89

If you read that title and thought "what the f*ck is wrong with this woman, of course my friend needs to leave his sorry ass" then you are a kind, compassionate, and powerful woman. That makes you the exact person your friend needs and also crucially important that you do not just tell her "you need to leave him!" I'd like to go over why saying that is a bad idea, and what to say instead.

In case you're wondering, I am a volunteer Domestic Violence victim advocate (along with a Stalking VA and Sexual Assault VA). I have been for about four years now. Before having kids, I volunteered 20+ hours a week directly with victims (now that I have kids I can't give quite so much). This involves a hefty training program, annual continuing education classes, and a certain number of supervised hours, and that's after a psych eval.

So, if you see your friend is being abused, it is (usually) a bad idea to say "He is an asshole. You are being abused. You need to leave him!" The phrase "you need to leave him" is the slightly kinder sister of "why didn't you just leave?" and is almost as damaging. The reason why is mostly the combination of these two things:

The highest risk of homicide for a DV victim is as they are trying to leave the relationship.

On average, a DV victim will attempt to leave 7 times before they actually stay gone.

If your friend leaves in a half-way planned out hurry (risking her life in the process), then your friend is more likely to return back. And then try to do it all over again, risking her life again. Any abuse she avoided during the time she was going will be accrued, with interest, and her abuser will gladly cash her out.

As a DV VA, we are focused on helping a victim who wants to leave, leave, and to help them do it just once. We want that one attempt to leave the relationship to be successful, safe, and final.

Another factor is your friend may not be ready to leave. This can be hard to hear, but your friend may desire to stay in an abusive relationship. She may still believe she loves him. When I'm screening victims, one of the things I'm looking for is "readiness." If she's saying things like "could therapy help him?", then she is likely not ready. If you rush someone who isn't ready, then she's going to rubber band back.

Additionally, do not call him an asshole, a piece of shit, complete trash, or any other completely accurate phrase. She may still love him. She may still think things can work out. She may think these things secretly. If you say that the person she has centered her life around (and if she is being abused, she has indeed centered her life around him) is subpar, you're alienating yourself from her and playing right into the abuser's hands.

So then, the logical next question is what the fuck am I supposed to do then? Just sit back and see her with a new injury every time we hang out?

To answer this, I'd like you to first check out the Duluth Model here: https://www.theduluthmodel.org/wheels/

If your partner has just one or two of those pie slices, they may not abusive, they're just an asshole. It's possible to be in an unhealthy relationship that isn't abusive.

But notice that there is one piece of that pie that directly relates to you, the friend -- Isolation. In my opinion, the pie slices should not be equal, and isolation is the most powerful piece of the pie. And you are centered perfectly to fight it, because you are what the abuser is hoping to isolate her from.

What you need to do is going to sound so stupidly small, but I promise that it's the most powerful thing that can be done to help a victim. You need to get her to truly believe that you have her back, no matter what.

She needs to believe this in her bones. She needs to know this more than she knows the sky is blue. She needs to know that if she calls you a homewrecker and doesn't speak to you for a decade, that she can then call you up, say "I'm leaving him. Can I stay at your place?" and that you will say "Yes, do you still drink white?"

As long as she knows that someone has her back, that someone truly wants her to have what she wants, then she has the little string that will lead her out of the minotaur's labyrinth.

This is where "don't call him an asshole" comes into play. If you call the person she loves an asshole, it's easy for that asshole to tell her "look, see? Your so-called friend is just trying to break us up." And he'll say it so sweetly. And he'll give her a foot massage and order her favorite food.

What? An abuser being sweet and kind? They are all sweet and kind, sometimes. Every one of them. No woman intentionally starts a relationship with an abuser. He was sweet and kind. Then he wasn't. But he will go back to sweet and kind again and then back to abusive again.

Here, have another circle: https://www.center4research.org/the-cycle-of-domestic-violence/ (scroll down past the Duluth Model)

I heard the best analogy for this -- a slot machine. Your friend is sitting at a slot machine, waiting for the jackpot. That machine has given out $5 or $10 winnings to her a few times before. But, usually, she puts in $1 and gets 0 back. Over and over again. It really is the same circuitry in her brain that is making her stay, just like people stay in front of a slot machine and give and give and give and don't get back, just for the chance of the jackpot. It's because, every once in a while, the jackpot gives the gambler just enough to make them stay.

