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16 Year Old Girlfriend Is In An Abusive Home - Should She Live With Me?

Published: November 29, 2012
Dear 16 Year Old Girlfriend Is In An Abusive Home - Should She Live With Me?,

I want me sixteen year old girlfriend to leave her abusive home her dad physically/mentally abuses her and even tells her to leave and not come back and i want her to come live with me but ive recently turned eighteen in october and shes afraid thats going to be a problem because he might go back on what he says and call the cops on her for running aways and pressing charges on me for being eighteen. How can i help her without getting us both in trouble and in a bigger mess than this

Dear 16 Year Old Girlfriend Is In An Abusive Home - Should She Live With Me?,

TeenHealthFX is very sorry to hear about what your girlfriend is going through. We can appreciate how troubling this must be for you to watch this going on, not to mention how distressing for your girlfriend to endure such treatment from a parent.

FX agrees that something needs to be done about this situation so that your girlfriend does not have to go through any further abuse. But moving her from her house to your house may not be the best solution. Given the concern of her father’s unpredictable and violent behavior, it would be best for any move of your girlfriend out of her home to come from some kind of authority, such as child protective services.

FX thinks that either you or your girlfriend needs to speak right away to a trusted adult who can intervene on her behalf. She could speak to any staff member at her school, such as a school counselor or school nurse. She could also speak to her primary care physician. Another alternative would be to contact your state child protective services. For example, if you live in NJ you would contact DYFS at 1-877-NJ-ABUSE (1-877-652-2873). Outside of NJ you could contact The Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-792-8610. This hotline is to report physical or sexual abuse for people living in or outside of New Jersey, and is available 24 hours a day, 7days a week. If there is any concern that her father would become violent as a result of a report to child protective services, it is important to notify the person you speak to of that concern so the proper precautions can be taken to ensure her safety.

For more information on reporting abuse, go to Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect. You can read about How To Report Suspected Maltreatment, including the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline (1-800-4-A-CHILD). This hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with professional crisis counselors who, through interpreters, can provide assistance in 170 languages. The Hotline offers crisis intervention, information, literature, and referrals to thousands of emergency, social service, and support resources and all calls are anonymous and confidential.


Once your girlfriend is in a more stable living situation, it might be helpful for her to meet with a therapist to process what she has been through. Being physically and/or emotionally abused by a parent can be very traumatic – it can be helpful to have a safe, private place to work through various thoughts and feelings with a professional who can provide care, support, and guidance on how to deal with all of this.

You can pass the following information onto your girlfriend:

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 or your girlfriend needs some additional support in dealing with this, if you live in New Jersey you can call 2NDLFOOR, a confidential and anonymous helpline for teens and young adults, at 1-888-222-2228. If you aren’t from NJ, please call your local United Way or 211 for assistance and support.