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What should I do? - July 18th 2017, 06:21 AM

I have an 18 year old family member who is involved in a abusive relationship. My family suspected that it was abusive but up until recently we had no proof. The boyfriend basically beat her up really bad recently and so now there is proof.

She did not report it and I doubt that she will or that she kept any documentation.

She visited us recently and I tried talking to her about it a bit and was going to encourage her to look into therapy but she completely shut down so I stopped and just kind of talked about normal and unemotional stuff.

She is moving out of our town though so she will be away from this person. She has a job lined up in the town she is moving too and my hope is that she will make friends and see that she can have a meaningful relationship that is not abusive.

However, before she came to visit with us she met up with her boyfriend and he was yelling at her and being emotionally abusive. Someone in the family had to go get her and make her leave and make sure she was safe.

My worry is that she will stay in contact with him while she is living out of town and he will convince her to move back here or convince her to give him another chance etc.

I know I can't prevent her from going back to him or staying in contact....her moving out of town is actually something I feel might be good overall.

But, is there any thing I can do in regards to supporting her or helping her understand that she can do so much better?

IDK, I worry a lot about her and I am not sure how to best support her at this point in time. I text her periodically and things like that but she's kind of distant so I am unsure how to let her know I am here to support her.

We used to be close when she was younger but she's a teenager and so friends and relationships are a tad bit more important.


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Re: What should I do? - July 19th 2017, 02:24 AM

I am not sure what you should do. If it was me I'd just tell her that I'm always there for her if she wants or needs someone to talk to, that I would never judge her and just care about her a lot and want to be there to help if I ever can. Her being 18, I don't think there is a whole lot more you can do. I hope that her moving to a new town will be a good thing for her.
   
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Re: What should I do? - July 20th 2017, 02:17 AM

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I am not sure what you should do. If it was me I'd just tell her that I'm always there for her if she wants or needs someone to talk to, that I would never judge her and just care about her a lot and want to be there to help if I ever can. Her being 18, I don't think there is a whole lot more you can do. I hope that her moving to a new town will be a good thing for her.

I have done that but I think I might message her again sometime soon and just remind her.

I guess I just worry she doesn't value herself all that much and will end up going back to this guy. I know I can't prevent that or stop her but I worry about the long term effects that domestic abuse could have on her life and her mental health.


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Re: What should I do? - July 21st 2017, 04:13 AM

Wow. That's tough. I have a step sister who was in a situation that was similar. the thing is, you can't force people to share thier thoughts or feelings, or to take action. And I understand that sometimes if you try to stand up for them, they might be harder on her. mabye if she tells you anything new about him ask for his phone number. call him and ask (nicely, so he doesn't take it out on her) if he has something going on in his life that is making him act this way. if you don't want to do that, just let your friend know that you are there for her. if she won't talk about her problems, then try to find a way to relax her, even if only for a few hours. if she likes to read, get her a gift card to her favorite book store, or take her for a girls day at the mall or spa. Or just invite her over to your house where you think he won't show up and have a girls night and do manicures or what ever it is you two are into. I can't really help you more than that. sorry.
   
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Re: What should I do? - July 21st 2017, 01:46 PM

I like the idea others have mentioned about spending time with her. Sometimes a supportive presence can really help, even if you aren't talking about her situation. For instance, you could go to lunch, go see a movie, or take a walk to be with nature for a little while.

Reminding her that you are there for her is a good idea as well. You could also let her know that she doesn't have to talk about things if she doesn't want to or isn't ready to.


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