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My Daughter’s Boyfriend is Physically Abusive

Wed, 12/26/2007 - 23:00 -- admin

I just found out last night that last week, my daughter’s boyfriend slammed her head against his car window a few times while they were arguing. She isn’t hurt now, but I am very worried about her. My daughter knows this is wrong but she believes it won’t happen again. My daughter is 18, so I can’t make her do anything. But what can I do?

You’re obviously right to be concerned for your daughter. While she may really believe this won’t happen again, this isn’t usually the case with physical abuse.

If you can, discuss the situation in a very low pressure way with her and ask if she might consider giving loveisrespect a call. A peer advocate can talk to her about abusive relationships and help her make a plan to safely end this relationship when she’s ready. All of our calls and chats are confidential. She doesn’t even have to give her name.

Some things you might suggest to your daughter:

* Try not to be alone with her boyfriend.

* Keep a cell phone with her and use it to call for help if needed.

* Try talking to a counselor locally (alone).

This is truly a difficult situation for a parent. Trying to force your daughter to make a decision about this relationship will likely only push her further from you. Let her know you’re concerned and available for support. Consider calling us yourself if you’d like to talk more about the situation.

*We don’t generally answer questions in detail through email. If you have a question or concern about dating abuse in your life, please call us or log in to our live chat. This is a representation of a question only.

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Comments

Submitted by Richard (not verified) on

I just love that line “it won’t happen again”. I hear that so much it’s nuts. I wish they would put that line in a dictionary under “bull s**t”. Leaving someone like this is not about them. It’s about the daughter. Why does she feel at all that this is okay? I work with people in understanding themselves. By doing so they develop knowledge that being hit is not okay, but it is okay to leave. Eighteen years old, must not have too much experience in relationships. Being so, the standards by which this male is treating her are going to develop her boundaries of what she’s willing to accept and what she’s not. The way we define our experience is by situations we’re exposed too.
My beliefs are simple. No one has the right to cause pain on another mentally or physically. When you gave birth to your child, that was not the purpose you had in mind. What I would do in this situation is get her a book about abuse, and how it operates. Then you make her a promise. You won’t make her decision for her or pressure her into it, if she promises she’ll spend time reading the book. By doing so, when she comes across his behaviors, she’ll relate them in her experience, and begin to question her decisions. This may empower her to make a change. Keep telling her you want her to be happy. You’re not trying to interrupt her happiness. Hoping this will show her she can find happiness, but it’s just not going to be with this person.