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How much to help?

(76 Posts)
Sleepingbunnies Tue 04-Nov-14 11:18:11

Some of you may remember a while ago my friend was attacked by her partner (he bit her!!) and I took her in for all of a day and she went back etc.

She has messaged me this morning saying she needs my help.

I am going to sound like an unbelievable bitch now but I don't know if I have the energy to help again. Added complication if her telling me she has met someone else. I want her to leave him I truly do but I can't spend weeks of my life again worrying and feeling sick etc when Iv got a family that need me too sad

I feel awful

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 04-Nov-14 11:27:24

It's not being a bitch to be reluctant to put yourself back in the line of fire. You have to take care of #1, you've got people who rely on you and sometimes that means taking a step back. In your shoes I would tell your friend to call places like Womens Aid, the police, Social Services etc. You can even explain that you think her problems are too serious for you to deal with and that she needs professionals..... which is probably true.

Sleepingbunnies Tue 04-Nov-14 11:37:51

I know she wouldn't call any of those places. I know what he's going to do if he finds out someone else is on the scene sad

AnyFawker Tue 04-Nov-14 11:40:33

She is playing with fire and inviting you into the blaze

Stay out of it. She is a grown up and making her own choices. Advise her if you wish, but do it from a distance.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 04-Nov-14 11:43:29

You are not equipped to stand between a victim and an abuser and you are not to put her safety and wellbeing above your own. What is she actually asking you to do this time? If you tell her to call in the professionals your obligation will have been met. If she doesn't call, you can call them yourself and your obligation would also have been met.

AMumInScotland Tue 04-Nov-14 11:43:53

Your first priority is to yourself and your family. If your friend won't seek out proper help for herself against a violent partner, then there is very little you actually can do to help her. You can only be sympathetic and put yourself in the firing line - that might seem noble, but actually it won't help her in the slightest.

Maybe you can help her better by being tough and realistic here, and tell her firmly that she needs to get proper advice.

Sleepingbunnies Tue 04-Nov-14 11:48:58

I think she is angling for my spare room while she 'sorts her head out' Iv told her to be careful and that I think she needs some time on her own and not to jump in with another guy too quickly.

Sleepingbunnies Tue 04-Nov-14 11:50:02

DP won't be happy, last time he said that he wouldn't help her again because she doesn't help herself. I don't feel like I could turn my back on her. What if something awful happened because I didn't help?!

SaucyMare Tue 04-Nov-14 11:53:24

i read somewhere it take people on average 7 attempts to leave an abusive partner.
was it such hard work having her in your house for 1 night?
it took the person i know many times to do it properly, each time she got a bit further than last time, but without help none of the attempts would have got started.

Sleepingbunnies Tue 04-Nov-14 11:56:01 Previous post, don't know if the link has worked

Sleepingbunnies Tue 04-Nov-14 12:14:59

I know saucy I want to help her, I really do, I just think I am out of my depth!

AnyFawker Tue 04-Nov-14 12:20:26

Yes, you are out of your depth. You have no training in supporting someone in such a precarious position. The people that do have support of their own, supervision of their practice and the ability to be one step removed.

They are also not risking the safety of their own family and putting strain on their own relationships.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 04-Nov-14 12:22:51

Last time you helped her you were, in your own words 'worrying and feeling sick'. I'm sure that's influencing your DP's response as well. It's not helping you to feel worried sick, it won't help you to piss off your DP and none of it would be helping her. If she needs a place to stay this is your chance to talk to her about getting into a refuge. Not because you don't care but because you do care and it's the right place for someone like that to be.

ruddygreattiger Tue 04-Nov-14 12:35:57

Just read the thread above, Sleeping. There is no way you or your family should be put in harms way which is what you experienced last time. Yes you want to help so give her the contact details provided above and stay out of it, I also imagine your husband would be furious to be put in that position again.
You have gone above and beyond being a good friend in the past but now the time has come for her to contact professionals to help.
Good luck to your friend.

