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.