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Afraid To Leave Brothers With Mom's Abusive Boyfriend

Published: May 14, 2012
Dear TeenHealthFX,
My mom has been in a verbally abusive relationship with a guy shes has know since i was 9. Who has also strangled her twice. My mom, 2 little brothers and I recently moved to another state with him. Over the past 2 years the conflicts between them have sometimes turned into physically fights. I feel as though i should stay close to protect my mom just in case things get out of hand. A few times i have been involved with the fights, usually i just try to pull him off my mom when he his holding her down. I do it because I'm scared, and when he doesn't get off her, i find myself hitting him on the back to make him stop. Then i get hurt because he will hit me back or push me really hard, I was pushed into the door recently and it hurt my back -My hip has been numb since then. I was also on my last nerve on day because I'm getting so sick of them yelling at each other. He was trying to make my brother admit to a lie, which when my mom found out about and was very upset. I feel like i take irrational actions sometimes because i get so irradiated and stressed. I got in his face and told him to shut up and leave my brother alone then before i knew it i had my hand to his face about to slap it. I honestly had to stop myself so that i wouldn't hit him hard. But instantly after my hand made contact with his face he hit me back really hard and my mom had to pull us apart.Because we were about to get into a bad physically fight. My nose was bruised and i had a scratch on my arm. I feel so bad now cause everything happened in front of my younger brothers, and i realize how many times he has threatened me. But if i even say anything to him that may come off as a threat he threatens me that he will call the cops. He is really controlling as well and my mom is sometimes submissive to the things he will do to make me mad or even the things he says to me, because she doesn't want to be in another fight. I will be 17 in a couple weeks and i really want out of my situation, but I'm afraid to leave my brothers with such a negative
Signed: Afraid To Leave Brothers With Mom's Abusive Boyfriend

Dear Afraid To Leave Brothers With Mom's Abusive Boyfriend,

 

TeenHealthFX is sorry to hear that you and your family have been dealing with such an abusive situation for so long. FX can only imagine how hard it is to see your mother and brothers living like this, and we can appreciate the pressure you are feeling to protect all of them from this man. It is really a terrible way for all of you to be living.

 

This situation is more than you can deal with alone. You and your brothers need the help of a healthy adult to ensure your ongoing physical safety and emotional well-being – and your mother needs someone to intervene so that she can get the help she needs as a victim of domestic violence. That said, FX would like you to consider the following:

 

  • You can speak to your family doctor, school counselor, teacher, or any other trusted adult about what is going on. That adult may have to involve child protective services, which can feel scary for all involved. However, it is important that someone assess your home environment to see if you and your brothers can be safe there for now, and to put in services for your family members that will help all of you to deal with this situation.

 

  • If you live in New Jersey, you can call 1-800-NJ-ABUSE to report the abuse going on in the home. Outside of NJ you can contact the Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-792-8610, 24 hours, 7 days a week. This hotline is for reporting physical or sexual abuse and to get help.

 

  • Consider getting yourself into therapy so that you have support and guidance in dealing with this situation. You can speak to a school social worker or psychologist, and/or meet with a private therapist. If you live in northern New Jersey and need help finding a therapist you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888-247-1400. Outside of this area you can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website for referrals in your area. You can also contact your insurance company to get a list of in-network mental health providers or check with your school social worker or psychologist to get a list of referrals in your area.

 

  • If you find you, your mother, or your brothers are in an emergency situation with man, consider the following: You and your family can call 911 or go to your nearest hospital emergency room or police station. In northern New Jersey you can also call the crisis hotline from Morristown Memorial hospital at 973-540-0100. Outside this area call the Suicide & Crisis Hotline, 1-800-999-9999, 24 hours, 7 days a week. You can also call the Youth Crisis Hotline at 1-800-448-4663, 24 hours, 7 days a week. This hotline is for teens, 17 years of age or younger, who are in crisis.

 

  • If you have an extended family member who you think could intervene in a helpful and healthy way, consider letting that person know what is going on.

 

  • If you live in New Jersey, you can contact (or encourage your mother to contact) JBWS (Jersey Battered Women’s Services) at 973-267-4763. This phone number is a 24 hour confidential helpline for those dealing with issues of domestic violence. Outside of NJ you can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233),24 hours, 7days a week.

 

FX thinks that it is important that you reach out for help with this right away so that you, your brothers, and your mother can stay safe and get the help you need.

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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