My sister is living with my abusive dad: Should I report to police?

by T.
(California, USA)

My little sister is living with my dad. He is mentally abusive and he moved her to Florida. I am in California, and he has a gun. I don't know what to do. I can not take her in right now. He has false reports regarding my mother, so she most likely will not be able to get her. I'm scared that if the cops are called he will kill her. But she doesn't want to get away from it anyways. He has her mind so warped. She thinks it's the best place for her to be. Should I call the police anyways? What will happen to her? She is old enough to make her own choices; soon she will be 18.

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Comments for My sister is living with my abusive dad: Should I report to police?

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Jun 20, 2008
A dilemma...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

I commend you for being such a caring and concerned sister. Living several states away puts you in an extremely limited position. Add to that the fact that your sister is almost 18 years of age and that she probably would not cooperate anyway; it all makes things difficult for you and for the authorities.

You said your father is mentally abusive, but you didn't go into any details. Emotional abuse is one of the most difficult of all the abuses to prove. It is the most difficult to act upon since there is usually very little, if any, evidence. The authorities will likely not act unless your sister is in immediate danger.

You mentioned that your father has a gun and that you fear he will use it on your sister, but you did not say why you have this fear. The police will want to know the answer to this question. If your father has a history of emotional abuse by threatening to use a weapon, such as a gun, then the police would be far more likely to act. But they must know what they are getting into so that they can both protect your sister and themselves.

If you suspect your sister is in danger with your father, then DEFINITELY report your suspicions to the police. And be sure to provide them ALL the details so they can act in a way that will keep everyone safe.

If at all possible, continue to be a support to your sister. Right now it sounds as though she may be confused and somewhat brainwashed by your father. And though 18 is the age of majority in the State of Florida, 18 years of age is hardly old enough to understand the consequences of your actions. You'll need to be patient with her as she works through what has happened to her.

Whatever your actions are, remember they stem from love and concern. Just make sure to take care of yourself in all this; otherwise, you'll be of no good to your sister when she needs you the most.

Darlene Barriere
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

Jun 21, 2008
You are an amazing sister
by: Anonymous

I am so happy that you are taking time to write to this website. I come from an emotionally and physically abusive home. It's not fun and I am getting out. I know what your sister is going through because my mother used to have me brainwashed. I stayed in this home until 10th grade. I am 15 and finally coming to my senses. The only way I became un-brainwashed was I just kepted hearing the truth again and again all the time. I never wanted to believe it. I used to look up the definition of emothional abuse and physical and I would try to argue with it. I would say what my mother was doing isn't that bad. My 1st article I wrote here I still wasn't even convinced.

You just have to keep telling your sister you care and that it is truely happening. I am scared living in my house too because I am not out yet and my mother has a gun and she threatens me a lot. Your sister probably wants to believe the truth but she can't make herself because the truth is super scary. Please give her a ton of support because she will need you more than ever. I used my friend as support and she was amazing. I was really stressed and even attempted suicide but I got through it. I know your sis will get through this with an amazing sister like you. Just try to convince her, keep telling her, and then tell some authority. I know that would be hard if she doesn't want you to. My friend that I told didn't tell anyone and I am happy she didn't. She was just trying to convice me to tell. We would go online everyday and look up info on abuse.
Please help your sis and tell or convice her to tell. She needs help and your an amazing sis!!!

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