K.S. wrote: “My best friend is in an abusive relationship with her boyfriend. He has beat her multiple times and recently when she spent the weekend at her friend’s house he showed up at their door in a drunken rage. They called the police on him and now she’s saying that she doesn’t want to make a statement to the police and has moved back in with him. She assures me that everything is “Under control” but I’m not absolute that it’s as cut and dry as she thinks… I mean, should I intervene, or just trust her judgement?”
Liz says: This sounds like a classic case of battered women’s syndrome. He abuses her, he apologizes/brings gifts/makes promises, and then she’s back with him, hoping it never happens again. But it does happen again, and the cycle continues. In other words, your instincts are right.
Share this guide with her, called Help For Abused and Battered Women. It includes steps to take for getting away from her abuser safely. It sounds like she might be in denial though, so also share this link with her, Am I Being Abused? It will help her learn to differentiate between unhealthy and healthy relationships and hopefully recognize that she needs help.
Whatever you do, don’t become frustrated that she doesn’t leave him instantly. The last thing she needs is for her friends to abandon her so her abuser can have more control. She needs a support system more than anything now. Abusers often try to isolate their victims.
She’s fortunate to have a friend like you who wants to help her. I hope she is able to build a new life ASAP.