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How can you help someone in an abusive relationship?

My BIL and his girlfriends relationship is dysfunctional to say the least. The abuse seems to go both ways, though we live several states away and have not witnessed any of it first hand.
We (my dh and I) have told both of them to leave, and neither has done so. Just last night the girlfriend sent me a picture of her face after my BIL hit her, then texted me to not call her because she didn't want BIL to know that she told.
They now have a 2mo son that is in the middle of this mess. They both seem to have various addictions as well.
What do I do? How do I save my nephew?

Answer Question

Asked by airadan at 12:38 PM on May. 18, 2009 in Relationships

Level 2 (10 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • If you think it goes both ways then maybe report them both to CPS aonymously. If there are other family members that you think might have more influence than you do, then maybe ask them to get involved. There isn't much you can do about the daily drama from several states away, so I think you have to call in more help.

    Answer by TweenAndTwinMom at 12:44 PM on May. 18, 2009

  • I spent two years trying to get my best friend out of an abusive relationship! Every time I got her to finally leave him, she would run right back. It was a never ending cycle. I decided to stop being friends with her because she was putting me in an awful position, I ended up calling CPS on her anonymously because he would get drunk and beat on her, and was really awful to his son also. He once picked him up and shook him because he wouldn't stop crying! :( After that I decided enough is enough. Usually when someone is abusive with their spouse, they are abusive with their child! She finally got out of that relationship 2 years ago, and now I'm able to be her friend again, she has sole custody of her son, and he has no contact with his father! I explained to her why I had to do what I did, I could not just stand by and watch that little baby boy get hurt!!

    Answer by pamelajqs at 12:45 PM on May. 18, 2009

  • part of me wants to say dont get involved, but I mean this is serious stuff! it might result to death or a permanent physical handicap, the baby might get physically abused....just terrible. for me prsonally, if I was in this situation I would tell one of them to call the cops. I know how hard it is. "but I LOVE him/her"....well love doesnt involved physical abuse!

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:46 PM on May. 18, 2009

  • Tell your gf that you and your husband will stand by her and go with her to move and to counselling appointments too, get cops when moving to keep him away to do it. BUT she has to go into counselling to get your help or you'll feel obligated to call CPS. Keep the pic you sent and print it out to show it to her and have with you counsellors names and numbers. Also have with you Displaced homemakers number for your county. Can she first live with you, does her own family offer her emotional and financial support and housing?

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:46 PM on May. 18, 2009

  • To anonymous, I cant go with her to counseling appointments as I live several states away. I'm also not sure as to the status of her family, she and I have only spoken a few times.

    My husband doesn't think I should be involved, since there isn't much I can do, but I cant help but feel obligated to advocate for my nephew. The cops are involved on a fairly regular basis.

    Answer by airadan at 1:01 PM on May. 18, 2009

  • Can she come live with you? I have a few friends who are in bad relationships and they know they always have a place to stay or keep their stuff at my house. Maybe you could let her send some of her stuff to you, so its easier for her to leave and not have to worry about her stuff....

    Answer by metalhealthmama at 1:10 PM on May. 18, 2009

  • sometimes folks in those situations feed off of each other and when they fight they think the other is fighting for the relationship and loves them. NO, they are abusing each other. Hard to get them to see that. Call CPS if you think the child is in danger. Other than that, the couple have to figure it out on their own. Let's hope one doesn't kill the other before they figure it out. Perhaps she likes the attention she gets when she shows the pix for sympathy. I know when I was abused I hid my bruises. I didn't flaunt them. Sad situation but if you interfere then you will be the bad guy. It's best to be supportive but stay out of it as best you can

    Answer by admckenzie at 2:13 PM on May. 18, 2009

  • admckenzie, that is just what my husband has been saying! Thank you, you've helped a lot

    Answer by airadan at 3:09 PM on May. 18, 2009

  • I was in an abusive relationship. Thankfully it was before I had kids. My mom refused to talk about our relationship at all w/ me, until I finally was ready to leave him. This is my advice: When one or the other calls and wants to complain about the abuse tell them you don't want to hear it. You already gave your advice now its up to them how to deal w/ it. As far as the child goes I would call CPS.

    Answer by izzybear0217 at 7:24 AM on May. 19, 2009

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