I don't know how to help her
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I don't know how to help her

This is a discussion on I don't know how to help her within the Troubled Loved Ones forums, part of the Depression Forums category; I have a friend who is currently going through a lot. Apparently, her parents and adult brother have been physically ...

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Old 04-04-18, 07:07 AM   #1
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I have a friend who is currently going through a lot. Apparently, her parents and adult brother have been physically and verbally abusing her for years, although she only opened up to me a few months ago. I have known this girl since I was 8 years old, and thinking back on it, I've always seen signs of the abuse, although I didn't know what they were at the time. Her grandfather also recently died, so not only is she grieving, but her mother is also taking it out on her. I really want to help her, but I don't know how for several reasons:

-I can't tell her parents because they're the source of the abuse
-I could tell my parents, but my mom might not listen to, understand, or believe me, in which case she would simply call my friend's parents and she would probably get in trouble
-She is afraid to keep journals because her mother has found them before, read them, and mocked her
-She is afraid to use a website like this one because her parents might find it in her search history
-If I try to tell someone and she finds out, she might not trust me anymore and then she wouldn't be able to talk to anyone about it
-She is afraid to call suicide hotlines because she believes they will call the police on her
-If I do anything that doesn't help, it will only make things worse... this includes doing nothing

I have a few questions that I really need to be answered:
-What is the best way to help her?
-Is it worth it to tell my parents? Obviously you don't know them, but what is the best way to make sure that they understand me and believe me?
-What should I tell her to do if she feels that her life is in danger? Should she call the police? Fight back? Come to my house (I'm within walking distance)? Go to someone closer, like the family she babysits or walks dogs for?

Thank you for your help.
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Old 04-10-18, 08:59 AM   #2
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Just wait until she opens up to you again... Thats really the best time to do something, but do not take the initiative to take action for her. She has to be ready to deal with the problem on her own. All you can do is support her and advise her as a friend. I hope things gets better for her.
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Old 04-18-18, 06:55 AM   #3
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Hi there.. You sound like such a good friend. She is very lucky to have you.

First of all, you need to talk to someone else about this. This sounds like a very difficult and serious situation for her and also very hard for you to deal with on your own. It sounds like you are still at school. Is there a teacher or health personell at school you can talk to? If she is abused and/or in danger at home, it is very important that she gets the help that she needs asap. No one should be in danger in their own home. You could tell her that you are worried about her, that she deserves to feel better, and that you can come with her to the teacher or health person and talk to them together if she wants you to.

I would also consider talking to your parents about this. If you tell them that you are worried about your friend, that she may be abused and in danger - they should take it seriously. You know your parents, but I doubt that they would "get her in trouble". You could stress the importance that they don't talk to her parents about this, but other people like the police, teacher or other medical professionals.

I believe that she should call the police if she feels like her life is in danger. Their job is to protect and help people. If she doesn't feel like she can do that, she should call another adult that she feels she can trust and they can contact the police for her. I also think it sounds like a good idea to go away from the house if she can, to someone she trusts.

If she wants to use TTL, you can tell her that she can access it from a library or at school. That way her parents can not track her being here. She can also browse privately and delete her browsing history, but I guess she might be too afraid to do so.

Please don't feel like you are responsible for her. You can only do so much. And do let us know how it's going and if we can help in any way.
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