Sleepingbunnies Tue 04-Nov-14 14:13:35

Iv spoken to her and she is making her plans to leave but she needs somewhere to go. The council won't house her straight away and she said she couldn't go to 'one of those places' meaning a refuge. I am at a loss now.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 04-Nov-14 14:17:04

Stick to your guns & try to persuade her to go to a refuge. If you sound in two minds she'll push to stay at your place so you have to be firm but kind and tell her that's not an option on the table.

Viviennemary Tue 04-Nov-14 14:21:44

Stay out of it. You tried to help her once and she wouldn't be helped. The chances are she won't be helped this time either and you will end up frazzled and drained. If she wants help she should go to the appropriate people like Women's Aid or Refuge. Don't offer her your home or else you'll be posting here in a while saying how can you get rid of her because she has nowhere to go. Absolutely no no no and no again!!

heyday Tue 04-Nov-14 14:25:48

A refuge is the only safe place for her. I know several women who have protested heavily at the thought of entering one but having had recent involvement with one I can assure you that they are good places and she will receive all the help she needs to make decisions regarding her life. Having been in the firing line of somebody else's violent, threatening partner I can only plead with you not to get involved. I have been scarred for life by his words and actions and I have no peace in my life now so please, please don't get too heavily involved.
This is a complex situation and it needs professionals to help her as they have the knowledge, contacts and safety that is needed in these sort of situations.

Alchemist Tue 04-Nov-14 14:35:26

Please stay out of it now. You have done so much for your friend but you must protect you and your family.

Unfortunately I was in a similar situation in the summer which ended with the DP of my friend forcing his was into my house, screaming he was going to fucking batter, rape and murder me. And then set fire to my children. This was infront of his partner (who was trying to protect me), my children and her children.

It was horrific. I had to tell my friend to stay away for a bit. She did and went back sad.

Sleepingbunnies Tue 04-Nov-14 14:54:30

She has asked for 3 nights tops at our house while she finds a place to stay.

My DP has said no and I am torn between wanting her out of the situation and not upsetting my DP. How is she ever going to her away if no one helps?

ruddygreattiger Tue 04-Nov-14 15:19:32

Sleeping, you have tried helping her in the past and have given all the details of all the refuges/professionals that can help her, you have done all you possibly can but now is the time for her to help herself and not put your family at risk!

Just Imagine you do let her stay for 3 nights, her partner will know and you and your family will be in the firing line - again. Please take notice of what other posters have said above - they speak from experience! Keep your distance, you can not make decisions for her.

heyday Tue 04-Nov-14 15:32:34

Wise words ruddy.
Your friend has nowhere to stay. So, what if she stays with you for 3 nights. Then what? In 3 days she still won't have anywhere to stay and you will be 'lumbered' with her (for want of a better word) and all her problems AND all the men in her life.
Obviously you have to make your own decision but don't forget that on average 2 women are murdered by their partner/ex partner every week. You have no guarantee that he is not in this category. The world of DV is scary and can be very very frightening indeed. Believe me. Once he knows where you live and that you are sheltering her he will turn up at your home. Do you really want to put your family at risk? This is the only question that you have to ask yourself as you are not responsible for your friend. She alone is responsible for her own safety and must make the right choices to ensure her safety as that is not your role in life. She has chosen not to go to refuge etc so it's not far of her to ask you to offer sanctuary instead. You simply don't have the qualifications and contacts to be able to help her long term or really even in the short term.

Sleepingbunnies Tue 04-Nov-14 15:46:43

That's my thinking heyday how wouldn't live with myself if she became one of the two next week/ the week after?

I know you are all right. I have to tell her no.

ruddygreattiger Tue 04-Nov-14 15:49:55

Be firm, Sleeping, you and your family comes first.

heyday Tue 04-Nov-14 16:03:20

I know you might feel a bit mean but honestly, sometimes we have to hit rock bottom before we make tough decisions to really change our life and perhaps, if nobody will help, her then she will reach her own rock bottom and decide to seek proper, professional help.
There is some excellent advice on mumsnet too about how to support a friend experiencing DA. I typed in Domestic abuse into search bar and some good stuff came up, some of which may be of help to you as you try to support her.

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