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how to help my friend

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  • how to help my friend

    my friends mom is very abusive and has been since she was little. my friend has cancer when she was a baby and has a shunt and if she gets hit in the head it can kill her. her mom drinks all the time and mentaly and physicaly hurts her and her sister. they wont' do anything cause there afraid that there mom will hurt them more. i have a picture and took it to the school but they said they coudln't do anything till she came and talked but it's getting worse now and i'm not sure what to do. any help here?

  • #2
    Re: how to help my friend

    Hello,

    Thank you for taking the time to contact us at the National Runaway Switchboard and for showing such genuine care and compassion for your friend. It must be nice for her to have someone like you in her corner since her mother has wronged her so much over the years. We imagine that having to go through such pain and abuse since she was a little girl must make her hold some resentment for her mother, but can oftentimes lead young people to want to protect their parents regardless. Do you know if filing an abuse report is something she hopes to do? There can be many outcomes to filing a report but most often Child Protective Services tends to want to preserve families and sometimes base their investigation on evidence and witnesses. You mentioned that you took a picture to school and personnel said that nothing could be done, but that is not completely true. If you and your friend were able to gather lots of evidence and witnesses, it usually helps the case better. Child Protective Services usually source out materials and tend to make their decision on what they deem is the right thing for the family. However, it doesn't always mean that it is the right one since given the worse case scenario, if nothing was founded, and they ordered the family to not break up, it can lead to much more abuse if the mother becomes angry with having made to live through the experience. We took it seriously when your friend said that she was afraid that her mother will hurt her and her sister more. This is why we tend to want to empower the victim to make the right decision after we lay out all the options.

    If she were to call us at our 1800RUNAWAY number, we are always here 24 hours/day to listen and offer our support. She will hear that we are mandated to report abuse if she were to offer us names, number, and address of her abuser and although we are not in the position to define abuse, we are required by law to inform the proper authorities of the situation. However, if your friend simply wanted to vent to someone, we are here for that also. We are not here to tell her what to do and where to take it but we are here to empower her to make the best choice for her and her sister. A lot of people are usually hesitant to file abuse reports because of the fear of losing other siblings and this could be the state of mind of your friend but we want to support both of them, no matter what they decide to do. It is not fair to them, that they are made to live through such ordeals and with her medical situation, someone needs to start paying better attention to these dramatic events. Do you know if she is likely to speak up to her mother? If she were to speak to someone at school; nurses and teachers are mandated reporters also, so it is unclear why they did not take it serious in the first place. Is family therapy a possibility for them? We have referrals to free counseling, if she was interested. We also imagine that this situation is also hard on you and welcome a call to our call center for some support. All of our liners are qualified to take your call and want to hear from you. Please have her consider some of what we stated above and take time to find other ways to show your support to her throughout these troubled times. Good luck.

    -NRS
    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

    National Runaway Safeline
    [email protected] (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

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