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Violence

I am very concerned about my daughter. She has a good head on her shoulders about most things. She will be graduating from the university in August with a 3.0 average. She has one scholarships and excelled in her chosen field.

Then comes the boyfriend. He broke up a relationship that she had for about 4 years. He is very, very conniving. Right when her father and I think we have him gone, she goes right back to him. She has told me horror stories of things that he has done to her, including trying to have her arrested, alienating her from her friends and trying to alienate her from her family. She even goes to the point of getting a restraining order (but doesn't turn it back in), changing her locks and her cell phone number.

I can tell that she's scared, but she keeps going back. She is 22-years-old and there is not too much I can do, because she is an adult. But I can't just wash my hands of her. This has made me both physically and mentally sick. Please tell me where I can go for help. I am so lost. I don't know how much more I can take before I snap. I have threatened to call the police and tell them that they are filing false reports on each other.
PLEASE help!!!!!
Nancy

   

Dear Nancy,

Thanks so much for sticking by your daughter. Though it might feel like your support isn't have an impact, I imagine that it is--and it especially matters that she continue to know that you are there for her.

From the details you gave in your email, I am worried about your daughter, too. One of the most common traits among abuses is that they try to alienate the "victim" from everyone else in their life. Since this seems to be what is happening to your daughter - I worry that her "boyfriend" is as dangerous for her well being as you predict.

I'm not sure where you live, but I recommend that you help put her in touch with a support group -- perhaps you can go with her. She needs to know that what is happening to her -- i.e. how he is treating her -- is common among batterers. I'm not sure where you and/or your daughter live, but you can find resources nearest you via the directory of women's services that is located at feminist.com. I suggest you access these resources, call them for advice on how best to get your daughter to access these resources, and then be as supportive as you have been already. I hope that helps you to continue to help your daughter.
Good luck,

Amy

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