How To Help Abused FriendMay 30, 2012 No Comments
Dear Madame X,
I recently found out that one of my friends has been hit by her boyfriend. She is willing to give him a chance but swore me to secrecy. Do I tell someone? Do I keep it to myself? Do I convince her to dump him? I don’t think people can change and he’ll probably do it again or worse, but I have no idea what to do. Help!
Stuck in the Middle
The first good thing here is that she is telling you. It’s a tricky situation and you need to react in a way that is open enough for her to continue to confide in you but concerned enough that she knows it’s a problem.
It’s her life and her relationship, but I recommend you keep a close eye on her. If it happens again (and you’re right, it probably will) then hopefully she will leave him. Or at the least, stop keeping it a secret and tell someone else.
Personally, I think that if a person wants to keep something a secret it’s because they know something is wrong and they don’t want to be judged for it. Which means they really shouldn’t be keeping it a secret at all.
Hopefully it won’t come to this, but if it gets worse and she’s still not leaving him or telling anyone else then you need to involve someone with more sway over her. Maybe go to her parents. Or call the police anonymously and see what they can recommend. She may hate you for it, but her life is worth fighting for and you’d regret it if the worst happened and you hadn’t done something to prevent it.
I hope she comes to her senses before this, but I’m glad she has you to rely on.
Madame X is a master of sex. She is adamantly pro-sex which she translates to pro-fun and pro-safety. An avid practitioner of the activity, she has also been trained in the technical dos and don’ts. No mere agony aunt, she knows of what she speaks. Send her your questions, comments, and concerns about sex and relationships here.