Abusive Teenage Relationships
Dear BeingGirl Experts, My best friend is in a horrible relationship with this guy. He is just not nice to her: always putting her down and generally being a creep. I keep telling her to find another boy (there are tons around), but now she won't even talk to me. She says her boyfriend doesn't like it when we hang out. Why doesn't she just leave him? Frustrated --- Dear Frustrated, This is a situation when having a trusted adult intervene is the best solution. There is probably little you can do especially now that she isn’t talking to you. Leaving an abusive relationship can often be difficult. Abusers are usually very controlling of their partners, often telling them where they can go, what they can wear, or who they can hang out with. The serious mental and physical abuse often starts after the abuser gains control over the victim through emotional, verbal, or mental abuse, often without the victim realizing that this is serious or even happening. Because many abusers isolate their partners from friends and family (as he is doing when he tells her he doesn’t like her hanging out with you), victims are often separated from those who can help to build them back up and support them in leaving a relationship. Some abusers are so violent and threatening a victim may fear if they break up with the abuser, he or she will become even more violent, perhaps stalking the victim or hurting the victim or victim's family members. In addition, it is common for abusers to apologize after hurting their partners, promising it will never happen again, giving the victim nice gifts, or even blaming the victim for the abuse. Because of this "honeymoon" phase, the victim may believe the abuser will never hit them again or wouldn't have hurt the victim if only he or she had acted differently (e.g., not "flirted" with someone, been at home when the abuser called, not been late, etc.). No matter what lie the abuser chooses to use, a victim is never responsible for the abuse. No one deserves to be abused. Talk to a trusted adult on behalf of your friend, Your BeingGirl Experts
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