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Rape and Abuse If you or someone you know is being abused in any way and you need support or advice, don't hesitate to reach out to us here.

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worried about a friend. - April 1st 2009, 09:33 PM

I think my friends boyfriend is abusive.

whenever they are together she always looks for his approval on everything and won't speak unless spoken to by him pretty much. she used to be so bubbly and care free, and now since shes been with him shes withdrawn and not herself.

today she told me that he had pushed her against the wall because she asked if she could go out with some mates this weekend.

what can i do? i'm thinking that i need to speak to her and tell her that i'm worried, but how? what if i'm wrong and hes not actually being abusive. although the pushing her against the wall thing certainly doesn't sound right.


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Re: worried about a friend. - April 1st 2009, 09:51 PM

I would be worried about your friend if I were you as well. I would start out by asking her if there is anything she wants to tell you about her boyfriend. If she asks why you could say that you are concerned and think their relationship is unhealthy. From there you could ask if he is abusive and offer to help her in any way you can. If he has been abusive then encourage her to report it or at least talk to a professional about what has been going on. Also, definitely encourage her to leave him and be prepared to convince her why this is a good idea. It might be a good idea to have your friend call a hotline that specializes in this type of situation. Here are two numbers that might be of some help
Womens Aid - 0808 2000 247
Refuge - 0808 2000 247

If he isn't physically abusing her but you still think their relationship is unhealthy then encourage her to really think about her relationship. Here are some good articles that might help her better assess things:
Health vs Unhealthy Relationships
Ask Yourself...
Warning Signs of and Abusive Relationship

Good luck on talking to your friend. Don't put this off to long. Take care and best wishes.

Lots of love <3



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Re: worried about a friend. - April 1st 2009, 10:02 PM

Elle,

I would be worried if I were you, as well. This just does not sound right. I'm so glad that you're trying to help your friend, and I hope that she will open up to you.

This is definitely a very delicate subject; both if you are wrong, and if you are right. You may want to slowly approach the subject, rather than just bringing it up right away; start by telling her that you've noticed her acting more reserved lately, and it worries you. Make it clear that you just want to help her, and that you care about her. Rather than bluntly asking her if she is being abused, open the door for conversation; ask her how her relationship is, tell her how much you love her and that you'll do whatever you can to support her.

I wish you the best of luck, and hope that things work out for the best.


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Re: worried about a friend. - April 1st 2009, 11:52 PM

Hey Elle,

There isn't anything wrong with concerning about your friend. She's your friend, obviously you care. Any good friend, after what you were told and a witness to, would be worried.

I know this seems big, and maybe you feel like you're over stepping your boundary, but I think you should talk to her about it. Too many cases of abuse are overlooked for fear of crossing a line. You care. You're her friend. You aren't blindly accusing. Nothing's wrong with knowing your real friend, when she isn't with him. Even if he isn't hitting her, ask about any type of abuse. Emotional included. However, I don't think you should do this quickly or anything. Make a day out of it, just the two of you. When the time is right, ask her about it. Let her know you're concerned and you'll believe whatever she tells you, and you're there for her all the way. You know your friend better than all of us, combined, so only you know how she might react to your inquiries. If you feel she might not react well, then prepare to back yourself up. If I were you, I would bring solutions for her as well. If she does admit to abuse, she might want to know a direction to travel in. Knowing the road she needs to travel to get out might be a bit more comforting. Try not mentioning options until she seems ready though. Admitting it, and talking about it, can be hard right away. It's important to give her time as well. Most of all, comfort her and look her in the eye with emotion. You can tell a lot through the eyes.

You're a great friend for being concerned about her, truly you are. Being concerned and being dedicated enough to advance yourself into the topic of abuse are two different things. You have, or will, do the second one, which shows a true loyal friend. You should be proud of yourself. Take care, ok? And if you need anything, don't be shy.

~Stay strong and have faith.


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