Matt Asked: How can I help my friend who gets beaten by his father?
This kid is my best friend in the whole world. I'm 18 and he's 17. I'm about to go off to college, but he'll still be a senior in high school. He would tell me about how much he wants to just be on his own, and how lucky I am to finally be done with high school. I bring this up because until recently, I thought he was just feeling that common teenage desire to get out of the house and move on to bigger, better things. But apparently this situation is much more serious than I had previously thought.
He had started smoking a while ago, and never really told me why. Today, his mom caught him with a pack of cigarettes, and he told me about how she was angry and disappointed about it. Knowing that his dad was more strict, I asked what he had done if he caught him (my friend) smoking. He said his dad would probably pull on his hair and hit him in the face. Surprised by how specific his response was, I asked if anything like this had ever happened before. He said yes, but he never wanted to tell anybody about it. I don't know how severe or frequent the beatings are. Later he mentioned that the whole reason he started smoking in the first place was to "piss him off."
Now I'm worried about how I should handle this. I want him to live in a safe environment until he gets out of the house, but I don't want to get the law involved…at least not right away. His dad is on a business trip, so he's not in any danger right now. He said that he thinks he took the whole rebellious teenager thing too far, so that tells me that he thinks he deserves the punishment…which is not true! No parent should ever hit their child, under any circumstances. But he doesn't realize that, because apparently nobody taught him about child abuse. It makes me wonder if his younger sister was ever harmed.
I don't know if I should call the police or social services or anybody, because he specifically told me not to. He says that without his dad's income, they won't be able to support themselves. His mom doesn't make much money selling make-up, and both children go to a private high school…and they want to go to college. So I don't want to ruin their lives by trying to help his, but I can't just sit there and do nothing while my best friend continues to get physically abused. What can I do to help out my best friend?
Call the police
I would call an abuse hotline and talk to a professional counselor. They know how to handle these things.
Tell your friend, to stop smoking ciggarette, because it's pointless in trying to get lung cancer.
yeah, call the police….