I think my best friend's husband is abusive to her. I hate to see her go through this, but I'm afraid to say anything. What do I do?
Thanks for any guidance you can give. TM
I understand your dilemma. You didn't say why you are afraid to say anything, but I imagine that you might be afraid for a couple reasons. Maybe you're afraid because you don't want her to be mad at you and you don't want to risk losing your friendship. Or, maybe you believe it's her journey and she needs to come to her own conclusions in her own time. Or, maybe you are afraid of him yourself and what he might do if he knew you said anything.
I noticed that you said "I think my friend's husband is abusive to her." If you are not sure because she hasn't shared that he is indeed abusive, and this is your intuitive feeling or you are questioning if what YOU are seeing is abuse, then a good idea in that situation may be to educate yourself on the warning signs and then ask your friend honestly and gently: "Hey, I came across this info about abusive relationships, have you ever experienced this." That opens the door to conversation about it. If she shares that she is in an abusive marriage, the best thing you can do is be supportive and non-judgmental. The last thing she needs to hear is: "Why are you putting up with this, or I would never tolerate that." She needs all the support she can get so let her know that you can be that person for her.
Safety is always first and foremost. We should never minimize the potential seriousness of these situations. Violence, once it starts, typically becomes more volatile in time.
I know you are a good friend because you took the time to write. She is lucky to have you.
Here is a great link for anyone who needs more info about domestic violence.
For local agencies contact:
Victim Resource Center
Phone: (315) 331-1171
Hotline: (866) 343-8808
YATES (315) 536–2897
ENECA & ONTARIO (800) 247–7273