Anonymous asked this question on 4/7/2000:
Hi all, I have a problem and I would love some input from the experts here, before I totally lose my mind. Here's my situation; To be as brief as possible, I have a sister who is 10 years younger than me. Our mother was killed in a horrific car accident when I was 13 and my sister was only 3 years old. My sister is a very beautiful girl, just finishing her last year in college, very loving and giving, active in her church and community. Don't get me wrong, she is not a perfect angel, but she is a very good person, a person who always sees the good in everyone and would never harm anything or anyone. For the past year she has been dating a guy that seemed to be alright. Our father and our 4 brothers (all older than her), and I, thought he seemed like the average guy and didn't have a problem with him. One day she was mad at him and opened up to me and told me that he had been abusing her. The things she told me that he has done to her are some pretty serious things. Some made my stomach turn. Aside from the horrible physical abuse, he has her convinced that she is ugly and a total tramp and no one else will ever have her. He knows that I know what he has been up to, so he tries to keep her from spending any time with me. I was honestly sick after hearing about these terrible things that he has done to her. Believe me when I say the things he has done to her are sick and disgusting,(ranging from head-butting her trying to knock her unconcious to stomping on her face and stomach), and that's not even the worst of it. I was so angry at him and begged her to leave him alone. At the time she was mad at him and agreed to. She asked me to promise not to tell anyone. I knew that would be a promise I could never keep. Things like this HAVE to be talked about or someone could wind up getting killed. A couple of days later she was back with him and everything was lovey dovey again between them. She no longer wanted to talk about the abuse and even said that she wished she had never told me. She said that he is a great guy and she is going to marry him and he will get some help for his "little problem", and everything will be wonderful. I told my father and brothers. Their initial reaction was to go and phisically harm the guy. Then they decided that saying or doing anything would only push her closer to him. When I try to bring up the subject to her about leaving him, she clams up and gets mad and won't talk to me for days. I am convinced I need to keep the lines of communication open with her, so I have had to try and not say anything to her, but it is killing me to be quiet about this! I am angry that my father and brothers have not at least let the guy know that they know what he has been doing and voice their opinion on the matter. As time goes by, her boyfriend, when he is being good, helps her in many ways, does nice things for her and shows his better side around my family. I think my father and brothers think that I have exaggerated about how bad this guy is. I think they have the "he could be better, but he could be worse" attitude. This is really upsetting to me. I don't know how much longer I can just stand by and watch these things happen to her. When I try to say or do something about it, it just puts distance between us, and I don't want that because I love her with all my heart, she is my best friend. Something has got to be done about this situation before he kills her. I feel like climbing to the top of a mountain and screaming for help until someone hears me! My family is convinced that saying anything to her or her boyfriend will only push her that much closer to him. I don't know what to do. Can anyone help me?
Fr_Chuck gave this response on 4/8/2000:
tell her, have your family tell her and tell everyone what is going on, tell the preacher, report him to the authorities, what ever it takes to get her away from him,
even if it ruins your relatinship with her, it may save her life
this man is very sick, and doing nothing is the same as seeing a child in the middle of a street and saying well I dont want the mother of that child to get mad at me, so I will leave it.
take the chace of losing her, she is lost anyway, if you can not save her
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