw. I think everyone has their "final straw" and I'm sorry but until she had this nothing you say will make her go, which is why you need to keep reinforcing that whenever she is ready, you will be there.

I have found MN so helpful, so much support, I'm not sure I could have done it without the support on here.

My best friend grew up with domestic violence and she helped convince me that this was not right.

She is welcome to message me if she wants, if you think it would help.

Women's aid are great too.

I hope she realises soon.

Logg1e Sat 04-Jan-14 21:21:07

Brilliant post at 20:40 OP full of clarity and honesty. I am full of admiration for how you are dealing with this and sincerely wish you a positive resolution soon.

filingdrivesmemad Sat 04-Jan-14 23:25:11

Can you go on a self defence course, practice the moves so you know them very well, and then, whenever you see her, pass on the teaching and suggest she also practices the moves in private, so she could remember them in an emergency. There is a current thread on relationships where posters gave tips on how to fight dirty when assaulted.

How about giving her some rape alarms - one for her bag, maybe one for upstairs and one for downstairs - hopefully you could find some which aren't actually labelled as such, and maybe briefing any "suitable" neighbours to be aware of the situation?

Perhaps give her 2 or 3 spare phones (could be pay as you go with a £20 credit) which she could conceal and never show him.

Make sure she knows how to apply first aid, and has multiple first aid supplies in the house

Make sure she has the phone number of her doctor and dentist readily available

Is there anyone here who is or knows an ex alcoholic who might be able to suggest some practical help as well, such as reading the signs, how to live with an alcoholic....?

Discuss with her what escape routes the house offers. (Similarly to the advice the fire service gives to look at your house and decide how you could escape in the case of fire).

starlight1234 Sat 04-Jan-14 23:42:57

You have had some great advise...DV is very hard to understand from the outside...It doesn't start with been punched in the face..It starts by breaking down confidence, self esteem and self worth.

I stayed with my abusive partner that got worse when I got pregnant ..My Ex got a caution for DV.....

I was chatting to a friend about DV today it was one little sentence that meant he had no understanding that my son was scared. not when he strangled me, locked me in the house, injured me so I couldn't go out...

With my friend it was the same the minute her daughter was involved she left...

two things I thought were helpful when I came to the descision to leave..

1 I was told someone was holding a phone number for me when I decided to leave

2- I was told to have an escapt plan which meant keeping important documents at a safe place as these give you rights to benefits, housing proving who you are....May be worth offering to store these for her..

Another thing she can go on a women aid course about understanding domestic abuse without having left there partner...These can really open up your eyes to what is abuse and she may realise she is been abused far more than she realises.

big hugs to you...I can't imagine how hard it is to wait for her to realise how abusive he is and be ready to leave

MeMySonAndI Sat 04-Jan-14 23:54:41

I don't know if this has already mentioned already but please remember that the reason why domestic violence can happen is because the victim has been stripped from every confidence and feelings of self worth and are unable not to blame themselves for the lousy behaviour of their partners.

Unfortunately, getting out of this frame of mind may take a lot of counselling, so be patient with her. She has no longer the strength to put a stop to this herself. I would try to find a way to get her more open to contact Women's Aid, or any other victim support group even I'd I I sunder the guise of helping her improve her relationship.

If the police is involved again, ask them to refer her for victim support. That may help her to little by little stoping blaming herself and see he partner for what really is.

MeMySonAndI Sat 04-Jan-14 23:56:35

I have to agree with the previous posts, that I was not really interested to seek help until the moment he started hurting our DS. That was when I finally got the confidence to act.

filingdrivesmemad Sun 05-Jan-14 00:08:20
this book was recommended on MN last year (I haven't read it, I found it by searching MN for a thread on alcoholism to see if I could find anything helpful)..It may contain some tips for you to share with her to make her life easier whilst she is still with him, nb I am suggesting this is a read for you not her (as it seems to be about how to stay with an alcoholic partner and no one wants that for her) I am not suggesting you give it to her, just that it discusses how to live with an alcoholic and you might find something of practical help in it

Oh, OP, I too thought I was failing my daughter (and a few people I know thought it too), or worse, think I didn't mind hmm

Believe me, I thought of looking for some heavies to send round and I'm a very peace-loving non-confrontational person. But let's face it, unless the bastard is so tortured into being terrified to ever talk to your daughter again, it ain't going to work plus she'd hate you for it. Plus it's illegal - so I too tired of those posts advocating violence.