If you call him an asshole, he's going to become the sweetest guy in the world. He's going to tell her "She just wants to end us." Your friend will see "Oh, yes, this is the sweet man I signed up for! And my friend really is trying to get him gone. I just need more patience in his bad times, maybe some therapy, that's all." and will stay. She will then stop talking to you (because you're trying to ruin their marriage, after all, duh) and you will have successfully helped the abuser further isolate his victim. He'll then switch back into abuser mode.

Similarly, don't tell her that she's being abused. She may (likely) not realize it. Just like someone might feel sick, but the doctor saying "it's malignant" comes as a life altering shock, telling a victim that she is being abused can be a traumatic moment in her life. Are you a therapist? Are you ready to help her with that pandora's box you just opened? And then, what happens next? You just dropped this knowledge bomb in her lap and then offered no solutions except "completely up-end your entire life by leaving him, merely based on something a friend said."

So what am I supposed to say, then?

"I am here for you. I am here for you no matter what. You could kill my dog, and I would still be here for you. No, seriously. Look at me. I am deadly serious. I am here for you. I will help you through whatever life throws at you."

Something in that family is good.

What if she point blank asks if she's being abused? Yeah, go ahead and say "Yes, I think you're being abused." At that point, she already knows. It's not the giant knowledge bomb if she's already been thinking it.

It's very important that the victim be at the center of the planning on what to do from this point forward. I know that you know what is best for her. And I know you want to encourage her and push her into doing what is best for her. But (and you're not going to like to hear this), that is coercion and that is not consensual. Ouch, right? But it's true. If she leaves because you pushed her into doing it, then it is against her will. And her will is really, really weak right now, as it is being bombarded by the abuser. It's actually very easy to accidentally push a victim into doing something they don't want to do, like leaving.

Listen to her. What does she actually want to do? Help support her in that.

If she wants to leave, how can I help her? If she doesn't want to leave, how can I help her?

The answers to both of these two questions are the same. She needs to speak with a local, trained DV VA to make a "safety plan." A safety plan can include a plan for leaving. If she's still saying stuff like "he's actually really kind, he just has these moments, and I just need some help on what to do when he's in one of his moods", then a safety plan can also help. It's a plan to keep her safer following whatever she wants to do.

There's a national DV hotline (it's the one I used actually), but I suggest calling the local DV resource center first. We know things. We know which Judge is a softie and what his schedule on the bench this week is. We know if the shelter is full. We know the attorney that takes two pro bono cases a month. We know the movers that will help her move out for free. We know things. The national hotline cannot help in that way.

But I want to do more

Again, I cannot express how, by being utterly loyal to her, you are doing the most powerful thing to help her out of us. But, if you want to do more than that...

  • Get a guest room ready. Get ready for any pets she may have. Inflatable beds are not compatible with cats, so get a cot.

  • Set aside some money just for her when she leaves.

  • Ask if she will share her safety plan with you, and if you can be apart of any of it.

  • Offer your phone for her to use if her calls are being monitored.

I hope this helps. :)

EDIT: Let's talk about the damn dog. The reference to a victim thinking she killed your dog is from real life. A victim was dog sitting a friend's dog at the victim's place. The abuser ended up beating the dog. The abuser gaslit the victim into thinking that it was her fault the dog was dead. The "logic" of the gaslighting was something along the lines of "You know I hate dogs. If you hadn't of brought that dog over, this wouldn't have happened." This is the same kind of logic that abusers use all the time. "You know I had a bad day at work, so it's your fault I beat you." In this situation, the victim truly felt that she killed the dog (after all, she's the reason the dog was there) and, thus, refused to reach out to one of her closest friends for help in escaping the relationship.

This is why it's important that if you want to help your victim friend, that they know that even if they killed your dog, you'd be there. In order to get help from someone, she needs to believe that deeply in the support from that person. You have no idea what kind of stuff the abuser is going to trick the victim into thinking she did. You have no idea the kind of depraved things that the abuser is going to make the victim think was actually her idea the whole time.

