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Abusive stepdad - what to do?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
My friend's stepdad hits her and also calls her horrible names and is generally mean to her. This started quite a long time ago, but incidents have thankfully become fewer. I do my best to support my friend, and I encourage her to tell a responsible adult about what is going on. However, she is not seeking help other than talking to me, and I personally think she needs to get more help than what I can offer.

I don't know if I should tell someone about what is happening - I don't want to damage her trust in me, in case this causes her to feel that I have betrayed her, and she has no one to confide in, but it is unbearable just to sit by and allow it to happen. I know that she doesn't want me to get anyone involved, as I have offered to do so in the past, but I think that I should prioritise her safety.

What do you think I should do?

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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hi
    Personally, i would prioritise her safety as well... she may hate you for it initially but i would hope would come round to the fact that you would rather see your friend safe and well than.. well, battered and bruised... abuse is serious and needs intervention.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    you need to decide which is more important - keeping your friendship or your friend's safety, because you might not be able to have both. if it was my friend I think I would rather tell someone and run the risk of her never speaking to me again than do nothing and end up visiting her one day in intensive care.

    if you decide to tell someone then you should try again to persuade her to get help herself first. maybe if you suggested someone specific that could help (teacher? your parents? an older friend?) and offer to help her tell them then she might agree to it. if she still won't get help and you are very worried then you have to make that choice, and be prepared for her to hate you for a while or even forever.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks for your replies. When I next see her, I'll talk to her about getting help for this, and I'll try to find someone I think she may be able to confide in. If she does not come round to the idea I'll tell my parents.

    My biggest fear is that she will deny it - in the past when I have asked her if she would like me to tell someone on her behalf, she said that she would just say it wasn't true.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Call the nspcc on 0808 800 5000 and they have trained counsellors who you can talk to and discuss whether this needs to be raised further or not. The way abusers get away with it is because of the wall of silence they create through intimidation and control.

    But do give them a call to get their advice, you can even call anonymously if you want to. The worst thing is for nobody to speak out for your friend, because she isn't able to speak out for herself.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Brilliant, thank you, ShyBoy :)
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    how old is she? Can she move out?
    What is her mums role in this?
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    She is 17 and would like to move out, but says she can't. Her mum is fully aware of it, but takes no action to stop it and in the past would even join in.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If she is fleeing violence, she may be able to be housed.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Unfortunately you can take a horse to water, but you cant make it drink.

    Youre offering support to her, and youre providing a listening ear. There is support available to her, but she has to want to seek it too. She is an adult really, and if as you say, her mum is just as bad as her dad, then her priority should be getting out of the situation somehow and making a break from these toxic parents.

    I wonder if the womens refuge would be able to help


    A lot of areas have a Youth enquiry Service who will offer housing advice, support, and free counselling.
    That would be worth googling with your area name to try and find the nearest one.

    Also Contact your local council for free housing advice
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If she is fleeing violence, she may be able to be housed.

    Yes and especially as she is under 18 she would be a priority. While I wasn't feeling voilence I was housrd within two weeks when I was 17.
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