You're doing all the right things. As I said before - it worked for my dd, just hang in there x

ThingsThatGoBumpInTheNight Sun 05-Jan-14 01:34:40

I think to be fair people 'advocating' violence aren't thinking in that way. We all know we'd theoretically kill to protect our children, the reality often isn't that black and white.

Probably like me, they're shuddering reading those words (I have a dd of the same age as op) and thanking their lucky stars that it's not their baby, flesh and blood yadda yadda as it's so scary to think about it sad
Also when you think that this poor girl could end up being a statistic (without making THAT point) and then we'd all be mortified.

Until put in the position of dd being abused I always said I would rip balls off and feed them to a child abuser. The reality was utterly and painfully grey area.

Op I think you're doing the right thing. I hope your baby comes back to you soon and I cried when I read your earlier post which was very thoughtful, and insightful. You sound like a great mum. Often wonder how we bring up these lovely kids, kind and caring, and they go and meet someone who is their polar opposite and they seem to want to stick with them, in the vain hope they can 'fix' the person. sad

Aussiemum78 Sun 05-Jan-14 04:54:30

Definitely get her the Lundy Bancroft book.

A different suggestion: can you manufacture a family holiday that will get her out of the situation for a few weeks? It may just give her the break and the perspective to be able to get away.

Does she have friends her own age? Maybe even organise for her to go away with one of them? A trip of a lifetime?? A chance to hang out with normal people her own age and enjoy herself and realise how dysfunctional her relationship is.

Part of the "not moving home" is that she wants to feel grown up and in a grown up relationship of her choosing. maybe giving her another grown up experience away from him might redefine things for her.

cjel Sun 05-Jan-14 09:38:46

I think its a waiting game and you have to continue doing what you are doing and keep showing her you are still there. We did manage to get ours on a family holiday abroad and though it had been great but as soon as she could she called to tell him to pick her up when we got homesad. It was only a few weeks after though when I got the late night call could she' pop up ' of course I said yes where are you? she said outside inthe carsmile she came back to live with us but it took a year or so after for her to finish with him for good, that was over 10 years ago now and a distant memoryx

cjel Sun 05-Jan-14 09:40:48

Also wanted to say I don't rate Lundys book, I left H and was recommended it and found it didn't say anything I needed to hear and kept expecting it to get good and it never did!! Not sure it would have made any sense at 20. I found stuff from the freedom programme better.

qazxc Sun 05-Jan-14 10:07:14

Please ask her to get in contact with DV charities as they could advise her. If she won't you could get her leaflets.
Some things that i remember being reccomended were:
Safe words
Try and smuggle out any important papers from house (for her and DC if she has any) ie passports, spare car key, bank statements, etc... so that if she decides to run she already has them somewhere safe
Try and have an emergency fund that he does not know about
Try and have some clothes, nappies, any necessaries smuggled out
The above could be kept at your house so that he doesn't find them, that means if she does have to do a runner she at least has some of the necessaries.
most importantly if he is violent, threatens violence, she thinks he is about to be violent; she should leave immediately (just leg it, never mind handbags, bank cards, any of the above, just hot tail it to yours). Let her know that your home is a safe haven and the door will always be open to her.

DV organisations should also be able to help you and give you advice.

Roussette Sun 05-Jan-14 10:33:45

Innermuddle... I just want to offer my support. I think you are doing all the right thing. I have read this thread with a sick feeling in my stomach because I know what I would be going through if this were my DCs (and I have DDs a similar age).

Whilst the initial reaction would be wanting to rip his balls off and pickle them in a jar, I know that those that offer restraint as advice are 100% right. I could not welcome the apology for a man into my house and I also could not even look at him because I know I wouldn't be responsible for my actions if I were to meet him. My revulsion would be very obvious. So I think what you are doing (i.e. the long term plan) is totally right.