If your level of help involves exceptions, then you are not the best person to help. That's totally fine. We live in a society that pushes us to help all the issues all the time and that's not possible nor is it healthy to try. The victim will know that there are exceptions and will be wary at leaning on you at best. The abuser may or may not know there are exceptions, but if he does, he'll play on that to introduce more isolation. It really doesn't matter if the exception even applies, because even an exception or two gives the victim the idea of "I'll only help you if you're the perfect victim." And there is no perfect victim, even your friend.

If you're curious, I fell prey to this. My abuser would hover behind me while talking with friends and if they said something he didn't like (politically, a bad joke, whatever), he would motion for me to tell the person off. I said awful horrible things to appease him. Burning bridges of long, childhood friendships in order to get another hour or two of security that I would not be hurt. After I left, many of those people forgave me. They'd say things like "Eh, I knew something was going on cause that's not you. Don't worry about it!" So, the things I did that I thought were unforgivable ended up not being. But that doesn't matter because at the time of the abuse I didn't believe that my friends had my back to that extent. I thought there were exceptions.

If your level of support has exceptions, you are not the best person for your friend to reach out to.

If you read that title and thought "what the f*ck is wrong with this woman, of course my friend needs to leave his sorry ass" then you are a kind, compassionate, and powerful woman. That makes you the exact person your friend *needs* and also crucially important that you do not just tell her "you need to leave him!" I'd like to go over why saying that is a bad idea, and what to say instead. In case you're wondering, I am a volunteer Domestic Violence victim advocate (along with a Stalking VA and Sexual Assault VA). I have been for about four years now. Before having kids, I volunteered 20+ hours a week directly with victims (now that I have kids I can't give quite so much). This involves a hefty training program, annual continuing education classes, and a certain number of supervised hours, and that's after a psych eval. So, if you see your friend is being abused, it is (usually) a bad idea to say "He is an asshole. You are being abused. You need to leave him!" The phrase "you need to leave him" is the slightly kinder sister of "why didn't you just leave?" and is almost as damaging. The reason why is mostly the combination of these two things: **The highest risk of homicide for a DV victim is as they are trying to leave the relationship.** **On average, a DV victim will attempt to leave 7 times before they actually stay gone.** If your friend leaves in a half-way planned out hurry (risking her life in the process), then your friend is more likely to return back. And then try to do it all over again, risking her life again. Any abuse she avoided during the time she was going will be accrued, with interest, and her abuser will gladly cash her out. As a DV VA, we are focused on helping a victim who wants to leave, leave, and to help them do it just once. We want that one attempt to leave the relationship to be successful, safe, and final. Another factor is **your friend may not be ready to leave.** This can be hard to hear, but your friend may desire to stay in an abusive relationship. She may still believe she loves him. When I'm screening victims, one of the things I'm looking for is "readiness." If she's saying things like "could therapy help him?", then she is likely not ready. If you rush someone who isn't ready, then she's going to rubber band back. Additionally, do not call him an asshole, a piece of shit, complete trash, or any other completely accurate phrase. She may still love him. She may still think things can work out. She may think these things secretly. If you say that the person she has centered her life around (and if she is being abused, she has indeed centered her life around him) is subpar, you're alienating yourself from her and playing right into the abuser's hands. So then, the logical next question is **what the fuck am I supposed to do then? Just sit back and see her with a new injury every time we hang out?** To answer this, I'd like you to first check out the Duluth Model here: https://www.theduluthmodel.org/wheels/ If your partner has just one or two of those pie slices, they may not abusive, they're just an asshole. It's possible to be in an unhealthy relationship that isn't abusive. But notice that there is one piece of that pie that directly relates to you, the friend -- Isolation. In my opinion, the pie slices should not be equal, and isolation is the most powerful piece of the pie. And you are centered perfectly to fight it, because you are what the abuser is hoping to isolate her from. What you need to do is going to sound so stupidly small, but I promise that it's the most powerful thing that can be done to help a victim. **You need to get her to truly believe that you have her back, no matter what.** She needs to believe this in her bones. She needs to know this more than she knows the sky is blue. She needs to know that if she calls you a homewrecker and doesn't speak to you for a decade, that she can then call you up, say "I'm leaving him. Can I stay at your place?" and that you will say "Yes, do you still drink white?" As long as she knows that someone has her back, that someone truly wants her to have what she wants, then she has the little string that will lead her out of the minotaur's labyrinth. This is where "don't call him an asshole" comes into play. If you call the person she loves an asshole, it's easy for that asshole to tell her "look, see? Your so-called friend is just trying to break us up." And he'll say it so sweetly. And he'll give her a foot massage and order her favorite food. What? An abuser being sweet and kind? They are all sweet and kind, sometimes. Every one of them. **No woman intentionally starts a relationship with an abuser.