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Domestic violence - how can we help our friend?

(11 Posts)
NotInMyBackYard1 Mon 13-Mar-17 22:02:14

DH and I have a friend who is regularly being beaten up by his girlfriend. She started by throwing a few punches his way when she was drunk, every now and again. This has escalated - last weekend she saw him on the dance floor talking to another girl, came storming over, grabbed him by his hair and punched him in the face several times.
Every time, he comes to my DH for advice, maintains it is 'make or break' they are going to work at their relationship, and things go back to normal again a few days later. They live together, next door to her parents which makes it very tricky for him to extricate himself.
The nature of his employment is a very 'lads' culture - meaning that he is basically torn apart and teased massively for being attacked by his girlfriend, for example his colleagues tag him in Facebook memes all about his girlfriend being more 'man' than him and so on. Now he goes along with this and laughs and then changes the subject, but really I imagine he is devastated and trapped and can't get himself out. I don't know how we can help him. Any ideas please?

JK1773 Mon 13-Mar-17 22:16:28

His colleagues are really not helping are they. DV against men is just as bad as against women, they wouldn't tolerate a female colleague being treated like this. Sadly their reactions will be making it harder for him, thank goodness he has you for support. It takes on average over 30 physical attacks before most people speak out, it's probably more for men, I'm not sure. Still such a taboo. I think practically all you can do is let him know you are there supporting him and offer him a bolthole if needed. Don't judge him when he doesn't leave otherwise he might withdraw from you. There is a charity called Mankind he might seek some support from but he needs to be ready to do that. He's lucky to have your support

TheMysteriousJackelope Mon 13-Mar-17 22:22:16

Let him know that he can come around to your place any time he needs to get away from his girlfriend. It has to make a difference knowing that there is a place of safety he can go to rather than having to wander the streets or check into a hotel.

NotInMyBackYard1 Mon 13-Mar-17 22:26:24

Exactly - he just won't retaliate either, "doesn't believe in hitting women" so he just takes a beating. The dozen times we know about I'm sure are just the tip of the iceberg. I'm really scared for him.
Thank you for the info on Mankind, I will tell DH to pass it on to him covertly. Of course she checks his phone, his Facebook, he has been told to remove me from his allowed friends. I'm obviously a threat hmm

redexpat Tue 14-Mar-17 09:10:18

How linked are they financially?

You could allow him access to the internet at your house on your pc or tablet or whatever so she doesnt see his internet searches, set up a new bank account for his escape fund.

You can allow him to keep a bag of possessions at yours including important documents like passport birth cert etc.

You can allow him to stay with you when he leaves.

You could find him some litreture on abusive relationships so he can see it for what it is.

If you are with him when she attacks him you could video it. Take pics of any bruises etc.

redexpat Tue 14-Mar-17 09:11:33

Oh and you can get him a cheap payg phone to keep in the bag.

hellsbellsmelons Tue 14-Mar-17 10:52:49

Why can't he just leave?
What is stopping him from doing just that?
Do they have DC together?
Could you help him find a flat so he can move out when he is ready?
He could also report the abuse to the police on 101.
That would be a big step and one towards leaving.

MagentaRocks Tue 14-Mar-17 11:09:54

I would imagine the reason he can't 'just leave' is a long time of conditioning and abuse. The same reason women don't 'just leave' abusive relationships.

If it was that easy then no-one would ever remain in an abusive relationship.

NotInMyBackYard1 Tue 14-Mar-17 20:15:27

They rent a place together currently - all the bills and so on are in his name and allegedly all the furniture is hers. So he's scared to leave and end up with nothing and no place to live and no possessions. She will no doubt burn or destroy everything he has unless he can move some stuff away whilst she is at work.
He rationalises it all afterwards of course, makes excuses, tolerates it. I am scared for him, he has no confidence, can't bear to upset her. I quote 'she's the best I'm ever going to get' it is terrifying to see. This previously confident chatty friendly guy has turned into a shell of his former self. There is no light in his eyes. No laughter. I wish he could just leave hells we have been suggesting that for the last 2 years.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Tue 14-Mar-17 20:33:52


You are too invested. Really. You can't make him see the light. You can't get him to choose to leave. Your DH shouldn't try to be his therapist. Step back.

Be his friend not his life coach. He has to make his own choices. When he is ready he will walk away. You cannot make him be ready, no matter how desperately you want to.

It is horrible watching it happen, I know, but only he can make himself be ready to change his world.

dangerrabbit Tue 14-Mar-17 20:37:45

Sorry to hear about your friend's situation. This website may be of interest to him:

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