My Friend is Suffering Child Abuse

by Elizabeth
(Location Undisclosed)

I am 14. My best friend is getting physically abused by her father. Her dad is not the most caring person when he is not drinking. Now he drinks all the time. My friend is getting hit a lot and doesn't know what to do. She doesn't want any adults to know because she doesn't want her dad to get in trouble. She trusts me so I didn't tell anyone. She needs help but I don't know how.


A Video Reading by Darlene BarriereNote from Darlene: The volume of contributor submissions has now made it impossible for me to comment personally (especially in great detail) on each and every contribution. If I haven't left you a comment or one that is in-depth, please do not take my lack of a personal response as a slight, or as a statement that your story is somehow unworthy of my time. Nothing, and I do mean nothing, could be further from the truth. If there was a way for me to respond to all of you at length, I would.

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Comments for My Friend is Suffering Child Abuse

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Apr 17, 2009
I know you're trying to be a good friend...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Elizabeth, I know in my heart that you want to be a very good friend. One of the most difficult things to learn about a friend is that she is being abused by a parent. You feel helpless and scared. This is not just a confusing time for you, but also a very worrisome time because you fear for the safety of your friend. What is worse is being sworn to secrecy. You don't want to risk losing your friend by disclosing what she has told you, and you are afraid that if you do disclose, that you are somehow betraying your friend. Nothing can be further from the truth. Yes, your friend might be angry at first, but isn't it more important that your friend be safe? Elizabeth, there can be no secrets. How would you feel if you stayed quiet, and then learned that your friend was seriously injured by her father? If this secret keeps up, nothing will change for your friend. She will continue to be abused, and that abuse could escalate, putting her in more and more danger.

Being a really good friend sometimes means breaking a promise when keeping the promise means your friend is unsafe. For some ways to deal with this, please read the comments I offered two other contributors (PLEASE NOTE: My Ask Darlene feature is now suspended as I am no longer in a position to answer questions for my visitors):Don't try to do this alone, Elizabeth. You need help every bit as much as your friend needs help. Follow the advice I've given to others in your situation. Both you and your friend deserve the help and support.

Thank you for sharing yours and your friend's story with my visitors and me.

A Video Reading by Darlene Barriere
Darlene Barriere
Webmaster: www.child-abuse-effects.com
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

Apr 17, 2009
Follow your gut instict.
by: Anonymous

Elizabeth, you are a brave and true friend to have. Your concerned about your best friend being abused by her Father. She trusts you with her life, that makes you a true friend. Elizabeth I am not going to add anything to the comment of Darlene to you. She say it all in a nutshell as is her love and care for her visitors. Her words of what to do and get help are powerfilled ones. We both know how difficult it will be for you. I get the distict feeling that you want to take your friend away from her abusing father. Be brave, be strong and all will work out naturally and good for you both. Forever friends you'll be.

Apr 17, 2009
You are a gift to her.
by: Bravebird

You are a precious gift to your friend. You hold her self worth her lovableness and her self pride for her right now. One day you will be able to give it back to her because she will be strong enough to carry all these things on her own. She'll see her worth and that she deserves to be treated with respect caring and love. She will also see that she can and should get help so that she is protected. Right now you hold that for her also. Get her help and she will be able to love herself and protect herself. Because of the situation she is in she can only see survival. For her that is just getting through the day. You and I know there is more for her, we have to act like we believe this, cause its true! Get her help and love her the whole time even if she is embarressed or angry at first. Later she will get it. You are a precious gift to her. Thank you for caring about her. From someone who was abused, I look back at gifts in people like you who gave me moments of peace I would not have gotten otherwise.

Jul 07, 2009
One Word Away
by: Anonymous

My friend and I are opposites I am quiet she is loud. When she had a wicked bruise on her arm I asked how she got it and she told me her dad hit her. She told me not to tell anyone so I didn't. I later found out she is so loud all the time because she can't be at home. She came to school one day with a red scratch on her face she told me her dad pushed her into a counter. Her parents are divorced and her mom doesn't have enough space in her apartment so she can't live there. I told my mom and she won't do anything until I give her my friends last name. I don't know if I should.

From Darlene: Anonymous, you care about your friend; and caring loving friends do what they must in order to ensure the safety of that friend. There can be no secrets. The well-being of your friend is at stake here. Telling your mother the last name would not be betraying your friend; it would be protecting her, even if your friend does not understand that at first. What you want first and foremost is for your friend to be safe. But you are old enough to make the call if your mother won't. As I said, this is about your friend's well-being. You would have a very difficult time if your friend was seriously injured, or worse, while you (and others) stood idly by, allowing the friend to continue being abused. Tell who and what you must in order to get your friend the help she so desperately needs. That's what GREAT friends do for each other. And I see YOU as a great friend.

A Video Reading by Darlene Barriere
Darlene Barriere
Webmaster: www.child-abuse-effects.com
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir




Jul 07, 2009
What a friend I have in you
by: maurice

Elizabeth you are what I promote in all of my comments. The friend that each of us need in our life. You are trusting, caring, loving, genuine being ever so concerned about your friend who trusts you with her life. I am convinced all Teenagers have a friend or two like you. Someone you relate everything to knowing it is safe. Oh Elizabeth between you both I am sure you will help your friend to get the Help Darlene suggests with her loving caring words to you in her comment. Your friend is ever so blessed and lucky to have you as her true friend. Thank you for writing on her behalf on Darlene site. I guarantee you both will benefit from her loving comment. Her womanly and professional instincts of the best thing for your friend are empowering of you to seek help your friend.

Jul 28, 2009
Elizabeth help ASAP
by: Jon

Elizabeth,
It is very important that you help your friend and report what is happening as children who are abused almostly certainly will suffer from low self-esteem for the rest of there life. Child Abuse can jeopardize the quality of your friends personal relationships for life as it destroys trust and produces built up rage. Please help ASAP.

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