** He was sweet and kind. Then he wasn't. But he will go back to sweet and kind again and then back to abusive again. Here, have another circle: https://www.center4research.org/the-cycle-of-domestic-violence/ (scroll down past the Duluth Model) I heard the best analogy for this -- a slot machine. Your friend is sitting at a slot machine, waiting for the jackpot. That machine has given out $5 or $10 winnings to her a few times before. But, usually, she puts in $1 and gets 0 back. Over and over again. It really is the same circuitry in her brain that is making her stay, just like people stay in front of a slot machine and give and give and give and don't get back, just for the chance of the jackpot. It's because, every once in a while, the jackpot gives the gambler just enough to make them stay. If you call him an asshole, he's going to become the sweetest guy in the world. He's going to tell her "She just wants to end us." Your friend will see "Oh, yes, this is the sweet man I signed up for! And my friend really is trying to get him gone. I just need more patience in his bad times, maybe some therapy, that's all." and will stay. She will then stop talking to you (because you're trying to ruin their marriage, after all, duh) and you will have successfully helped the abuser further isolate his victim. He'll then switch back into abuser mode. Similarly, don't tell her that she's being abused. She may (likely) not realize it. Just like someone might feel sick, but the doctor saying "it's malignant" comes as a life altering shock, telling a victim that she is being abused can be a traumatic moment in her life. Are you a therapist? Are you ready to help her with that pandora's box you just opened? And then, what happens next? You just dropped this knowledge bomb in her lap and then offered no solutions except "completely up-end your entire life by leaving him, merely based on something a friend said." So **what am I supposed to say, then?** "I am here for you. I am here for you no matter what. You could kill my dog, and I would still be here for you. No, seriously. Look at me. I am deadly serious. I am here for you. I will help you through whatever life throws at you." Something in that family is good. What if she point blank asks if she's being abused? Yeah, go ahead and say "Yes, I think you're being abused." At that point, she already knows. It's not the giant knowledge bomb if she's already been thinking it. It's very important that the victim be at the center of the planning on what to do from this point forward. I know that you know what is best for her. And I know you want to encourage her and push her into doing what is best for her. But (and you're not going to like to hear this), *that is coercion and that is not consensual*. Ouch, right? But it's true. If she leaves because you pushed her into doing it, then it is against her will. And her will is really, really weak right now, as it is being bombarded by the abuser. It's actually very easy to accidentally push a victim into doing something they don't want to do, like leaving. Listen to her. What does she actually want to do? Help support her in that. **If she wants to leave, how can I help her? If she doesn't want to leave, how can I help her?** The answers to both of these two questions are the same. She needs to speak with a local, trained DV VA to make a "safety plan." A safety plan can include a plan for leaving. If she's still saying stuff like "he's actually really kind, he just has these moments, and I just need some help on what to do when he's in one of his moods", then a safety plan can also help. It's a plan to keep her safer following whatever she wants to do. There's a national DV hotline (it's the one I used actually), but I suggest calling the local DV resource center first. We know things. We know which Judge is a softie and what his schedule on the bench this week is. We know if the shelter is full. We know the attorney that takes two pro bono cases a month. We know the movers that will help her move out for free. We know things. The national hotline cannot help in that way. **But I want to do more** Again, I cannot express how, by being utterly loyal to her, you are doing the most powerful thing to help her out of us. But, if you want to do more than that... - Get a guest room ready. Get ready for any pets she may have. Inflatable beds are not compatible with cats, so get a cot. - Set aside some money just for her when she leaves. - Ask if she will share her safety plan with you, and if you can be apart of any of it. - Offer your phone for her to use if her calls are being monitored. I hope this helps. :) EDIT: **Let's talk about the damn dog.** The reference to a victim thinking she killed your dog is from real life. A victim was dog sitting a friend's dog at the victim's place. The abuser ended up beating the dog. The abuser gaslit the victim into thinking that it was her fault the dog was dead. The "logic" of the gaslighting was something along the lines of "You know I hate dogs. If you hadn't of brought that dog over, this wouldn't have happened." This is the same kind of logic that abusers use all the time. "You know I had a bad day at work, so it's your fault I beat you." In this situation, the victim truly felt that she killed the dog (after all, she's the reason the dog was there) and, thus, refused to reach out to one of her closest friends for help in escaping the relationship. This is why it's important that **if you want to help your victim friend**, that they know that even if they killed your dog, you'd be there. In order to get help from someone, she needs to believe that deeply in the support from that person. You have no idea what kind of stuff the abuser is going to trick the victim into thinking she did. You have no idea the kind of depraved things that the abuser is going to make the victim think was actually her idea the whole time. **If your level of help involves exceptions, then you are not the best person to help.** That's totally fine. We live in a society that pushes us to help all the issues all the time and that's not possible nor is it healthy to try. The victim will know that there are exceptions and will be wary at leaning on you at best. The abuser may or may not know there are exceptions, but if he does, he'll play on that to introduce more isolation. It really doesn't matter if the exception even applies, because even an exception or two gives the victim the idea of "I'll only help you if you're the perfect victim." And there is no perfect victim, even your friend. If you're curious, I fell prey to this. My abuser would hover behind me while talking with friends and if they said something he didn't like (politically, a bad joke, whatever), he would motion for me to tell the person off. I said awful horrible things to appease him. Burning bridges of long, childhood friendships in order to get another hour or two of security that I would not be hurt. After I left, many of those people forgave me. They'd say things like "Eh, I knew something was going on cause that's not you. Don't worry about it!" So, the things I did that I thought were unforgivable ended up not being. But that doesn't matter because at the time of the abuse **I didn't believe that my friends had my back to that extent.** I thought there were exceptions. **If your level of support has exceptions, you are not the best person for your friend to reach out to.**

