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How do you help someone who is in an abusive relationship?

(13 Posts)
HeinousHecate Mon 22-Oct-12 16:08:34

Who says she still loves him after telling you how last night he strangled her, suffocated her, punched her in the face, threw her daughter across the room and punched her son in the face.

She is a mess. her confidence is zero, she doesn't think she deserves better, she says that he only does it when drunk.

I have told her that she is a wonderful, kind, generous, lovely person and she does not deserve this and her children do not deserve this!

She asked the children if they wanted him to leave! and they said no. I said that she can't put that decision on to children.

I said some other stuff that, on reflection, was bloody awful and unhelpful and I want to avoid repeating that mistake, so I am asking for help.

CailinDana Mon 22-Oct-12 16:17:00

I know this sounds harsh but what I would do is tell her that you're calling social services and reporting that the children are being abused. I do sympathise with someone being downtrodden by an abusive relationship but I can't abide a parent not standing up for their children.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Mon 22-Oct-12 16:19:53

Call social services. The children are being PUNCHED and thrown across the room ffs.

Normally I advise to listen and empathise with partners of abusers, and give them time to gather confidence and courage to leave.

In this case, having heard what you have heard, I think you have a duty to report to SS for the children's sake.

SirSugar Mon 22-Oct-12 16:23:05

You need to make a call to either police or SS before he seriously injures one of them, or even worse.

Don't sit on it

redadmiralsinthegarden Mon 22-Oct-12 16:23:24

i agree, poster. you have no choice but to report this to Social Services. The children need you to do this.

HeinousHecate Mon 22-Oct-12 16:27:04

I've already done that. Anonymously. As soon as I got home. What I want is to know how to help her. I said some really unhelpful things and got angry with her blush which was awful.

I asked her that when her daughters come to visit with black eyes, because they learned that that's ok in a relationship, how is she going to feel.

and I could shoot myself for asking that. That's as good as saying it's her fault. Which it is NOT and I don't think it is.

I want to know how I can help her to see that this is not love. Someone who loves you doesn't do this to you.

CailinDana Mon 22-Oct-12 16:29:19

You can't make her see anything unfortunately OP, you can only be there for her as much as you can. It is incredibly frustrating seeing someone in this position who doesn't seem able to help themselves. I just hope SS gets on the case quick smart and that that gives her the kick up the bum she needs to finally break free.

izzyizin Mon 22-Oct-12 16:50:56

Your question is valid as no woman living in the UK is compelled to stay in a violent relationship and in choosing to do so she is leaving herself open to the accusation that she is complicit in the abuse that is inflicted on her.

It is to be hoped that a visit from SS will concentrate your friend's mind on the longer term effect her dysfunctional lifestyle has had and will continue to have on her unfortunate dc who are also being subjected to violent assaults by the unloveable twunt she 'loves'.

Your friend should also give consideration to the fact that numerous men who have behaved violently towards others are currently guests of Her Majesty because ONE PUNCH CAN KILL.

If your friend can't live without being this twunt's punchbag so be it, but if he 'only does it when he's drunk' wtf doesn't she take steps to secure the safety of her dc when she knows he's on the piss?

The bottom line is you can't help your friend until she's willing to help herself and, sadly, many women have gone early to their graves before they were ready to take that step.

SoleSource Mon 22-Oct-12 20:17:08

SS quick

Him or her DD choice should get her to see sense.

Dahlen Mon 22-Oct-12 20:26:20

You can't really. It's a bad situation and that's all there is to it. What you can do is take control on her behalf, which is what you've done by calling SS. IME it often takes several months away from the abuser before the woman starts to see his behaviour in any way approaching normal for the rest of us. Even those who have the courage to leave and recognise that what's happening is wrong will still minimise a lot of the behaviour.

All you can do in this situation is be there for her. Sympathise. Reiterate it's not her fault. Tell her it's wrong and it sucks that she has to take responsibility for the abuse ending rather than her abuser stopping what he's doing, but point out that that's the reality - and she has to do it for her DC's sake if not her own. Don't blame her if she's unable to do it, but don't escuse it either IYSWIM.

Sorry you're in this situation. It's horrible.

suburbophobe Mon 22-Oct-12 20:35:00

Yes, call SS.

These children are being horribly abused (her too).

Doesn't sound like she can do it, so you have to.....

{I could not stand by and hear that and not do anything}

peppapiggy Mon 22-Oct-12 20:50:00

yes about ss

but giving her info on abusive relationships could be helpful - zoe lodrick- very good at explaining what being in an abusive relationship (her work mostly sexual but feel psychology applies to any abuse ) does to you and why you stay and still love him - knowledge gives power. She will have been isolated by him enough over the years so be there for her and don't judge - or else it will become us against them for him and her. Lundy Bancroft good too.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 23-Oct-12 08:23:52

You'd done the right thing even if you think what you said was unhelpful. I don't think anything you can say will get through to someone who has decided to tolerate the behaviour you describe and therefore you are right to take it out of your hands and her hands and put it into the hands of the authorities. I would go a step further and suggest you also alert the police.

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