Friend and a violent partner - WWYD?(40 Posts)
Throwaway user for obvious reasons.
I have had suspicions that my friend's DP has been abusive but did not mention it to anyone in case I was way off the mark. She stopped coming out with friends, became very withdrawn and cancelling plans at the last minute. A few weeks ago she came out for a few drinks as her DP was at a stag do abroad. She admitted to me after quite a few drinks that he had been violent in the past. She went as far as to tell me that he had punched her in the face and pinned her against a wall by the throat. Her DP has a history of being violent when he was younger and regularly ended up in trouble for fighting in pubs but seemed to have turned over a new leaf. You could not meet a nicer man in a social setting - he's liked by almost everyone he meets.
Since then I have tried to speak to her about the violence and she is acting like it did not happen. She has told me she regrets telling me about it and that I should mind my own business. I am scared for her safety. She will not go to the police and will not speak to anyone.
Has anyone been in a situation like this? I don't have the slightest clue what protocol is in situations like these. Can I go on with my life and pretend this isn't happening? Should I report it and jepordise our friendship/her safety?
Don't report it. As hard as it is it's not your place to rescue your friend, she needs to get herself into a position to be able to leave by her own volition. It may take years, it may never happen but it's far more complex than just reporting and that will solve the problem. If anything you reporting would make things so much worse for her and she'd no longer feel able to trust and confide in you (even if only when drunk). Be her friend, be available and support her. Listen to her but don't criticise. She needs support and understanding.
Its a difficult one. Unless she is willing to comply if you contact the police theres not much point. If she is going to cover for him and he finds out she told you she could be in a worse situation.
That being said... i couldnt stand by knowing what i know. Can you speak to her about womens aid. If she wants to help her make an exit plan. If you feel she is in real danger ir she reaches out to you again then call the police and tell them what she told you and her concerns.
If she chooses not to be your friend because of it is neither here nor there. It doesnt matter. One day she will be greatful you did what you did.
Have a good think and talk to her first and re assess the situation. Tread carefully so as not to provoke her other half.
Bless you for caring OP.
Put simply there isn't a lot you can do but be there for her until she does realise what a git he is. Take it from someone who lived it, In time she will find her strength to kick him out but she don't want to see it as it is, DV
There is nothing at all you can do for her, unless she is ready to do anything for herself.
I think all you can really do is keep an eye out. Let her know you're there for her and if she needs help she can rely on you. shes not likely to leave before she's good and ready.
Just keep letting her know you are open to helping her, you're not judging her and just keep gently supporting and influencing her.
Just let her know you are there for her under any circumstances, and without any judgement.
All you can do it be there for her. Don't push her on the subject because she may block you out completely but let her know that you are there for her.
The bit where he is nice in social settings .. They usually are.
Sorry posted too soon . . OP the withdrawing is probably him . They do this , they drive a wedge between you and friends, they put you down constantly , your poor DFs self esteem is probably on the floor .
Its good she has opened up to you . for you both
it doesn't take a phone call or a punch in the face to make someone leave a DV situation - it takes self-esteem. Making her feel stupid or judged for staying will only make things worse. As others have said, let her know that you care about her, without being patronising remind her how awesome she is and hopefully she will get there before he does anything even worse
Just be present, stay in her life, even when she's pushing you away never close the door and always remember that when people are in relationships like this the EA/PV partner is trying their damndest to erase all of the things in their partners life they see as posing a "threat".
Just hope she comes to her senses before long and do not antagonise her by mentioning what she told you again.
What a terrible situation for your friend to be in contact womens aid for advice or look on the website reporting to the police imo is a waste of time she will deny it what i said to a friend of mine when thishappened to her was . You don't have to stay with him this isn't your fault and if you need my help call me. My friend took years to leave him
I agree with feed me. If you keep on you'll loose her as a friend and she will have no one. Just be there for her when she is ready
Whatever you do just be supportive but don't pressurise her too much. Also be careful if you're at her house etc.
Reason being - my mum years ago had a close friend who had a violent boyfriend. They'd all been out suddenly he got violent towards the close friend, my mum a bit foolishly told him not to behave that way, he punched my mum on ear perforating her eardrum and needing hospital.
They begged my mum not to go to the police but years later and my mum no longer friends with her friend she wishes she had gone to the police. He was/is a nasty man.
Don't report it. Tell her that you trust her judgement and you believe her that she is safe, even if this isn't true. You could let her know that if that ever changes and she doesn't feel safe she can tell you. You could quietly research local DV organisations so you have the info to hand in case she asks for it.
Does she have children? Because while an individual in a violent relationship absolutely has to decide for themselves when it's time to leave, if there are children in the equation this changes things IMO.
If it's just her then I would just be there fore her although encouragement to leave when she is ready should be talked about if nothing else. But if there were children I would have to speak to SS about my concerns for their safety.
Thanks for all of the quick responses.
You have confirmed what I originally thought - stay supportive and don't involve the police. I am still terrified something will happen to her and I could have stopped it.
There are no children involved but I have the impression he is pushing for children and she is not keen on the idea. She is only 25 and has been with DP for 3 years.
Hopefully she can eventually move on from this and live a great life with someone who treats her well.
Is she on social media ? Can you share some general information from DV organisations on your own SM just filtering it onto her but not directly iyswim then you are not saying it and she won't clam up be subtle about it.
A friend of DM, I'll call her A, was hit by her H after five days of marriage. She stayed with him, and still is, over 50 years later. He's in his 80's and in poor health (I think it's a shame he's not dead) and yet still he threatens her and is vile to her. I could cheerfully put him in the ground.
DM has talked about it with A (A had been married for about 10 years when DM first met her) and she just can't/won't leave. The one time she came close, her two adult daughters dissuaded her; apparently the older one said that it was the thing she's proudest of in her life.
He is a blight on her and has ruined her life. She's exhausted. And this is what your friend faces. All I can suggest is that you keep talking to her, take your lead from her, and hope that she escapes her abuser, (and encourage her to, if you can) but don't expect her to.
Maybe just focus on the children angle then without being pushy. It's always a bad idea to have children with someone you're not sure about but clearly worse to do so with a person with a history of violence. If she's 25 she has loads of time.
Apologies for the link fail, but it sounds like your friend needs to see this:
Perhaps the girl in this video never thought it would happen to her, but it did.
for you and your friend
I don't think there is much you can do, unless she was willing to comply. All you can do, is let her know you are there for her.
Personally I would let her know that you're there for her but put no pressure on her to do anything. Try and stay in contact with her, even if it's just a text or email about something funny that happened.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.