53 comments

Unpopular opinion: I made it a rule to not get directly involved with domestic violence situations unless they 100% want out. I'll give them contact information for resources that can handle this, but that's it.

It's been my (and other women's) experience that the woman tends to side with her abuser and is often resentful of friends and family who try to intervene. And in other cases, the abuser often threatens the lives of those who try to help, if they don't make good on the threats altogether.

One case that sticks out in my mind is of a woman who tried to help her friend leave her abusive boyfriend. For her endeavors, she ended up with her head decapitated. Friend's abusive boyfriend did it, of course but the "friend" also helped him kill her. The dead woman had children and now they're left without a mother.

[–] Redmage [OP] thehotline.org 18 points

That's exactly right. Unless she is ready, nothing should be done at all. It would be like pulling a bullet out if the wound, but not stitching it up

[–] immersang 8 points Edited

I learned that in college.

Had a friend who was still dating her highschool boyfriend at the time. And while he wasn't physically violent, I would categorize what he did to her as emotional abuse. (Did not want her to go out without him, even if it was just with female friends to have a beer at the pub. There might be other men there. When she missed any of his calls, he would later yell at her about it. Once he wanted to pick her up from when she was at my place, showed up 2 hours early and we were out. My roommate told him he'd be more than welcome to wait at our place, but he didn't want to, stormed out and drove all the way back to this place which was several hours away...to punish her for daring to go outside, I guess. This ended up with her locking herself up in our guest bathroom, crying on the phone, and finally going after him. Etc.)

She would often come to me to talk about the latest fight/drama and cry.

I did not even say "he's a jerk, you should leave him". At some point I simply said: "Hey, maybe you should tell him how it makes you feel when he talks to you the way he does and that you want him to stop?"