I think all the practical ideas on here are brilliant (safe words, phones, secret money, important papers stored for her etc) but I also wondered about a holiday of some sort. What about offering to take her to a Spa for a few days? Just you and her? You could say to her that it won't be a break where you are going on about 'him' (believe me, she will know it isn't right, however at this age her love for him transcends the violence) but that it will be a chance for you both to have some beauty treatments and pampering together. If she were to do that with you, the contrast between the lovely time you have together and Real Life will be STARK. It just might be such a contrast that it might make her think, next time he hits out at her.

Whatever you do, you have to keep her onside and you are doing a brilliant job at that. Alienating her by forcing her to do something, dragging her home, bashing him up etc... will not work, tempting though it is. But it's a kneejerk reaction isn't it?

I can only begin to imagine what you are going through. My one dread with my DDs is that they might meet someone like this so my heart goes out to you.

innermuddle Sun 05-Jan-14 11:10:21

Thanks again everyone. I love the idea of organising a holiday to give her some normality. I will try this. I have been taking her out for nice days to cheer her up. He keeps her on a very short lead, and makes it difficult for her yo relax by calling her or telling her she needs to be back to make his dinner etc. It is painful watching her growing more and more anxius and losing her confidence.
Starlight, what you said about dv not starting with a slap reareally struck a cord. I think that is,in some ways, the hardest part to witness, the slow erosion of her confidence and losing her funny bubbly character.
I will continue to do as I am doing, and hope it changes for her soon. It really helps to hear the stories of others who have come through this.

Kitttty Thu 09-Jan-14 13:48:57

Dear Innermuddle - I am really sorry and shocked with what you and your daughter are going through. I am on another thread with a much, much milder story - but similar advice. However if you look at what manaboutthemansion did to resolve his situation - it is quite inspiring. No violence - just words - achieved the end of that relationship. What terrifies me is that my personal experience is that these types of relationships seem to be the most enduring. My db and dc have been in one for 20+ years. It seems that the abuser strips the victim of all self confidence and traps them with invisible handcuffs.

bordellosboheme Thu 09-Jan-14 14:05:01

Wow, get her out of there, before he kills her. Seriously. Take some big strong men with you. She will thank you for it. Do not stand by and watch this happen, simply enabling by replacing her phone.

ReallyTired Thu 09-Jan-14 14:30:45


I am sorry that you and your daughter are going through this situation. I think you are very wise and have more understanding than many posters. You are right that your daughter is an adult and to treat her as any different would be distructive. It would be illegal to get a bunch of heavies to beat up your daughter's asailent.

I was in a similar position to your daughter at the age of 19. It is a very common pattern for the violent partner to attempt to cut off his victim from the outside world. The victim's confidence is stripped by the pychological abuse as much as the violence. The outside world compounds horrendous lack of confidence by telling the victim of domestic violence that she is stupid for not leaving him.

I think that domestic violent victims find it hard to leave because their brain goes into basic survial mode. In caveman times it was certain death to leave the tribe and go it alone in the jungle. When someone is socially isolated then their abuser becomes their tribe on a sub concious level. Surival instinct is not to annoy the abuser and concentrates on staying alive for the next five minutes. Being under such a high level of stress makes it impossible for a domestic violence victim to think clearly however bright she is. It is similar to stockholm syndrome.

Does your daughter have any friends from school or work? If you can help your daughter to rebuild her social networks then she will find it easier to leave the abusive relationship. I can understand why you are replacing your daughter's phone and I would do the same. I would make it clear to your daughter that she is always welcome to reverse the charges if she wants to phone you.

Logg1e Thu 09-Jan-14 17:48:46

Bordello, She will thank you for it.


Nojustalurker Thu 09-Jan-14 17:54:45

Sorry I have not read all the posts so this may have been suggested. You could ring the national donestic violence helpline. They are open 24/7 and and support for victims and family and friend of victims of domestic violence .

0808 2000 247

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