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Friend in Abusive Relationship

"My Friend Is in Abusive Relationship"

This question is from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

I'm very concerned for the physical safety and mental health of my friend. She started seeing this guy about five months ago. Two months into their relationship, he cheated on her. She accepted this and justified this because she had moved away for school (only an hour away) and he was convinced she was cheating on him. Shortly after discovering his infidelity, she learned he had been in prison for five years for aggravated assault. He won't tell the exact details but on her own she has uncovered some very unsettling things. He raped a 58-year-old woman and put someone in a coma and yet, these things don't seem to scare her the way they scare me and my friends. Recently I was at her house and she was changing in front of me and I saw a big, mottled green bruise that looked suspiciously like fingerprints. When I asked her about it, she said she fell down the stairs. I'm not stupid, but I didn't pry. Yesterday, she was changing again and I saw bruising all down her arms and back. She finally admitted that he had started beating her. She said she asked him why he did it and he laughed and said, "Because you deserve it. You are worthless." I've known for some time he is verbally abusive; he calls her things like "dumb c**t" and "stupid b***h".

I've only met him three times and find him highly antisocial. He refuses to make eye contact or converse with anyone. On top of that, he has told my friend he hates me because the first time we met we were at a bar and I had been drinking. If she so much as has a sip of an alcoholic beverage, he freaks out on her and tells her she has no control.


She has talked about this situation in depth with myself and a few friends. We have all been frank and told her we're worried for her safety and that this relationship is abusive. She is aware of the perils she is putting herself in by staying with him but refuses to take any steps that might help her leave him. She says she is scared of being alone but she doesn't feel happy with him. We've pleaded with her to leave him but she won't. Today we finally told her we couldn't listen to this anymore because she knows how wrong this is and justifies his behavior and further instills his mantra of her worthlessness by staying with him. I feel like that was the wrong thing but I am so worried about her. I really feel like he is dangerous and honestly, I don't even feel safe with him in my life. Is there anything I can do?

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Image Source: Shutterstock
totygoliguez totygoliguez 5 years
He is a dangerous man, and your friend needs help. This is a though situation because if you get too involved he could do something to you, but at the same situation she is your friend. I would suggest having a one-on-one conversation with her. Ask her what she is afraid of, and suggest to her to work on her demons--it's obvious that your friend has her own demons that she needs to address. Suggest therapy. Tell her that asking for help is OK. Because this is a situation where your safety is jeopardize, I would suggest to stay away from the boyfriend as much as possible. Try not to be around the places he is.
gailseiler gailseiler 5 years
bubbles i agree with you 100%. in my earlier post i did warn her that he will blame her if his girl starts going out. she will get a beating and her friend is is some serious danger too. this guy is a sicko and she needs to stay away from him. her friend can take phone calls from her, maybe? this guy is a creep and wouldn't hesitate to hurt the friend also.
Bubbles12 Bubbles12 5 years
You need to worry about yourself. This guy is off the charts dangerous. Stay away from them both. Explain to her that you're distancing yourself from the situation to protect yourself against violence. That might be a wake up call she needs and you're setting up an example of self-care.
bengalspice bengalspice 5 years
@sourcherry: understandable ... but it's a little distracting. i dunno if i should answer culturally or racially ambiguously.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 5 years
I would not call the cops, THAT will get her a guaranteed beating. Taking her out is a great idea just to keep her spirits up and keep her from being isolated but it won't change the situation. As others have said, she won't leave until she's ready. Whether it's fear or love (or some combination) keeping her there, she's just not ready yet, and there's nothing you can do to change that. I was in an abusive relationship and I lost many friends because they cared but couldn't stand him or what was happening to me. If you genuinely can't stand being around him or her (because of him), you need to look out for your own needs and end the friendship. I am eternally grateful for the friends who were by my side while I worked up the courage to leave him, but I 100% respect the ones who couldn't take it anymore. Another thing to keep in mind is that the deadliest time during an abusive relationship is when she leaves him. I plotted my escape for about 6 months before I had the chance to safely leave. My point is, *if* you choose to remain friends and *if* she chooses to leave- there are serious safety precautions she should take and she might be stuck in her situation for a while. Don't be shy about asking back for advice if the situation changes.
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 5 years
@bengal, i think the sugars are shooting for more diversity in their stock photos, generally speaking. I don't think this is a commentary on south asian people. To the OP, of course this is an incredibly dangerous situation for your friend, but its a very difficult situation for you to be in as well. Most abusers try to isolate their partner from their friends, so I wouldn't be surprised if you start to see less and less of her. I understand your frustration, but the worst thing you could do would be to tell her not to open up to you about it anymore. Listen to her when she speaks, let her know how wrong this is and how much this does not look like love, and distance yourself from this boyfriend as much as possible.
bengalspice bengalspice 5 years
This might be off topic ... but of all the stock pictures to pick, why a picture of women who look vaguely South Asian????
Pazuzu Pazuzu 5 years
I'm very sorry for your situation, unfortunately there's not much you can do. No one can force her to leave, abused women usually stay with their abusers, or go back to him. The cops cant do anything unless she admits to abuse. If you ever witness him hitting her you can call the cops and they can use your testimony. Don't provoke or confront him, you'll only be endangering yourself. Just try to be there for her. Take her out and show her she can have fun without him. Build up her self esteem, she'll only leave him when shes ready. There's not much you can do except be there for her. If you ever find anything out that he did illegally you can call the cops on him for that, at least put him away for a bit. I'm very sorry, I hope your friend comes to her senses soon.
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