She turned on me so quickly, I got whiplash. Suddenly I was just jealous of her relationship and wanted to break them up.

So yeah, basically the exact reaction that Redmage also described in her OP.

yes, it is better if they escape to a professionally organized shelter if possible - they have experience with all the sneaky tricks abusers use, paid security, and a safe network of contacts to hide pets, etc.

That way you and your family won't end up in the middle of a family annihilation event.

This is really good and acknowledges the complexity of the situation.

What I would add: some recognition that can be (is always?) really, really hard to support a person in this situation. It takes a big toll on your own mental health and sanity and it takes a huge toll on the friendship. Don't let the friend's situation take you down with it. It's OK not to be able to handle it, and OK not to want to handle it. You are not obliged to help or sort other people's shit out if the cost is too great to yourself.

In my case, the significant person in my life who is in an abusive relationship is my own mother (being abused by my own father). That makes it extra-complicated but a lot of this post still applies.

...your friend may not be ready to leave. This can be hard to hear, but your friend may desire to stay in an abusive relationship.

My mother desires to stay in the abusive relationship. This has been extremely difficult for me to accept. It has taken my whole life (and I'm not young) to accept it. But I have to accept it.

Listen to her. What does she actually want to do? Help support her in that.

Are we sure about that? What my mother really wants is to be supported in STAYING with him. She wants friends and family (including me) to listen to all the terrible things that he does to her, to sympathise with her, and to help make it bearable for her to stay with him. She effectively wants us to be enablers. She wants us to collude. She wants us to become part of the co-dependency.

There's a line. It's OK to draw a line.

I have said to her, and continue to say to her, and she knows and believes it, that ANY TIME she feels ready to leave him there is always a bed and a room for her with me and I will help her and keep her safe. But I will not continue to help her stay with him. I will not be her shoulder to cry on and I will not share the emotional strain with her to make it more bearable for her to be abused.

To ask anyone to do that (especially your own child) isn't fair and I think it's OK to draw the line.

This. Do not set yourself on fire to keep someone else warm.

Yes! Thank you for saying in 11 words what took me a few hundred to express.

[–] Redmage [OP] thehotline.org 2 points

This post was targeted for people who do want to help the person. So my line of "help her do that" is referring to helping some victims stay, if that's what they want, versus leaving. It's totally okay to not help at all.

Helping someone stay isn't always enabling the abuse. Sometimes it looks like having a safety plan so that she knows who to call if things get too crazy. It can look like helping her get some hard cash (easier to protect than a share bank account) hidden away while she decides when a good time to leave is. It can look like waiting until green cards come in.

It is a very good point -- helping her leave puts you on the abuser's shit list. Sometimes that is a "people to shoot" list.

This post was targeted for people who do want to help the person.

I desperately want to help my mother. It's the thing I want to do more than anything in the world. She won't let me help her.

my line of "help her do that" is referring to helping some victims stay, if that's what they want

Just because someone wants a thing, doesn't mean they should be helped to do it. Gender surgery. Living with a violent abuser. Sometimes it's not OK to give people what they want.

I don't think we should be helping victims to remain in abuse. But this is a very personal and difficult topic for me for obvious reasons so I realise I might not be able to think clearly on this one.

[–] Redmage [OP] thehotline.org 0 points

Ugm I typed a giant thing then browser refreshed and lost it.

Your line of reasoning is the LOGICAL one, that any sane and healthy person would think. Don't dismiss yourself. :)

The stuff in presenting is what psychologists and social workers recommend based on studies and experience with victims who have been gaslit.

You're thinking real world, but your mom is in gaslit land. It's like the upside down.

I may try to find time to write more when I'm not in an ever refreshing browser tab on my phone.

Powerful. Thank you for posting this. (Tho' not sure about the dog thing . . . :-)

“You can kill my dog and I’d be there for you”?

What the fuck?

Yes, this was a great post until that line. I wouldn’t be there for someone who harmed my pets, let alone killed them. I’ve banned people from my house for mishandling them.

Think you're missing the point here.

Hah, yes, my comment didn’t address the point.

