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my friend is stuck in an abusive home

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  • my friend is stuck in an abusive home

    My friend “Allie” is living in an abusive home. Her stepdad is very emotionally abusive (screaming and yelling and insulting) and occasionally physically abusive. He has hit her and her stepbrother multiple times in the past and hit her mom once but stopped after her mom nearly left him and threatened to call the police. Allie is 15 and is also employed by her stepdad, lives with him full time, tracked by him, and he controls where she is and when. She feels like she has no escape and has expressed to me that she has contemplated suicide. Allie will most likely have to live in this situation for three more years and she doesn’t think she can handle it for that much longer. She doesn’t want to seek legal help because she believes ending up in the system would ruin her chances of getting the future she wants, and she’d “rather have no future than a screwed one.” She is also dealing with depression and an eating disorder which her mom and stepdad said they would get her help for but they never did. I am there for her as best I can but this problem is a lot bigger than anything I know how to handle. What can Allie do? Or what can I do to help Allie get out of her current situation?

  • #2
    Thank you for reaching out to NRS. It sounds like you care a lot about your friend and you are concerned for her safety. She is really fortunate to have a supportive like you. It is very mature and responsible of you to recognize that you and your friend need help dealing with this situation.
    The abuse that your friend is experiencing is not okay, so it is understandable she would be having a difficult time dealing with it. She does not have to go through it alone and there are some resources you could give her. She can reach out the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 if she is having suicidal thoughts. Additionally, you and your friend can text a counselor from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) by texting “connect” to 741741. NAMI can also help your friend find a more long term, in-person counselor to talk to.
    You mentioned that your friend has concerns about taking a legal route. Filing an abuse report could result in your friend living somewhere else. This could be with a relative, a foster family, or a group home. Although this may come with its own difficulties, it can also provide some support and sense of safety she is not currently getting at home with her stepdad. Another possibility is that a caseworker will have your friend remain at home but mandate parenting classes for her parents and continue to monitor the situation to ensure your friend is safe. If she would like to make a report she can call the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453.
    You or your friend can call NRS 24/7 if you want to talk more about what is going on or need help in anyway. You can call us at 1-800-786-2929 or chat with us at
    Take Care,

    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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