I have been in a situation where I needed to quietly leave in order to avoid being harmed and I wish I had done it better. So, I think this post uses a lot of words to say “pack secretly, leave without telling him, never go back,” which is good advice.

The line about killing a dog is weirdly violent and distracts from the advice. Just wanted to speak my mind about that.

God, I'm so sorry about that situation. I hope you're in an okay spot now.

Let’s say it was a poor choice of “You can do [awful thing] and I’ll be there for you.”

As I said, the rest of the post was great.

yes, poor choice of words but it does remind me - I DO have a limit to how much damage I'm willing to suffer on another's behalf. The serious collateral damage from these types of situations can go wide and far, and not all of it can be healed.

My advice is to be careful and strategic. Your own safety is just as important. Two drowning people won't save anyone.

[–] Redmage [OP] thehotline.org 4 points

Abusers often harm animals, even other people's animals. Victims often feel their abuser's behavior is their fault. They do, indeed, need to know that you are that committed to being their friend. Without that deep level of loyalty, the gaslighting abuser will win.

This reads to me as “It’s bad if he kills pets but I’ll forgive you for doing so.” No human gets that level of loyalty from me, sorrynotsorry.

Thats one point of view; another is that abused women can be coerced into harming animals as part of the grooming to harm children, and thats my boundary. I won't condone it or enable it.

It is posts like this where I wish we had collections of certain posts to quickly reference in the footer of the site.

I can speak from experience that the friends who told me I needed to leave him just made me feel ashamed that I didn't whenever I saw them so I pulled back significantly from those friendships. After it ended (and I did barely escape with my life) I felt a lot of gratitude and love to those friends who were willing to speak the truth. But in one case, the friendship never recovered.

I think your prescription here of offering unconditional support is a good and wise one.

[–] Redmage [OP] thehotline.org 1 points

Not my wisdom. :) This is what I'm trained in, so it's just me carrying on the wisdom of others.

This is very helpful. Thank you. It seems like a lot of these rules could also apply to someone in a cult that you want to deprogram? Basically any abusive situation really.

[–] Redmage [OP] thehotline.org 15 points

Probably, but I have no cult experience so I cannot speak to that.

A doctor said that she felt like abusive relationships are "a cult of one."

Do DV orgs help women who aren't getting physically abused but are still experiencing coercive control? Or does there have to be physical violence?

[–] Redmage [OP] thehotline.org 3 points

We absolutely help with emotional abuse.

Having been a victim of physical and emotional abuse, I strongly believe the emotional abuse is "worse".

A doctor can heal most of the injuries you see victims get. It's much harder to heal the worthlessness that he warped your brain into thinking you are.

they do, especially if you're living in a more progressive country, like US, UK, Norway etc.

What happens to the men in these situations? You mentioned court, do the men often end up in jail/prison?

Extremely rare for that to happen. It is best to plan your escape without expecting police or courts to protect you

They don't lose any friends either ime.

Hell yeah it is only the woman that is isolated and alone, these bastards have family & friends who will turn a blind eye, cover up for them, make excuses, and actively hunt down the woman for them. It takes a fucking village.

[–] yesisaiditxx 2 points Edited

If my cousin with various baby mommas who all claim he abused them is any indication…no. Often by the time she’s done he’s driven her crazy enough that she’s done enough back to him during their fights that he can turn it into a he said she said we were both wrong we just aren’t good for each other kinda thing. Then especially if he makes it out as if you were a cheating whore (won’t matter if you did only matters if anyone accuses you) he’ll have some more sympathy, and his mommy and his bros will lap it up, encourage him to be done with you, and act ready to defend him if you dare retaliate.

[–] Redmage [OP] thehotline.org 1 points

No, they very rarely (in the US) end up in jail or even in criminal court.

They can easily, though, end up in civil court if the victim wishes to get a TPO (temporary protective order or "restraining order"). They also may end up in court for child custody related things.

p.s. Thank you everything you've done in your volunteering and thank you for sharing this with us.

This is wonderful! I assume it's in response to our other Ovarit thread discussing how a friend can help. Really appreciate this!

Load more (2 comments)